Customer Segmentation and Persona Generation
When creating a product or service, Customer Segmentation and Persona Generation are often used to gain insight into customers in different ways and are both necessary to gain the most comprehensive understanding of the customers. Used together, these two powerful and complementary tools differ in scope as well as feedback captured.
Customer segmentation is a big-picture oriented technique focusing on the customer market as a whole. It is a technique used to group customers into basic groups based on demographics such as age, race, education, and location. Often times, they also go more in depth and take into account more abstract qualities including behavioral variables such as risk aversion, lifestyle, attitude, ideology, and decision making patterns. The purpose of customer segmentation is to be able to create distinct groups of customers and analyze how they react to certain product offerings or marketing messages. It can prove to be a very useful marketing tool when you are able to see what types of customers make up what percentage of your market and what they respond to so that you can make the necessary changes to maximize your market share.
Persona generation is a much more detail-oriented technique focusing on the individual customer that exists within the larger customer segments. It is a technique used to create a fictional character within a customer segment, who shares the qualities of the customers in that segment. But persona generation also goes further–to begin to tell a story about that customer’s problems, goals, and overall situation. The purpose of persona generation is to walk through a fictional customer’s story in order to gain a full understanding of what they want from a product offering or marketing messaging perspective. This helps product development ensure that the product solves a problem that customers are facing, and helps marketing ensure they are reaching the customer in a way that will cause them to be receptive.
Using these two techniques in tandem allows for a greater overall understanding of the customers–both from a big-picture perspective and from a more detailed perspective. The resulting comprehensive customer perspective allows you to ensure that your product offering–along with your messaging–is as effective as possible and that there is no disconnect between the product and the customer.