Define buyer personas

Contributors

@boagworld @Irina_Tudorache


Business Benefits

Outline similar characteristics among customers for easy targeting in an ad-heavy market.


Look for common groupings of customers based on factors that influence their purchasing behavior, like the budget they have available to spend monthly.

Do not group by demographics unless that has a strong impact on how people buy, and what information you communicate with them. Favor groupings based on behavior.

To find data on available customer budget, look at previous quantitative research or business analytics.

Ask your stakeholders “What are the measurable business goals?” they want to achieve.

Talk to those who have regular contact with your audience and ask if the groupings make sense to them.

Adjust your groupings based on the feedback you receive so they help to achieve the business goals.

Create assumptions and hypothesis that will impact the business goals, if proven right, before deciding on the type of data to extract in interviews or surveys.

Use the data you gather from quantitative research to learn about each group’s relationship with your brand. Follow it up with qualitative research if you need more information.

Use:

  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score to find potential bottlenecks.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) to identify detractors and fans and further explore their issues and reasons for buying.
  • Customer Effort Score (CES) to figure out how easy it is for customers to interact with your brand. Ask them questions during a live testing session, particularly when they are asked to perform a certain task and they seem confused. You can ask Why did you press that? What were you trying to find?

Identify key characteristics for each group through surveys and interviews. Avoid questions about future actions of a client.

It’s not a good idea to ask questions about future actions of a client. They tend to be overly positive and use their imagination, yet you need clear actionable data.

Always formulate questions about their past behaviors which have patterns, this will help you understand what they will do next and what data is relevant for the business to grow.

For example, “I would like more free gifts to make me buy more” is not urgent and possibly this persona isn’t a regular buyer.

The characteristics you focus on will depend on how you want to use your personas, but typical information includes:

  • Goals they are trying to achieve.
  • Pain points they want to overcome.
  • Tasks they wish to complete.
  • Questions they have.
  • Things that influence their buying decision.
  • Emotions relating to their buying process.
  • Objections to buying.
  • Relevant broader context.

Collect enough data from the above, so you can answer these 3 questions: what they know, what they might do and what their conscious objective is?

  • What they know - Ask for thing like their comfort level with technology. This will influence the steps in the Customer Journey for example, everyone may not use the search
  • What they might do - You can conclude this based on the actions from Interviews and Usability tests.
  • Conscious objectives - You can ask for questions like why are they in the store to begin with, what they try to achieve?

Collect samples of research participants’ answers to develop a sense of the language that each group tends to use. Use this in content creation or emails to make the content “familiar” and resonate more.

Summarize each grouping into a persona. They need to be clearly different from one another in behavior and the preferences that determine how much and how often they will spend in your store.

Base details to include:

  • Behavior
  • Preferences
  • How much they buy
  • How often the buy

You can use information you gathered to turn them into fictional personas and bring them to life with details like:

  • Name.
  • Age.
  • Job title.
  • Income level.
  • Family life.

Make use of your personas at every opportunity and as criteria against the goal of potential projects or initiatives.

For example, does it fulfill a personas goal or help them overcome a pain point?

You can also remind stakeholders and team members of these personas to keep them in focus.

  • Bring them to every project meeting.
  • Include them in artwork and graphics around the office
  • Include them in any project documentation.
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  1. For behavior- I would group them based on the budget they have available to spend monthly (based on Quantitative research made previously or Business Analytics).
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For 3- You can add Voc (Voice of Customer) indicators that you can extract from Research.

Ex: Customer Satisfaction score (CSAT) “On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied were you with your experience?” - to identify potential bottlenecks and discuss them in Qualitative Research.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” in Quantitative research (you can then choose detractors to analyze further their issues and fans to explore further their reasons for buying before creating Personas).

Customer Effort Score (CES) in Usability testing. The CES value defines the ease with which the user interacts with a business. An experience is all the more satisfying for the customer as the effort made by him in the relationship with the brand is smaller. You can ask them questions during a live testing session, particularly when they are asked to perform a certain task and they seem confused. You can ask “Why did you press that? What were you trying to find?”

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This is great feedback @naomi_kramer

Shall we edit this in? Please also add @Irina_Tudorache as a contributor.

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Thanks @Irina_Tudorache ! Would you mind clarifying for me: when you talk about extracting VoC indicators, do you mean extracting information about the language that the customer uses, or their typical attitude towards the brand or product, or both of these?

I can see that either would be useful in putting together buyer personas.

@naomi_kramer , thank you for your question. NPS, CSAT, and CES are the most commonly used customer satisfaction metrics and all of them form the Voice of Customer (which is the same as feedback from customer about their experiences and expectations). The language the customer uses is important as well, because certain words they use most common can be then selected to present Personas user cases, so to answer your question, is both.

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Thanks @Irina_Tudorache - that’s exactly the information I needed.

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@hesh_fekry Ready for you to review, if you want to.

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Looks good to me @Irina_Tudorache probably should give the all clear though?

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@Irina_Tudorache - Do these edits fit your idea of the additions you wanted to see?

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@naomi_kramer , @hesh_fekry Yes, they fit. Great! I feel I need to create a separate Quantitative Research and Qualitative Research playbook with step by step intructions and link it with this one. Maybe someone needs it. What do you think? Only if it’s demanded because it would take some time to structure various business situations in mind in order to make it relevant.

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I think this is a great idea.

Those two would be considered hubs i believe I do feel the Quantitive research one needs some love though. We probably have way more playbooks that could fit there that are not linked right now. There is definitely more to this topic than Synthesising research and mobile navigation issues.

If you get a moment, would be great to get an idea of the sort of qualitative/quantitive research you had in mind?

@boagworld What are your thoughts on this?

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Conduct qualitative research

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Conduct quantitative research

@boagworld are these in context of this playbook or general? What would be your top 5 qualitative and quantitative research methodsfor this particular purpose?

EDIT - moved Quantitative and Quantitative related discussion over to relevant pages ^

It is a generic list. For creating buyer personas, I tend to use…

  • Top Task Analysis.
  • Exit intent surveys.
  • User interviews.
  • Social media.
  • Search terms.
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@boagworld Excellent, I will update the hubs with the generic list. And Ill make a variant for Define buyer personas.

@Irina_Tudorache let me know if you want to add anything to this list.

Research methods for Buyer personas.

Yes, @hesh_fekry , I would add something that just came to mind for accuracy. (for those who are interested in more details)

  1. Always create Personas after you decide with stakeholders “What are the measurable business goals?” they want to achieve so your Personas may help with achieving the goals.

  2. Create assumptions and hypothesis that will impact the business goals if proven right before deciding on the type of data to extract in interviews or surveys.

  3. When you summarize each persona, they need to be different from one another in behavior and the preferences that determine how much and how often they will spend in your store.

Ultimately, it’s not a good idea to ask in an interview questions about future actions of a client. They tend to be extra positive and use their imagination, yet you need clear actionable data. There is a difference between “I would like the option Apple payment because its easier for me” and “I would like more free gifts to make me buy more”. The second one is not urgent and possibly that Persona isn’t a regular buyer. Always formulate questions about their past behaviors which have patterns, this will help you understand what they will do next and what data is relevant for the business to grow.

Ask enough questions to have 3 dimensions: what they know (ex: Technology comfort level will influence the steps in the Customer Journey- ex"not all people use the search bar"), what they might do (this is your conclusion based on their actions in your Usability tests or interview) and their conscious objectives (why are they in the store to begin with, what they try to achieve).

  1. The language they use (epressions, words or ideas) can be used in content creation or emails since the clients will find it “familiar” and will resonate more.
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@boagworld
I moved the relevant parts of the discussion to the individual hub pages. It seems like we need to make variants based on B2B, B2C etc. The variant specific to this playbook, I will fix now and check if we need to write the playbooks for it or if we have existing ones.

@Irina_Tudorache - the above i will edit into the playbook.

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Personally, I am not sure you need separate varients for B2B and B2C. Perhaps I am missing something, but I cannot see how the process for B2B and B2C personas is any different. Sure, there might be minor differences because of limited access to the customer, but that can be true for either segment.

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