Common Questions About Personas (We’ve Got the Answers!)

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In this blog post, we’ve gathered some commonly asked questions about personas. Got more questions about personas? Just send us a message and we’ll address your question!

Frequently Asked Persona Questions:

Continue reading “Common Questions About Personas (We’ve Got the Answers!)”

Research Concerning: Are Personas Done? Evaluating their usefulness in the age of digital analytics

In research led by Joni Salminen, we conceptually examine the use of personas in an age of large-scale online analytics data.

Based on the criticism and benefits outlined in prior work and by practitioners working with online data, we formulate the major arguments for and against the use of personas given real-time online analytics data about customers, analyze these arguments, and demonstrate areas for the productive employment of data-driven personas by leveraging online analytics data in their creation.

Our key tenet is that data-driven personas are located between aggregated and individual customer statistics.

At their best, digital data-driven personas capture the coverage of the customer base attributed to aggregated data representations while retaining the interpretability of individual-level analytics; they benefit from powerful computational techniques and novel data sources.

We discuss how digital data-driven personas can draw from technological advancements to remedy the notable concerns voiced by scholars and practitioners, including persona validation, inconsistency problem, and long development times.

Finally, we outline areas of future research of personas in the context of online analytics. We argue that to survive in the rapidly developing online customer analytics industry, personas must evolve by adopting new practices.

Salminen, J., Kwak, H., An, J., Jung, S.G., and Jansen, B. J. (2018) Are personas done? Evaluating their usefulness in the age of digital analytics. Persona Studies. 4, 2, 47-65.

How to use a persona?

Here are some of the many ways to use a persona:

  • Brand Discovery: Uncover how your core customers feel about your product or service and how they rationalize the purchase decision.
  • Channel and Offering Alignment: Align every piece of offerings and marketing activity to a persona and purchase stage, identifying new channels and needs where opportunities exist.
  • Communication: Personas are also great for communication among team members and across departments. Personas are GREAT for meetings! They keep folks focused on the BIG picture.
  • Content Creators: Content creators can leverage personas for the delivery of content that will be most relevant and useful to their audience. When planning for content, we might ask “Would Bridget understand this?” or “Would Bridget be attracted by this?”
  • Executives: can keep personas in mind while making strategic decisions. In fact, a persona can become a “silent member in the boardroom”.
  • Experimentation and Optimization: Carry out well-thought experiments to produce statistically significant business insights and apply the results to optimize performance.
  • Journey Mapping: Plot the stages and paths of the persona lifecycle, documenting each persona’s unique state of mind, needs, and concerns at each stage
  • Marketing: When you understand where your core customers spend their time online, you are able to focus your marketing spend on these channels.
  • Persona Discovery: Document the individuals involved in the purchase process in a way that allows decision makers to empathize with them in a consistent way.
  • Product Managers: can use the information to design a product that meets the needs or desires of core customers, and marketing can use personas to craft messages that resonate.
  • Product Offerings: Personas can be extremely helpful in product development. With the help of personas, you can more easily build the features that suit your customers’ needs. Forrester Research reports a 20% productivity improvement with teams that use personas.
  • Reporting and Feedback: Report and review data and insights to drive strategic decisions, as well as provide information to the organization as a whole.
  • Sales: Targeted offerings can help you convert more potential customers to subscribers, followers, and customers. You can also use persona description to tailor lead generation which is likely to improve your lead quality and satisfaction.

9 Benefits of Data-Driven Personas

Introduction to Data-Driven Personas

Automatic Persona Generation (APG) is a system developed by the persona research team at Qatar Computing Research Institute. APG is defined both as a methodology and a system for automatic creation of personas from online analytics data.

Automatic Persona Generation has specifically been developed to address the limitations of manual persona creation. This blog post details the main benefits of data-driven personas compared to manually created personas. Continue reading “9 Benefits of Data-Driven Personas”

How are Personas Used in Real Organizations?

What are Personas and Why Use Them?

Personas are fictional characters or ‘profiles’ that portray a certain type of customer or user.

The development of a persona should go beyond just providing background information on the organization’s ideal customers. The persona profile should also include other features, such as current behaviors the persona exihibits as well as goals and expectations. A detailed persona can help identify the right target audience, but more importantly, it forces the consideration of the user in the design and implementation of a product. Continue reading “How are Personas Used in Real Organizations?”

Usefulness of Personas in Age of Digital Analytics

In this post, I’m exploring the usefulness of personas in the era of digital analytics. At Qatar Computing Research Institute, we have developed a system for automatic persona generation (APG) – see the demo. Under the leadership of Professor Jim Jansen, we’re constantly working to position this persona system at the intersection of customer profiles, personas, and online analytics. Continue reading “Usefulness of Personas in Age of Digital Analytics”

How to Use Personas? Listing Typical Persona Use Cases

Introduction to Persona Use Cases

Personas are imaginary people representing the core audience or customers of a company or organization. Personas were introduced into software development and marketing in the 1990s. Personas capture and describe key elements of customer segments so that decision makers could better understand their users or customers, not only by using numbers but also by referring to qualitative attributes, such as key pain points and desires, needs and wants. Continue reading “How to Use Personas? Listing Typical Persona Use Cases”