A persona is a semi-fictitious account of characteristic features of an individual.In business terms, it gives us a detailed account of what our user thinks, how he thinks, what are his preferences, what are various factors that influence his buying decisions. Hence it has become extremely crucial for the businesses to understand user persona.
The usage of the term became popular during the late 90’s. American designer and programmer Alan Cooper is often attributed for pioneering the usage and introduction of the term.Today, persona has become such a crucial aspect of businesses that no industry can function without creating a user persona and developing their product around it. Persona building has become such an integral aspect of marketing that businesses world over are spending millions on the research to understand user persona.
Why is it Crucial to Build and Understand User Persona?
Businesses need to build and understand user persona. It helps them understand what are the requirements of the people, how do they think and so on. That in most cases turns out to be the decisive factor in the product’s success.
“A satisfied customer is the best customer strategy of all”
-Michael Le Boeuf
Let us try to understand the importance of building user persona using the following example. Imagine yourself as a car manufacturer. You are planning on launching a new car into the market and you have done a market research based on the following characters. The following are your potential buyers:
In the above case, you have done your market research and have come up with the conclusion that the prospective customer base is diverse and you need to come up with the car that would satisfy all the above personas. One needs to have at least the above-mentioned information to understand the buyer.
How To Build User Persona
In order to build a persona, we must primarily focus on the psyche of the user and try to collect information on the aspects which might influence your product design.The information that you need to gather from a user to build persona must cover
- Behavioral Aspects
The information that you need to cover on professional aspects are their domain of work, professional experience, what are their expectations from you and are they getting the information they want from your website. If not, which other sites they are gathering information from?
Technical information must include everything regarding the devices, applications they use, and how much time they spend on web browsing etc. Behavioural information like what motivates them, what they are looking for, what they need and what they want to do is important. This is one of the most crucial and also overlooked factors. However, the businesses have to be extra specific about the behavioral aspect. This is where you have the best chance of understanding your customers.
The above-mentioned data can be either collected through your own marketing team with the help of questionnaires or through the reports being published about the user behaviors in various journals. Alternatively, you can also set up a quick survey on your website. This would help you in understanding the visitors and their requirements.
Structure of Questionaire to Understand User Persona
An ideal questionnaire to understand user persona must have the following elements. It should be a short paragraph describing the geographic, demographic and psychological information of the user.
- It should also provide information about marital status, kids, and income of the user.
- Information regarding interests, dreams, goals, political ideology, values, opinions and beliefs of the user should be present. This is the most complex element in the personas layout.
- It must have information on what influences the user, whether people, products, sites or brands.
- Information about the reactive behavior or attitude as a user.
- Information related to what devices and platforms that the targeted users are using for a particular product/service.
- Information on the expertise level of a user in using product or domain which is related to yours.
- The information about what a particular user expects a marketer to do
- Usage history devices and platforms that the users have used in the past such as software/apps to use a particular product or service of your concern.
- Information pertaining to the relationship of users with a particular product or service of your concern.Details about users’ expectations on a product/service which is of your interest.The built persona should give a clear picture of a person illustrating his lifestyle and buying behavior.
It becomes extremely crucial to make sure that you know who your end user is. In order to do so, businesses need to understand user persona. So what are you waiting for?
Get your inner data guy out and start crunching those stats. Most importantly, contact your existing customers and use that data to build future leads.