Personas: everything you ever wanted to know

Personas

If you are interested in Marketing or already working in this area it’s not impossible to have heard the personas or buyer personas. Although this concept has been created for purposes and goals, often professionals believe they are building consistent personas, but are doing the opposite. Therefore, this text seeks to elucidate any doubts about it and also comment on some interesting personas and market success. Check it out!

After all, what is a Persona?

It is difficult to define exactly when the idea of Persona began to appear in Marketing. The truth is that the concept is in the making since the 60s, when researchers tried to find out the attributes already associated with brands and how psychology could help in the understanding of this design process. Over time, the idea came taking different paths, and today many people work with the concept without knowing exactly what you’re doing.

Briefly, the personas are a way to conceptually extrapolate the results of demographic research on consumers of a brand. Incidentally, you can work with demographic data of consumers, but also with projections from analysis of social media users or even more general marketing research. In all cases, the construction of the persona is directly associated with actual data concerning consumers or potential consumers.

That is, the persona is a character that summarizes all the attributes of the ideal consumer of a brand, representing physical and psychological characteristics of this consumer model. These attributes, we repeat, are identified through quantitative and qualitative research real.

As persona of synonyms, you will find, depending on their segment, the terms: avatar, target, target audience and even stereotype.

But what they do there?

Whereas it is still expensive to do serious research, many companies decide to adopt the concept of persona and present them in their beautiful exhibition idea to customers, but without any real foundation regarding these attributes associated with the brand. This is often the personas end up being “guesses” about this consumer representing clichés and weak perceptions arising from the professionals themselves, without any foundation for this building.

Personas and Content Marketing

Although the persona concept should be used as a great starting point for planning any marketing strategy, it was with the boom of Content Marketing that the idea became more evident. Because it became even clearer the importance of knowing the background the consumer to understand what, in fact, are their interests.

Thus, trace digital content strategies or offline for avid consumers for information is easier if you define precisely who this guy is and what their expectations are.

Creating personas in practice

Ok, to work with persona and understand exactly who my consumer model, need to do qualitative and quantitative research. But how to start? Some questions can help in this his endeavor, but it must be clear if you do marketing B2C or B2B.

- Personas in marketing B2C

If you work with end-users, be aware that you need to know habits and attributes that go beyond the direct relationship with their product, but they can help even to understand their consumer preferences. For this, some questions are essential!

We separated for you, so some of these questions divided into segmented information: History and Perceptions of Business.

– Personal History: here the important thing is to understand what the fundamental characteristics and its primary consumer. That is, what are your name, age and gender? Where you were born and raised? He came from urban or rural areas? What was or is the profession of your parents? What were your main activities as a child? What are your most important memories of childhood?

– Education: in this regard, more important than the education itself is to understand the subjective relationships that consumers have and had with their education. For example: what was your favorite subject? He liked to go to school? He had many friends in this environment or rather become more isolated? He went to college? If not, what did you do after high school?

– Professional History: understanding the professional profile is to go beyond their profession, but answer questions like: What was your first job? How it came to this place that now occupies about your job? He feels satisfied in your job? What is your dream job?

- Current Situation: here is interesting answer more general questions about the current consumer’s life, including covering habits of consumption and leisure. Some fundamental questions: what city he lives today? What is your relationship status: dating, married, divorced? He has any pets? You have many or few friends? How does your social life? He likes to travel?

– Finance: this topic is important to understand the relationship of the consumer with the money he earns, and his impulses to the buying decision. Ie: it currently have any debt? He is cautious about money or likes to spend without major considerations? What factors determine your decision to buy something?

– Intimate Life: here, some issues are delicate and often difficult to answer, but can be critical to profile your consumer. For example: What is your sexual orientation? He is religious? What is your political orientation? What are your hobbies and favorite TV shows? What kind of movie and music he likes? It has diurnal or nocturnal? He drinks or smokes? Of which social networks they participate?

– Feelings and Motivation: It is important to define the psychological and behavioral traits of consumers also from their own perceptions. Ie answers to the following questions can be enlightening: he is introverted or extroverted? Optimistic or pessimistic? He likes to take risks or prefer to remain safe? Likes to be spontaneous or prefer to follow well-established plans? It is greatly affected by external judgments?

– Business Perceptions: in this regard, the idea is to map the consumer’s relationship with the brand in question and understand their practical habits of consumption. In this sense, some issues are fundamental: what he has objections to your product / brand? What factors can make you choose a competitor instead of your product? He likes to shop online or prefer to go to physical stores?

- Personas in B2B marketing

If the B2C the key to building a persona is to understand your consumer thoroughly, especially in relation to their most private and personal habits in B2B questions follow another path. Here it does not matter if the buyer of the company based in suburban areas or in a luxury apartment in prime areas of the city. This fact will not influence their professional decisions and does not interfere with its intention to buy office supplies or server for your internal network, or even to adopt SEO strategies in your business.

In this case, questions should seek to understand their relationship to work and how they deal with your product / brand and the change that this acquisition can bring to the company. For example:

  1. What is the current goal of the company and it was important to achieve it?
  2. What is stopping or accelerating this process?
  3. What is the perception of the buyer of the change that this acquisition can bring to your work?
  4. To whom they are addressed when they need information or professional advice?
  5. What could make this acquisition become unnecessary?

Another way…

The personas currently can be analyzed and built from the new opportunities arising from the digital marketing. Today, define a persona from detailed demographic and qualitative data will allow you to create a representative character of the brand itself, in order to create interactive links with consumers.

In this context, there is a complexity of persona, which is no longer just a copy of the consumer model – as a way to target content and strategies – and becomes a character with whom this consumer would like to interact, either by social networking sites , as for mobile applications etc. It is the Persona mark. In this sense, this definition of persona follows a different path and gives new meaning to the data collected by the research.

Finally!

In order to produce relevant content or even find the right tone for the interaction in social media, the construction of the persona is central to the planning of marketing and advertising strategies. Be a persona based on consumer-model or one with which this consumer wants to interact, the idea of ​​customizing the brand is critical to its humanization in times of continuous interaction and generalized connection. Be aware of these possibilities is an important and decisive step in the quest for attention and interest of your target audience.

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