min read

Why Traditional Personas are Outdated for Modern Consumer Research

How essential or non-essential traditional buyer personas are for marketing development and research.

Any business that wants to successfully market to their target audience knows how essential user personas are and how knowing the customer takes months research and planning. To scale this, most businesses turn to persona templates, a document that helps marketers in building out the ideal customer profile. But how effective is this process in today’s digital world? Let’s breakdown how essential or non-essential traditional user personas are for marketing development and research.

A quick rundown of what a user persona is

A user persona is used by companies to understand their target audience and customers. The persona acts as a fictional and visual representative of their ideal buyer or user.  

The persona templates are used to guide marketers to construct persona profiles. Using consumer data and analytics, the profile is then created with the demographics, behaviors, and lifestyle attributes. On successful completion of the user persona, companies can then develop content, products based on understanding the needs of their customers.  

How efficient are traditional persona templates in 2021?  

Utilizing personas give companies an inside perspective and understanding of their buyer. But how effective the traditional methods are when compared with the rapid growth of technology? Let’s discuss some of the challenges of the traditional method of creating personas in the modern age.  

The manual process

No one is going to doubt the insightful data that personas provide. However, gathering insightful consumer data using traditional methods such as ethnology, focus groups, and surveys is a time-consuming project.  On average, companies need 3-6 months to get the exact insights needed to start crafting a buyer persona.  

Once this information is finalized, there’s still the process of presenting the personas with an appealing visual report.  Most companies chose to use a persona template to display the collected data. Multiple marketing platforms offer persona templates as a complementary tool to help with this marketing research.  However, the created personas are static and based on manually collected data, and such process does not scale. . In today’s digital landscape, consumer trends change frequently and having an automated process to generate and analyze personas and customers would help businesses stay well informed on the likes and interests of their audience.

Crafting multiple personas

Most companies have different audience segments depending on their markets, and therefore there will be the need to have more than one persona representing an audience. In fact, it’s common for most businesses to have 2-3 personas in order to personalize the marketing strategy to a specific audience and market.  

We already know how labor intensive creating one individual persona is and creating multiples will extend the efforts and time for the market research phase and therefore delay the development of products mapping and campaigns.  

Implementing the right persona template

The digital age has brought us more accessible technologies to rapidly scale consumer research. Like mentioned previously, many marketing platforms offer a variety of templates for building your personas. Having several choices means there’s more to consider in order to select the right template that helps you represent your ideal consumer.  

From textual to visual elements, format style and sectionals differentiate and depending on the amount of data this is being inputted in, the template might not be able to present the buyer in the most concise and clear way. The traditional template selection adds another additional step of development in crafting a persona.  

Traditional persona templates are a great visual representation of an ideal consumer. However, it needs a serious update to reflect the rapid pace of consumer changes.  There’s too much valuable time devoted to the consumer research and manual buyer persona creation. Utilizing data driven tools to automatically generation persona can help businesses to rapidly scale the marketing research phase and provide the insights of your target audience.

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