Data-driven personas: What data counts

Their goal: to develop and market products that customers buy. How data-driven personas help, why and which numbers are important: We show you what really matters.

Personas are stereotypes of a target group. They represent customer segments and help companies to make decisions - whether it is about product development, personalised marketing or targeted customer service. The data-driven persona gives anonymous target groups a face, makes abstract data tangible and focuses the view of all employees on the customers and their needs.


Createdata-driven personas in three steps

To develop data-driven personas , the first step is a comprehensive analysis. The goal is to collect, evaluate and select data on the customer groups. It is worthwhile to consult other sources in addition to internal company data. The rule: the more detailed and extensive the collection, the better personas reflect target groups. In the second step , the data is used to formulate the persona's profile in a profile - a so-called sedcard: at a glance, all employees dive deep into the customer world. You learn everything about the persona's socio-demographic background, hobbies, popular brands, shopping behaviour, customer journey, values, willingness to spend and much more. With the third step, you validate the persona over a longer period of time. The persona comes into play in practice - the development of KPIs related to the persona then say something about how close it really is to the target group. And last but not least: update the personas at least once a year - because: every person evolves, so does every persona.


Important dates and sources of supply for data-driven personas

The more data you use to develop personas, the more targeted they will be in helping you to achieve your business goals. On the one hand, the data provides information about the demographics, character and consumer behaviour of your customers, on the other hand, what the target group wants from you, which challenges they master with your products and where there is a need for improvement. You should always be able to answer the following questions at the end of the research:

  • Who are our clients?
  • What is important to them?
  • What challenges do our customers face?
  • How do we support them in this?
  • Where do our customers shop or decide to buy something?
  • Why do customers (not) buy our products?
  • What is the final purchase decision basedon?

Who your customers are is answered above all by demographic data. They allow statements on gender and age distribution, show where and how your customers live and work. Sources of reference are, for example, the Federal Statistical Office, Statista as well as your company's own surveys or representative studies. Also important: include tracking and analysis insights from your own websites and profiles or pages in social networks!

What is important to target groups, what values they hold and what they expect from your company are shown by customer surveys and statistics on age groups, with generations playing a particularly important role here. Because people who belong to a certain generation share values such as interests, pursue similar goals and have grown up with the same brands. Generations are also characterised by specific character traits.

What challenges customers are dealing with and how your company helps with them is shown above all by customer surveys that relate directly to your product and service.

Where and why customers buy, which factors contribute to the purchase decision and brands that are important are shown by insights such as statistics that examine consumer consumption and media use. Possible sources of reference include survey institutes, media, authorities as well as own analyses that ask about brand preferences and the purchasing behaviour of customers.

The data-driven persona profile

The persona profile compresses and visualises the collected data in the form of a profile. Supplemented by a short portrait describing the living environment and the character of your persona, the profile contains the following data:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Education (secondary school leaving certificate, academic degree, vocational school ect.)
  • Occupation (branch and/or exact job title, self-employed, employed)
  • Marital status (single, married, in a civil partnership, divorced, widowed)
  • Housing situation (property, rented house or flat, shared room ect.)
  • Residence
  • Personality (introverted, extroverted, success-oriented, sociable ect.)
  • Interests/Hobbies
  • Media use (relationship between online, print, television and radio, media brands)
  • Purchasing behaviour (online or stationary trade, new or used)
  • Brand preferences
  • Relationship with the company and products
  • Further information in connection with the Company Offer

Checkdata-driven personas with KPIs

The persona is now ready for use. The advantage of data-based personas: their error rate is low. Nevertheless, adjustments are necessary and important from time to time. Also because the market and target group are constantly changing. The development of KPIs related to the persona shows whether personas work. For example, if you have created personas for your website, page views, visit duration or conversion rate reveal whether the persona "works".

Want to know more about the benefits of a data-based persona? We show you how and where exactly personas help companies to succeed.

Need more information to create data-driven personas yourself? Read our eBook "data-driven personas: Customer Centricity of the future".

That bring data-driven personas 

Using buyer personas in an email campaign improved open rates by double and click-through rates by five times.
Behavioural ads are twice as effective as non-targeted ads. Using marketing personas made websites 2-5 times more effective. Personalised emails improve click-through rates by 14 per cent, conversion rates by 10 per cent and generate 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. Studies show that customer-centric businesses are already 60 per cent more profitable.

These are already good figures, but there is more in our infographic:

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