What is a Persona?

What is a Persona?

What is a Persona? Jonathan Poland

Personas are fictional characters that businesses use to represent and model the characteristics, goals, needs, behaviors, and emotions of their target customers. They are created based on research and analysis of customer data, and are designed to be generalizations of actual customers. Personas are often used in marketing and user experience planning as a way to better understand the needs and motivations of target customers, and to develop strategies and tactics that will effectively meet these needs. By creating personas, businesses can more easily visualize and empathize with their target audience, and design products and experiences that are tailored to their needs and preferences.

Personas are often developed based on market research, such as customer interviews, and are designed to accurately reflect the characteristics, goals, needs, behaviors, and emotions of target customers. To ensure that personas are based on real data and accurately represent the target market, it is important to carefully separate the process of persona development from planning and design. This can help to prevent the temptation to shape the personas to fit the preferences or biases of the marketing or design team, and ensure that the personas are grounded in real customer insights. By using personas that are based on real data, businesses can more effectively design marketing and user experience strategies that meet the needs and expectations of their target audience.

Personas are designed to include a range of character traits, values, needs, aspirations, behaviors, skills, and limitations that reflect the characteristics of a target audience. When used effectively, personas can help teams to consider designs and plans from the perspective of their intended audience, and ensure that products and experiences are tailored to meet the needs and expectations of customers. However, if personas are developed incorrectly, they can become a superficial pretense of designing for customers, rather than an accurate representation of their characteristics and needs. This can occur when personas are created by teams that have never met a customer, or when personas are based on unrealistic stereotypes rather than real data. To avoid these problems, it is important to carefully research and validate personas to ensure that they accurately reflect the realities of the target audience.

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