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USER PERSONAS AND Why you should have them
I have been a graphic designer for quite some time now…I think if I only count my formal training it's been about 12 years since I began, and nothing is more effective and increases the efficacy and quality of your marketing efforts than truly understanding your target audience. Nothing is more important than user personas which are also sometimes called “user avatars”. Getting them right and using them helps you with your tone of voice, messaging, and offers. designing and implementing well-crafted campaigns is the result and it lets you focus on what you love to do- CRAFT and DESIGN.
Some people think user personas are a waste of time and effort but I firmly believe in the benefit and see the return on my client's investment, almost immediately. Once you establish user personas you can put all of your marketing efforts toward the right place. As a designer, it helps me with my process as well, and I can really focus on creating something truly unique that speaks to the audience directly. I love seeing success from a truly well-crafted campaign or design.
So what exactly is a persona?
User personas provide an easy way to understand and organize demographic research. Organizing and summarizing all of that research into an easy way to digest it. Each “User Persona” is crafted using data we collect and organize and then we just it in a more human way. Giving the data a face, a job, a location and even a name. It really is a cool tool that will help you focus on a character of a “person” instead of data from hundreds of people.
YES, I EVEN DO IT FOR MYSELF AND MY BUSINESS.
Why would I prescribe something to my clients that I don't even do myself? I thought I would share with you one of my user personas.
WHERE DO YOU START YOU ASK?
Well, you could call me, or you can take a look and try for yourself? Having a real understanding of who your target audience is, who is visiting your website, and who you want to do work with will help create a strong brand and user experience. Making sure that your customers are being spoken to in a way that resonates with them will drive strong conversion rates and help you establish repeat customers.
The main point of creating user personas is to outline the behaviors, needs and demographic info of your core target audience.
Let's Get You Started.
Really there are two ways that you can craft user personas for your own brand...
If you have the time and the budget, it is awesome if you can develop your user personas based on some kind of research. Some methods can include
Surveys of your favorite clients – Take a survey from your current clients or customers. I often do this to my favorite clients because they are the people I ultimately want to work with. You can include a survey on your website email it to customers or newsletter subscribers.
Website analysis – Take a peek at your analytics and see where and when customers are viewing your website.
Demographic research – Get your hands on some demographic research. Literally look up the research...which you can find on federal, local and municipal government sites.
User interviews – conduct one-on-one interviews with actual customers or call up your clients.
Spider Map Time
In college, we often did these at the start of a project to get us thinking differently. It's one way of word-listing or mind mapping. If you don't have the time or the budget to do a more detailed list you can still benefit from doing a simple exercise like a spider map. This simple exercise will help you figure out and understand your customer segments without investing a ton. Sit down for about 20 or 30 minutes and focus on answering a few simple questions.
What is at the top of their priority list – What concerns do they might have?
What are they worried about? Feeling? – Think about what they are going through at home...are they busy parents? Worried about there grown kids at college or tired of being woken by a sick baby?
What is important to your customer?
What is there environment like? - Are they at work or a mall or viewing your website on a cell phone?
What influences them?
What annoying to them when they are interacting with your brand?
Why do they buy your product or service?
Benefits to them after they buy?
What does the user hope to achieve or gain?
Do you feel like your wasting your marketing dollars? Not getting the leads or selling enough product. Perhaps your targeting the wrong people. Understanding your target audience is a huge component to your brand and your strategy. Figuring out your target audience is will help you design engaging, unique, personal marketing campaigns for your customers and will help you establish a long-term relationship with your customers. Understanding your customers is an amazing and priceless component to an effective marketing strategy. If you want help and you think your in my target market I want to talk to you. ;)
Lets build a relationship. Give me a call 919-375-4366.