Categories
Persona Development Personas

How to make sure personas are accepted in the organization?

Here’s my suggestion:

(a) Before persona creation, form “persona hypotheses” by interviewing company folks like sales people, marketers, and executives.

(b) Capture their tacit knowledge into the persona hypotheses (e.g., “our typical customer is a young woman from Helsinki that loves outdoor experiences”).

(c) Do your study. Interview customers and/or analyze quantitative data. Which of the hypotheses hold?

The point is to make the “buyer of the persona” feel like they’re part of the process. This lowers their shield when later on you come back with your findings based on real data to confirm, refute, or add to their understanding of the customer segments.

Want to see the usefulness of personas in action?

Salminen, J., Jung, S.G., Chowdhury, S. Şengün, S., and Jansen, B. J.  (2020) Personas and Analytics: A Comparative User Study of Efficiency and Effectiveness for a User Identification Task. ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’20), Honolulu, HI, USA. 25–30 April, 1-13.

Categories
Persona Creation Persona Design Persona Development Personas

How to Create Personas – In Less Than 100 Words

1) Define target market by industry (x), country (y), and size

2) Find out the job titles (z) in these companies that make decisions about buying

3) For each of the x * y * z = n segments, locate 5-10 people to interview

4) Conduct the interviews

5) Analyze the interviews for key pain points, needs, willingness to buy

6) Based on patterns, reduce the number. For example, 12 segments can become 3 personas.

7) Give your personas name and picture. Write descriptions that include pain points, needs, and willingness to buy. Add direct quotes to support. Done.

Categories
Persona Creation Persona Development Personas

“How does a founder go about creating buyer personas for a start-up content marketing agency?”

Quora question: “How does a founder go about creating buyer personas for a start-up content marketing agency?”

My answer below.

Categories
Persona Creation Persona Design Persona Development

How to Create a Buyer Persona with the HubSpot Persona Tool

This post is co-authored with Noor-ul-Anam Ruqayya, a Software engineering graduate from the University of Karachi. Noor is currently working as a content writer and digital marketer.

What Are Buyer Personas?

Buyer personas, also known as marketing personas, can be defined as a general profile of your typical (or ideal) consumer. 

Buyer personas are based on real data collected through market research or extracted from a customer database, for example, CRM (Customer Relationship  Management) or Google Analytics.

In simple words, personas combine research-based data and educated guesses about your clients. 

Among the three major types of business personas (user persona, buyer persona, and website persona), a buyer persona is the most popular. Its popularity stems from the fact that it helps marketers empathize with the customer and see them as more than cold data.  

In this article, we will explain the step-by-step process to create buyer personas using HubSpot’s ‘Make my Persona’ tool. We’ll also discuss buyer personas in more detail and why they’re important in devising an inbound strategy

Categories
Persona Creation Persona Design Persona Development Persona Research Personas

Persona Transparency: Analyzing the Impact of Explanations on Perceptions of Data-Driven Persona

Persona Transparency: Analyzing the Impact of Explanations on Perceptions of Data-Driven Personas

Persona Transparency: Analyzing the Impact of Explanations on Perceptions of Data-Driven Personas

Computational techniques are becoming more common in persona development. However, users of personas may question the information in persona profiles because they are unsure of how it was created.

This problem is especially vexing for data-driven personas because their creation is an opaque algorithmic process. 

In this research, we analyze the effect of increased transparency – i.e., explanations of how the information in data-driven personas was produced – on user perceptions. 

We find that higher transparency through these explanations increases the perceived completeness and clarity of the personas. 

Contrary to  our hypothesis, the perceived credibility of the personas decreases with the increased transparency, possibly due to the technical complexity of the persona profiles disrupting the facade of the personas being real people. 

This finding suggests that explaining the algorithmic process of data-driven persona creation involves a “transparency trade-off”. 

We also find that the gender of the persona affects the perceptions, with transparency increasing perceived completeness and empathy of the female persona, but not for the male persona. Therefore, transparency may specifically assist in the acceptance of female personas. 

We provide practical implications for persona creators regarding transparency in persona profiles.

Read Full Research

Salminen, J., Santos, J., Jung, S. G., Eslami, M. and Jansen, B. J. (2020) Persona Transparency: Analyzing the Impact of Explanations on Perceptions of Data-Driven PersonasInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 36(8), 788-800.

Categories
CHI Persona Creation Persona Design Persona Development Persona Research Personas

Analyzing Demographic Bias in Artificially Generated Facial Pictures

Artificial generation of facial images is increasingly popular, with machine learning achieving photo-realistic results.

Yet, there is a concern that the generated images might not fairly represent all demographic groups. This has implications for persona development when approaching the goal of generating the facial pictures for the persona profiles automatically.

Analyzing Demographic Bias in Artificially Generated Facial Pictures
Analyzing Demographic Bias in Artificially Generated Facial Pictures

In research led by Joni Salminen, we use a state-of-the-art method to generate 10,000 facial images and observe that the generated images are skewed towards young people, especially white women.

Categories
Data-Driven Personas Persona Creation Persona Design Persona Development

Who should be involved in creating your buyer personas?

Note: this post is based on my answer on Quora.

Short answer: (a) people inside the team/organization using the personas, and (b) customers/users the personas are based on.

You want the people who will be using the personas to participate in their creation as much as possible for them to internalize important customer segment information already during the creation process, and to avoid them rejecting the personas because of them being “artificial”.

When being part of the process of persona creation, the persona users are more likely to accept and adopt personas in their decision-making.

Secondly, I mentioned customers because even when creating data-driven personas (i.e., those based on quantitative numbers such as CRM or Web analytics records), you still want in-depth insights on the customers’ pain points, needs, and wants. Those are much harder to elicit using automatic means, so in-depth interviews with 6–12 customers (or more, if you want more than 3 personas) are highly useful.

See relevant persona research here: Persona Research