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Keepdata-driven personas alive: This is how it works

Once developed, data-driven personas is easily forgotten in everyday life. How to prevent this and what keeps personas alive in the long term: 5 top strategies to follow.

data-driven personas help companies to think from the customer's point of view. The prerequisite: The persona is an integral part of operational processes - in theory. In practice, however, personas quickly lose their importance - unless they are an essential part of all decisions along the product development cycle. The following applies here: regardless of whether marketing, design or product development - those who use data-driven persona across departments create an offer that corresponds 1:1 to the needs of target groups.

1. map purchase decision with customer journey map

A detailed data-driven persona sedcard is good - and even more efficient thanks to the customer journey map. It depicts points of contact between the data-based persona and the company on a timeline. The model takes into account all phases that customers go through with a product or service. It supports companies in tailoring the customer experience to individual customer groups. The model also helps to improve and further develop products and processes. Important: There is a separate customer journey map to be developed for each data-driven persona .

2. prioritise tasks with user story maps

User story maps are used when planning a release - for example for software, an online shop or a new medium. The goal of a user story map: To clearly depict the development process with all its tasks and to prioritise each task from the user's point of view. On the basis of the user story map, it is then possible to derive , for example, which functions of a software are most important for the user, from when these are developed and which steps are necessary for this. The story map works its way from the activity, through the individual steps that the user needs for it, to the tasks that are needed to implement the user's action steps. The user story map runs on a vertical and horizontal axis. While the horizontal axis marks the temporal course of the individual tasks, the vertical axis makes statements about the prioritisation of tasks and functions. For the schematic representation, the first step is to formulate user stories. These are short stories, each of which covers a specific action of the persona. At best, each short story consists of one sentence that answers WHO the target group is, WHAT their task is and WHY this task is crucial. A simple example of an overarching user story might look like this:

As a doctor (persona), I would like to connect better with my patients (task) to enable digital consultations (benefit).

Important: A lot of space and time is needed for the user story map of complex processes. A complex software project quickly fills an entire wall and requires numerous meetings, workshops and discussion rounds. The reward: a product in which every single step has been thought through from the user's point of view.

3 Designing products and services with personas

User stories in particular help to include personas in both the development and the design of products. This applies to major releases as well as to details: on the website, in the online or stationary shop. Where does your persona feel comfortable? What characteristics and values are important to the persona? If they value seriousness and comprehensive advice, this can be reflected in the clothing and appearance of service staff, for example. In gastronomy or stationary trade, product presentation, colours and interior design also play a role in winning the trust of customers.

4. tailor content to personas

What applies to the visual design applies all the more to content and tone. This begins with the form of address and ends with the choice of words and the tone of voice. Should service staff speak slowly or energetically - and thus spread a good mood? Furthermore, data-driven personas also plays an important role in the choice of content formats. Does your persona prefer to watch short explanatory videos or do they prefer to inform themselves via white papers and detailed tests before deciding to buy? Basically, if you optimise content specifically for a persona, you increase the likelihood that buyers will become regular customers.

5. use personas to find applicants who match the customer

Whether you are a cook, a counsellor or a consultant: data-driven personas helps you to select the employees who fit your customers. This plays a role, for example, in the question of which qualifications are desirable for applicants. If companies are looking for marketing specialists for a target group that prefers moving image formats, applicants are promising if they have experience in video production. For consultants with direct customer contact, appearance and demeanour must match the persona - so that customers trust quickly. Recruiters should therefore know the character, values and pain points of the persona in detail.

In addition to suitable applicants, personas also help to select candidates for tests - for example, when it comes to new or further development of products. The decisive factor here is that the test persons must correspond to the real or desired target group. On the other hand, this distorts the test results and, in the worst case, causes financial damage because the product was developed without the target group in mind.

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