As marketers, we know that understanding your target audience is necessary for developing successful products, concepts and campaigns. In our experience, this works best through creating a buyer persona. A persona is a profile or archetype of your customer. Clearly identifying who your customer is will help you take the right approach to responding to their needs and interests. This will help you become even more successful with your online marketing.
Creating buyer personas is quite an elaborate process. The persona needs to be shaped and researched.
- Do you and your colleagues truly believe the persona?
- Have you spoken to users (at trade fairs) who you can connect to the persona?
- Have you gained new insights from talking to users?
- How have you validated your assumptions?
- What additional insights have you gained?
How in-depth have you gone? In practice, we see that a lot of companies create buyer personas based on assumptions without enhancing these ideas with additional research-based insights.
“The greatest drawback is that personas can quickly become clichés. If you don’t base a persona on research, it just becomes a reflection of your pre-conceived notions” (Guido Stompff, 2018)
In our experience, many companies create a buyer persona based on gut feelings and assumptions. Better marketers use qualitative research. Although that is a step in the right direction, these personas are not substantiated by quantitative evidence. We always recommend using multiple methods and ideally to validate the persona using quantitative research.
Why is that? These quantitative data-driven personas are based on measurable facts rather than assumptions or gut feelings. That makes them more compelling and therefore truly meaningful. You will also much more than earn back your investment in time and money with successful product launches and great campaign results.
Quantitative data-driven personas are personas based on data. They are created using quantitative research through surveys or by using data from systems.
“If you don’t start with the right data. All initiatives will always be less effective and efficient than they should be.” Matt Nitzberg
These personas are descriptions of clustered groups (individuals) that share the same characteristics in the datasets. This persona design method tests (buying) behaviour within the target group based on propositions. That sounds more complicated than it is. We explain how it works in our white paper ‘Quantitative data-driven personas’.
Christensen applied this approach to persona design years ago for McDonalds. In fact, he examined buying motivations. He found out that 40% of milkshake purchases in the morning were made by single men driving cars. That is one example of a buyer persona.
McDonalds then cleverly capitalised on that by installing vending machines to avoid long queues. They also made the milkshake thicker so it was even more filling for breakfast. The results? Sales exploded. (Van Belleghem, 2004)
What are quantitative data-driven personas? What do I gain?
What does it actually deliver for your organisation? Also be sure to read our next article on the 7 benefits of using a quantitative data-driven persona. Take the first step towards even more successful online marketing and sales campaigns today with the white paper ‘Quantitative data-driven personas’.
If we’ve got you thinking and you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Belleghem, Steven van (2014) When Digital becomes Human, van Duuren Media.Guido Stompff (2018), Design Thinking, Boom Uitgevers.
Tony Zambito (2007) The guide to buyer persona development.