Do I really need a client persona?
By Kameel Vohra
There’s nothing more important than knowing your customers. It’s what makes the difference between a good product and a bad product. It’s the difference between wasting money on shotgun-marketing and spending wisely on targeted-advertising. This is why as an entrepreneur or marketer, you need to create a customer persona and prove that you know who (and what) you’re talking about.
A vaguely worded or ambiguous definition won’t cut it; buyer personas are specific definitions. A well-crafted persona should be concise enough for you to pick up the phone, call a potential client, and mean enough internally to impact product/feature development (make sure your customer is understanding relevant features).
What goes into creating a good persona?
There’s far too much information that you could try to cram into a persona, and not all of it is helpful. Instead of filling your persona with every bit of data you can find, stick to the key factors that will allow you to identify your customer.
I like to use every journalist’s favorite questions: the famous 5W1H (who, what, where, when, why, and how). These questions create a logical way to find the answers you are looking for. If you’ve never heard about them, don’t worry—I will explain each one and how to apply them when creating your client persona.
This may seem counterintuitive if you already know who…why go through so much trouble? The combined answer of all these questions is the complete “who”. For this section, start by thinking about your customers’ demographics, job titles, or function.
Describe what your customers are currently doing, their existing purchasing habits, or specific behaviors that are improved/impacted by your product.
Where are your customers going for their purchases? Where do they go for information? Do they have a travel radius? Perhaps you cater to specific geography?
Is there a frequency or seasonality to their purchases or research into products/services? How long do they take to consider? What’s the buying cycle? Are you selling snow shovels during the summer?
Why are they going to purchase your product or service? What’s the big point that’s going to make them change?
Will they order online? Are you going to do an in-person test-drive? Are they going to pay by credit card? Cut a cheque? Do you need to do something specific to get your customer to buy?
By answering these six questions, you’re ready to start creating your own persona and move forward to the validation process.
Ready to start? Learn more about the startup design process on EIA blog!
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