Ok, so now that you’ve been thoroughly convinced why you need to create personas, how the heck are you supposed to make that happen? Where do you begin fleshing out a faux person that represents a segment of your database?
As I see it, there are 5 key pieces of information you’ll need to identify before drafting a persona, whether you’re a B2B or B2C company.
For a particular segment, you need to know whether they’re mostly male or female. That will be key when identifying the type of things that resonate to that gender and the things to stay away from.
It doesn’t have to be down to a specific age, but an age range. And keep it limited. Don’t make it so wide that it’s anyone who falls between a child and a senior citizen. Is it someone in his/her 30s? A teenager? A baby boomer?
How far did they make it school? Do they hold their GED or their PhD? You’ll want to have an idea of the level of education you’re dealing with when reaching out to a specific segment.
What field or industry does this person work in? What is their title? Where do they fall within an org chart—toward the top, toward the bottom or somewhere in between? Do they have direct reports? You’ll want to have answers to these questions.
Here you’ll want to know if they’re the decision maker or need someone else’s approval first. You’ll also want to know how much they’re willing to pay for your product or service and how much they labor over making a buying decision. Are they impulsive or methodical? And finally, you’ll want to know what pushes them over the edge to make that buying decision? Is price the biggest reason? Features? Etc.
So then, put all that together and create your persona. In other words, write their storyline that includes his/her name, age, birthplace, family members, marital status, current residence locale, financial status, education, hobbies/interests, job title, company name, business wants/needs, pain points, and a day in the life synopsis. Obviously, you’re making up many of those details, but they’re important. To properly picture your persona, you’ll want to know, for example, whether you should envision him/her sitting down at a dinner table with spouse and kids or nursing a hangover every weekend morning.
Follow these five steps to better understand who you’re targeting. And then, the next time you’re drafting a marketing piece, you’ll be thinking of this person, instead of faceless, nameless data points.