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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds The customer persona is a representation of customer behaviours. You want to understand where your customers are the same versus different. Most businesses use customer personas to bring to life the different customer types that they have. You want to be able to understand where your customers have the same or different behaviours. Usually, businesses will have somewhere between three and six personas, bringing to life where they have different attributes. So for example, you may have a persona that represents your customer that wants to buy your product right now to get it off their checklist. Or you may have a persona that brings to life your research customer, the one that needs to deeply understand your product and service before they can buy.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds Those two have very different needs, and you need to be aware of both of their needs and not just design your website and your offerings to one.

Demystifying Personas

If you research personas on the internet, you’ll find a lot written, particularly from the perspective of a user experience (UX) for website and software interaction.

This is because personas were initially developed by a software development consultant, Alan Cooper. In 1998 he introduced the concept of a persona as a practical interaction design tool for software development.

However, since the introduction of personas to the web and software development community, over the past decade personas have moved from being largely the focus of website and software development to having wider application as a marketing tool.

So what is a persona?

In simple terms, a persona is a visual representation of your typical customer or consumer. You create the persona around a fictional character who is typical of the person you will be targeting in the marketing efforts of your business.

The persona is essentially a story about them - who they are, what they like, what they think about the category and your products, how frequently they shop the category, and what goals they are trying meet, or problems they are trying to solve when purchasing your products or services.

Personas recognise that customers can sometimes have the same or different behaviours as each other. It is important when developing personas not to try and stereotype your typical customer. You don’t want the personas to oversimplify the demographics of your customers or consumers.

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This video is from the free online course:

Online Business: Customer Profiling for Success

RMIT University