After a company has identified all market segments, explored the competition, and compiled the details of competitive products, it should then analyze the various segments in order to identify the target segments in which the business would be most competitive. This process involves identifying the type of customers a company plans to target and the product categories under which it intends to create products.
Customer or buyer personas are highly detailed fictional characters, representative of particular types of users in a market segment. They are created to help the marketing team identify who the potential buyers are, what they are trying to achieve, what they think, what drives their behaviors, how they buy, and why they take certain decisions. In a corporate environment, a persona could include job title, tasks, responsibilities, job requirements, conferences attended, and types of media consumed. With detailed personas, users become more personal and real to the team, so they are better able to understand the particular requirements and goals of a market segment. A market segment can be effectively selected once detailed personas are understood.
Creating a persona involves assigning a fictional name and preferably a picture to a character. The persona should be research based and include highly specific demographic and lifestyle attributes such as age, gender, education, environment, interests, and goals. A quote illustrating the persona’s requirements can also be included.
For example, a customer persona created for a travel website can be as follows. Vanessa is a 39-year-old resident of San Francisco. She is pursuing her passion for traveling after having a highly successful career as an attorney. She likes to have options when choosing air travel and accommodation services so that she can select those that are the best and most affordable. Vanessa gets frustrated with slow and cluttered websites.