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Proto-personas are based on secondary research only and are generated when there is little time and/or money available.

Following is a brief list of some of the pros and cons associated with using proto-personas.


  • Good to develop when there is no money available for research - using this type of persona is better than having no persona at all to guide you.
  • Fast and fun to construct.


  • These personas are usually created by the business using an educated ‘guess’.
  • The persona is not a validated representation of your customer or consumer.
  • You could be targeting the wrong customers or consumers.

When using this type of persona, it is advisable to continually improve the persona as more factual data becomes available. Create a living document that continues to expand your knowledge as information becomes available.

For information on proto-personas see the Related Links section.

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This article is from the free online course:

Online Business: Customer Profiling for Success

RMIT University