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Fork in the road: two routes to data driven persona segmentation

Two different types of data-driven persona to improve targeting and personalisation.

When it comes to better understanding your organisation’s market potential through a persona segmentation survey the old maxim that there is more than one way to skin a cat very much holds true. 

At Sapio we are real advocates for data-driven personas. We use advanced mathematical techniques to segment a survey audience and build our personas based on the shared characteristics unique to each segment.  

Whilst the full breadth of data gathered in a persona segmentation survey is used to build the personas, such as information on demographics, goals, challenges and pain points, there are a few select questions that are used specifically as the data points to drive the segmentation. It is these questions that form the shared characteristics we use to build the personas.  

Choosing what data points to use is a question of specificity

How we decide what data is chosen to put behind the wheel to drive our personas starts with a consultation with you. Is there a central, highly specific question to be asked of your audience that will dictate the next steps in your marketing or sales strategy? For example, is there a key customer behaviour that needs to change to facilitate the adoption of a new product or service, perhaps a new technology you need your customers to adopt.  

In this case creating personas that are distinct from each other specifically on this question will help deliver content and sales approaches that are most useful and relevant to each persona on this key issue. 

Alternatively, if you are seeking to identify your key, highest opportunity customers and to understand how they make buying decisions towards your company we will collect data within our persona surveys which groups your audience based on the principles of human decision making. For example, what values do they hold, how risk-averse are they, are they a quick starter or do they prefer to try things out before they decide.   

Specific, single-issue personas

When there is an important specific question in a marketing strategy the first step is to compile a long list of the different pull and push factors that are impacting audience behaviour on this issue, for example cost, safety, availability etc.  

We use data from a technique, MaxDiff, in the survey which would be employed in the survey to segment your audience based on the prevailing influencing factors within the different subsets. We wrote a piece on this technique a little while age.  

The key with this approach is we can test upwards of 20 different factors to understand and segment your audience so that we generate deep insights around this important issue.  

These kind of personas are great in guiding the conversation or conversion messaging for two opposing audiences such as users and nonusers of a service.

Principles of decision-making personas or how do they make a change

When the purpose of the persona segmentation is less specific, we employ questions developed from the KOLBE framework of change. In other words, once we frame a buying decision as a change, or a new solution to an existing problem, we can segment our audience based on the different complexions in the change making process that exist within different groups. For example, how do they make a change, how quick are they to change or how much do they need to know before they make a change.         

In addition to this, we will also look to bring in characteristics that are specific to your organisation and its customers, for example, we would measure pro-environment values for a renewable product, or how well money is managed for a financial product.   

Preparing for a persona consultation with us

Building personas for your audience can help improve content, marketing and sales strategies and the process of creating data-driven personas will sift through your audience and reveal the useful, effective insight that will help you understand your market better and to target the prime opportunities you might otherwise not have discovered.  

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