How are personas and market segments different?

Personas and market segments are higly similar in the sense that they both are based on real data about the customers. However, the main difference is that personas individualize that data in a representation that has a name, face, and human attributes. In conclusion:

Personas = humanlike representations of customer groups
Market segments = nameless, faceless descriptions of customer groups

Author: Joni Salminen

Dr. Joni Salminen works as a postdoctoral researcher at Qatar Computing Research Institute and Turku School of Economics. His current research interests are heavily focused on personas, including automatic persona generation from social media data (YouTube, Facebook, Google Analytics), persona perceptions, biases in data-driven personas, optimal number of personas, etc.