When to update personas

Personas evolve, just like your customers. When to update data-driven personas : 7 signs that tell you it's time.

If your own data-based personas are outdated - for example, because they increasingly deviate from the target group- they need an update. Otherwise, companies will miss out on their desired customers. When the data-driven persona needs to be updated is decided by the habits of the target group, trends, the development of the market and competitors as well as the company itself:

1. new trends influence market and target group

Technical developments influence how customers buy, what they perceive and how they behave. One example is the use of mobile devices: according to a study by Statista, the share of mobile internet users will be 80 percent in 2020 - 26 percent more than in 2015. Since 2018, more users have been surfing via mobile devices than via desktop PCs. For companies, this means "mobile first": optimising the customer journey, the website and their own offerings for mobile devices. The shortened attention span of Generation Z and Y also contributes to companies changing their personas and strategies: Instead of blog posts, the aim is to convey content to the target group in short videos or service posts.

2. your customers have new habits

Trends, competition and unplanned events affect what, where and how consumers buy. For example, since the Covid 19 pandemic, online shopping has also become essential for brick-and-mortar retail, and services such as Click & Collect have gone from being the exception to the standard. Technology trends also have a big influence on what customers want. Artificial intelligence and virtual reality are turning online shopping into an individual experience. The result: customers increasingly want individual offers and products - shopping must be easy, fast and inspiring.

3. the market and competition are changing

In addition to new product and technology trends, the market and competition influence consumers' buying and usage behaviour. With contemporary data-based personas, you are always one step ahead of the competition - by thinking products, marketing and service from the target group. The goal of a data-based persona: to perceive changes in the market from the customer's point of view, to detect and analyse possible new competitors.

4. new offers and services

While external factors often require an update of data-based personas, the reverse is also true. Namely, when companies change themselves. If you want to develop new target groups in addition to older regular customers, you need products and services that inspire young target groups and thus also new, data-driven personas.

5. the company expands

Those who expand transfer products and services to target groups of other cultures, which differ in terms of perception, behaviour and demands. For example, personas of German target groups cannot be transferred to target groups of Arab origin. If the company wants to develop new target groups, it is necessary to develop further personas that include cultural aspects.

6. you are planning a relaunch

No matter whether you are planning the new design of a product packaging or your online presence: involve the persona and check whether and to what extent a change is helpful. Although a modern design and new functions may appeal to younger target groups, make sure that the new design also convinces your regular customers.

7. new strategies appeal to new customers

From new channels to a revamped brand identity: if you use new strategies in marketing, this will have an impact on the people you address. If you keep an eye on the persona, you can easily check whether and how new strategies are received by the desired customers.

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