Text by Jan Küster
Persona Design: Visualizing Your Target Market
Persona design is visualizing your target market. It's important to get a realistic sense of who will use your service or product so that you can make informed decisions about what features to build, how to market your product, and where to allocate resources. As an entrepreneur, you must go deep into defining your target market for your new venture to be successful. In this post, we'll talk about the basics of persona design and how you can use it to better understand your target market.
What persona design is and why it's important
As entrepreneurs, we are always looking for ways to better understand our target customers. After all, if we can't identify and reach our ideal consumers, it will be difficult to develop a solution for them. One tool that can be extremely helpful in this process is persona design.
Persona design is the process of creating a profile of your target customer. This includes things like their age, gender, location, interests, and any other relevant information. The goal is to get as specific as possible so that you can better understand who your target market is.
Why is persona design so important? Well, without a detailed understanding of your target customer, it will be very difficult to create effective marketing campaigns. You might end up wasting a lot of time and money reaching people who are not interested in what you offer. Persona design can help you avoid this pitfall by ensuring that you are targeting the right people from the start. In the preliminary phase of your product development, a well-designed persona is the best adviser to your product development.
What that means for venture designers & entrepreneurs:
=> You should target your ideal persona in the product development process as early as possible. One easy method to engage is by first finding the persona in real life on such platforms as LinkedIn and reaching out to validate your ideation thesis. Simply ask questions to inform you of the problem solution fit and get a detailed picture of the pain you're trying to solve with your product idea.
How to go about creating your target market's persona
It is essential to understand your target market. Without this knowledge, it will be difficult to create an effective marketing strategy. A persona is a fictional character that represents your ideal customer.
To create a persona, you will need to gather information about your target market's wants and needs, goals, and demographics. Once you have this information, you can give your persona a name and physical appearance. You should also think about where they would shop, what they would do in their free time, and how they would describe your product or service to their friends. By creating a persona, you will better understand your target market and develop better solutions to their unmet needs.
Tools to research your audience
There are several tools you may use to get a better understanding of your targeted market. This is just a first selection to get your efforts going:
With Google trends, you can research current hot topics and their related keywords.
Answer the Public allows you to listen to the questions people are asking about your topic on the internet. When you can answer their questions, this will inform your communication strategy as much as placing according relevance on key aspects of your solution.
Search for the topic and market of your offering on platforms such as Quora or Reddit so you understand what your market is currently discussing relating to your service.
Also, use BuzzSumo to find out what content already works regarding to your personas relation to the subject of your venture.
Last but not least, check the communication strategies of your future competitors that are already operating in your market with similarweb.
Most of these tools have free or trial versions you can use to get a clearer picture of your target persona.
Develop audience empathy
Understanding what your target audience is thinking, feeling, and needing is vital to your ongoing market-centric product development. To do this, start by creating an audience empathy map. You can do this on a piece of paper, with quadrants for each area.
In the first field, write everything that your target persona would tell you if you provided an elevator pitch of your concept. What questions would they have about the functionality of your service or product? Next, think about what the person may think but be too polite to ask you directly. What are some hidden beliefs? This should give you an excellent overview of your audience's thoughts and feelings.
Now let's enhance this with emotions. Does your offering generate fear, curiosity, hope, or any other powerful emotion? Last but not least, think about the call to action - what would you want the audience to do after hearing your pitch? By taking the time to develop audience empathy, you'll be better equipped to successfully pitch your product or service.
The importance of feedback when creating or refining a persona
Without feedback, it's impossible to know if your product is meeting the needs of your target audience. However, feedback can be difficult to get, and even more difficult to act on. All too often, entrepreneurs focus on convincing their audience of the merits of their product, rather than listening to what their audience has to say. This prevents them from learning critical insights that could help improve their product.
To get the most out of feedback, it's important to design your feedback process carefully. First, you need to identify your persona. This will help you focus your feedback process and ensure that you're gathering feedback from the right people. Once you have a persona, you can gather feedback through surveys, interviews, and focus groups. It's important to listen carefully to what your audience has to say and be open to changing your beliefs about your product.
Remember, feedback is an essential tool for developing a successful product. If you're not willing to listen to what your audience has to say, you won't be able to create a product that meets their needs.
So, what are you waiting for? Start creating customer personas that are based on real people, not on data sets. By understanding your target market better, you will create products and services that they actually need and want. And who knows? You may even start developing products that solve problems that your customers didn't even know they had.
Jan Küster coaches lean startup techniques and go-to-market-strategies in established corporations, university programs and various incubators. He co-founded the Founders Fight Club, hosts events and learning formats to promote the visibility of startups and the associated startup scene. Previously, Jan successfully established and subsequently led business development for technology projects in the areas of Chip Design, Software as a Service and Natural User Interface applications for both startups and early stage ventures of established corporations.