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The value of Personas

Personas are fictional characters serving as proxies for your users in the real world.


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Khawar Latif Khan

3 years ago | 3 min read

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could put a face to your target audience, get to know their particular needs, understand their pains, and win their hearts? Even better if you could do all this without meeting every single person who can possibly use your product? How about having a standard — some key factors — a few attributes, to represent a vast majority of your audience? Marvelous.

Isn’t it?

Let’s pause for a moment. Doesn’t it all sound too complicated? It is nice, indeed, but is it even possible?

The short answer is ‘yes’. Personas equip you with exactly this type of power.

Personas are fictional characters serving as proxies for your users in the real world.

Personas, as the name indicates, help you personify distinct groups of users. On a very basic level, a persona can include some demographic information (age, gender, etc.), familiarity with the product, and goals of the users.

But personas can also be extensive, containing information on the interests of users, comfort level with technology, past experiences, etc.

Depending on the nature of the product and the development stage it is in, different types of personas can be used.

Irrespective of the type and depth in a persona, one thing is for sure: personas provide a lot of information about the audience, gathering it all in a single, compact place.

Photo credits: HubSpot

Personas as Analytical Tools

Personas are not just a means to gather information. The real value, in fact, lies in their analytical aspect. The act of developing and analyzing personas helps in mapping the user journey and to highlight the ways in which users might interact with your product.

Personas serve as a building block in promoting a product, targeting the right audience, and creating a content strategy that works.

The process of creating personas enables you to look at the bigger picture. By clustering your audience in various groups, each represented by one or two characters with distinct attributes, you can significantly narrow down the focus of your audience research.

The persona for a group can then be analyzed, keeping the needs of that particular character in mind. This practice can be extremely useful in conducting the needs analysis, which is essential to know what the users want and when do they want it.

Similarly, by looking at the goals of the users and comparing them with the services currently available to them, their grievances can be better understood. Identification of gaps between the demands of users and the availability of resources is termed as gap analysis.

Personas add value to this analysis as these not only help in pointing the gaps out but also aid in filling the gaps. When the expectations, aims, and objectives of users are also available, gap analysis becomes comprehensive, as you now have a clear direction to move into.

Photo credits: Public Domain Pictures

Needs and gap analyses neatly fit in the bigger goal — that of content strategy.

Once you have a detailed knowledge of your audience and you’ve pinpointed the areas you want to target, devising an effective content strategy gets much easier.

It is, therefore, not wrong to say that personas serve as a building block in promoting a product, targeting the right audience, and creating a content strategy that works.

Personas are of extreme importance in the fields of marketing and communication. The importance of personas becomes more pronounced when dealing with a wide range of audiences, those who are not accessible in person.

Creating an effective persona, however, demands care.

As a lot depends on the quality of a persona, it is important to give due attention to the entire process of developing and analyzing a persona.

Personas cannot, and must not, be created without prior research. Taking some pains while creating personas can save from a multitude of troubles in the market.

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Khawar Latif Khan

An engineer turned communications specialist with a passion to create helpful and understandable content.


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