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Persona terms simply explained

If you develop data-driven personas, methods, tools and theories abound. In this glossary we explain them briefly and comprehensibly.

Ad hoc persona

Ad-hoc personas are personas that are created based on the current understanding of the user or customer. They are therefore based on assumptions and are created without additional data collection. Ad-hoc personas are often the first step towards data-based personas. In the second step, the assumptions are checked - using data.

B2B persona

A B2B persona, unlike a B2C persona, is based on B2B customers - other companies - as the target group. A B2B persona therefore represents an entire company and its decision-makers.

B2C persona

A B2C persona is based on ordinary customers and users who are not business partners or representatives of a company, or are not considered in this role. In this case, private customers are the target group.

Needs groups

A group of people with the same needs.

Candidate Personas

Like "normal" personas, candidate personas are stereotypical representatives of a target group - with the addition that we are dealing with target groups in a professional context. Candidate personas are used to find suitable employees and applicants and to address them in a target group-oriented manner. You can find out more about Candidate Personasinour blog post: "Candidate Personas in Recruiting".

Content marketing

Content marketing is a marketing strategy that aims to address the target group with the help of informative or entertaining content. The aim is to convince the target group of the services offered, to increase brand awareness or to win customers.

Contextual Inquiry

Contextual Inquiry is a method for collecting customer data. It involves meeting the customer in everyday life - where they use a particular product. The company pays a "home visit" to the customer and observes how he or she uses the product. In this way, for example, application errors and frequent problems can be uncovered. Therefore, this method is particularly suitable if one wants to see products in use.

Customer Centricity / User Centricity

Customer Centricity - also called User Centricity - is about getting to know and understand the user or customer better in order to think about all operational actions from the customer's point of view. The goal is to develop user-friendly systems, processes, dialogues or content for the customer. Personas help to get a better understanding of the user.

Customer Journey

We call the customer journey the path ("journey") that the customer goes through until he or she buys a product or service.

Customer Journey Map

The customer journey map depicts the customer journey - i.e. the path that a customer takes from the first contact with the product to the purchase - as a linear model. Customer journey maps are usually designed like a map, hence the name "map".

Data for data-driven personas

Data for data-driven personasis information in numerical or qualitative form. Qualitative data should be converted into measurable numerical data for persona creation. This is called "coding". We explain exactly how this works in our persona masterclass.

Which data is useful for the persona varies from case to case. Relevant data can be, for example: demographic data, (character) traits, behaviours, buying habits, hobbies, attitudes, customer journey data, pain points, etc.

data-driven persona

data-driven personas are representatives of a target group. They are based on collected data about the target group, e.g. from own surveys, experiences with customers, analysis tools as well as scientifically collected data, something from representative studies and Co.

Internal communication

Internal communication refers to verbal and non-verbal communication within a company or organisation. It usually involves the organisation of certain processes, the dissemination of information and the exchange of information among each other.


KPI is an abbreviation for "Key Performance Indicator". KPIs are key performance indicators that measure or reflect a specific performance. They usually serve as targets or to measure success. A typical KPI for the traffic of a website is e.g. the daily visitors; a KPI for social media would be the likes of a post etc.


The term "lead" is used in sales and marketing. There it refers to a contact that exists between a prospective customer and the company. The prospect or potential customer provides the company with his or her contact details.

Negative persona

In contrast to the usual persona, the negative persona represents the people that a company does not want to reach. They are characterised by demographic features, behaviours and characteristics that are in contrast to the ideal users.

Performance marketing

Performance marketing includes all marketing and advertising measures with clearly measurable performance. The goals must therefore be data-based and clearly measurable with the help of various KPIs. Performance marketing is mainly used in online marketing. We explain how personas help in performance marketing in our blog.

Persona / Buyer Persona

A persona or buyer persona is a stereotypical representative of a target group. In other words, personas are fictional personalities that represent a real group of people. Personas should always be based on data about the target group in order to be vivid and accurate. In English, the term buyer persona is used more often.

Personas help to align various company processes in a particularly target group-oriented way, e.g. product development, marketing etc.

Persona analysis

Persona analysis is the process of analysing data to create a data-based persona. It takes place on the basis of interpreting and evaluating meaningful patterns in customer data.

Persona narrative

A persona narrative is a written description of a persona. By using appropriate storytelling techniques, the persona comes particularly alive.

Persona Profile / Persona Sedcard

A persona profile or persona sedcard is an overview of the persona in the form of a profile. Usually, the most important data about the persona are summarised on 1-2 pages. In addition, the persona is given a name and a picture or photo. You can find sample sedcards here

Persona Template

A persona template is a layout that can be used to create a persona profile. The name, picture and data of the persona can then be entered into this template.

Qualitative approach

The qualitative approach is a method of data collection based primarily on individual wordings. Here, usually only a small set of people is mapped, e.g. with the help of an in-depth interview. This approach is useful for tracing people's concepts, thoughts and decisions. A statistical analysis of the data can be done when the results are converted ("coded") into numerical units.

Quantitative approach

The quantitative approach is a method of data collection based mainly on numbers and statistics. As a rule, it is a large quantity of people that is mapped with it. The analysis of the data requires statistical knowledge.


The sales funnel visualises the customer journey using a funnel. There are many different variations on how the individual components of the funnel are labelled or referred to. One of the simplest models is this one:


Segmentation means that the population of a market is divided into smaller, homogeneous units on the basis of common characteristics. Target groups can also be segmented, e.g. according to reasons for purchase.


SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimisation". SEO is about optimising a website so that it can be found quickly in the common search engines - first and foremost Google. To do this, certain keywords are used that represent frequent or relevant search queries. The aim is to ensure that one's own website or a subpage appears particularly high up in the search engine's results for a relevant search query. For example, a baker located near Cologne Cathedral should be found when someone enters "Cologne Cathedral baker" in the search field. We explain how personas help with SEO in our blog.


Targeting is the English term for the precise addressing of target groups in online marketing. The basis of good targeting is the precise determination of the target group in advance - for example based on a data-driven persona.


Touchpoints are places and moments where people come into contact with products or companies. An example of this is a television advertisement for a new product. A touchpoint to the respective product is created for all viewers.

User Story

A user story is a short story or treatise about what the user or customer wants. A user story should not be very detailed and should briefly summarise the customer's thoughts. User stories help to understand the customer's mindset, challenges and problems.

User Story Map

The user story map should clearly depict a development process in its entirety. For this purpose, the individual tasks should be shown and then considered and prioritised from the user's point of view. A user story map is usually used when planning a release and is mainly used in the software sector. The vertical axis of the user story map makes statements about the prioritisation of tasks and functions, while the horizontal axis shows the chronological sequence of the various tasks.

Target group

The target group is the set of potential and existing customers that a company wants to reach.

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