Used in market research and traffic building, a “user persona” is a relatively new and very useful tool for customer-centered design. They are fictional characters based on various types of users in a well-defined opinion, demographic and action parameter. The user persona thus functions as a predictive signpost for various brands, products and services within the narrow confines of its’ developed ‘character’. Needless to say, the user personal can be tweaked and rearranged to suit the needs of the marketing agency or PR firm that is using it to forecast trends and purchasing patterns. For instance, an initial user personal may be a 30-year old male with certain characteristics. This user personal works fine for men’s cologne, but if the marketers are looking to find ways and means to woo a potential market for high heels, then the persona obviously is changed to a 20-year-old female. It is also sometimes call a “pen portrait”.
A user persona is most often used online for the purpose of predicting the outcome of marketing campaigns specifically focused on the characteristics and personality traits of the persona; they are a valuable guide to decision making concerning branding and purchasing trends.
A user persona is most often created from information contained in interviews with actual brand and/or service users that fit the demographics the sponsor or manufacturer desires as his or her target market. The resolutions and actions of the real target audience are then carefully fitted together into a composite image that represents an “average” that can be used to guide marketing, advertising, and production directions.
The user persona does a lot to take the guesswork out of marketing. Far too many companies and corporations rely on blind luck or some kind of ‘intuition’ to decide a course for their marketing campaign. This is mere wishful thinking. You might as well read tea leaves or flip over tarot cards as leave your marketing strategy and budget to the whims of chance and vagary.
Of course you want to spend some time interviewing the real people who buy or would be willing to buy your product or service, but you can’t devote an immense amount of time to surveys. It is cost-prohibitive and too time-consuming and slow. That is why your user persona model is such a low-cost yet effective idea. Blue Fountain Media is an expert at designing and creating your unique user persona. They have done this for some of the best e-commerce concerns in the USA.
Your user persona will guide your marketing team in everything from what font the personal will respond to best, to what kind of banner ads or pop-ups or interactive pages the persona would respond to positively, as well as what kind of marketing techniques the user persona would respond to negatively. It can act as a commercial doppelganger, showing how to grow your brand after all the research and surveys have been wrung dry of their statistics and meaning.
How many personas should you use? A prudent understanding of the concept indicates that a maximum of four personas is the best for maximum effect. After all, you don’t want too much of a good thing! Especially if you are doing most or all of your business online, the persona is ideally suited to give you authentic, potent feedback that will help your construct marketing gambits to drive the ideal traffic to your site in a steady, growing stream.