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The first rule of public speaking is ‘know your audience’ – which also applies to mobile marketing. In essence, not all users are the same, and not every individual you are reaching out to will be interested in your mobile application.
As an app developer, you don’t have the time or money to leave your strategy to chance, hence knowing your audience is a crucial first step. As such, your mobile marketing efforts should always be segmented and catered to differing audiences.
To further exacerbate issues, the abundance of internet data has increased the challenges of making sense of data nowadays. While also simultaneously making it more possible to automatically infer mobile user attributes that were previously accessible only by survey research. A big part of this data can be used to curate user personas, which are the subject of today’s blog.
What Is Persona?
Generally, a persona is defined as a user-type or customer-type based solely on interests and behaviours.
Personas should be clearly and concisely defined but are not the same as user segmentation, which can be sophisticated and highly detailed. In practice, segments are mainly for automation and procedures; while personas are for people.
For the most part, personas are refined through a series of processes and research to verify aspects that are uncertain. For example, a mobile app can create a chart demonstrating each persona’s problems, emotional drivers, benefits and unique value propositions, competitors, etc. So, the chart is essentially detailed enough to capture the user base’s desires but simple enough that everyone can know them.
What Is a User Persona?
Fundamentally, in mobile marketing, a user persona is a surface-level representation of one’s target/ideal users based on market research and data on existing users. In practice, user personas help to humanise one’s mobile marketing campaigns and minimise their advertising cost.
As semi-fictitious representations of one’s target customers, user personas are framed from researching one’s target audience’s goals, needs, and observed behavioural patterns. Thus, they help marketers get inside their audience’s mind to gain valuable insights and make decisions based on their users’ perceived needs.
Generally, user personas form a composite representation of a user that aggregates the attributes and demographics of a segment of target users. So, as mobile marketers create their buyer personas, they always should consider factors like user demographics, preferences and behaviour patterns, motivations and goals.
Fundamentally, behaviour and preferences can indicate through digital communications like browsing behaviour on an e-commerce website or items chosen in a shopping cart, products that users click in emails or newsletters as depicted by marketing automation software, or preferences expressed in user satisfaction surveys and valuations.
Mobile developers can also develop user personas based on customers’ activities across various communications channels, like live chat windows, social media platforms, and email. Lastly, user journey mapping can also help mobile developers to create these personas.
Elements of a Persona
Common elements of a user persona typically include:
- Goals and tasks in relation to your mobile application
- Environment (Physical, social, technological)
Why User Personas Work
Principally, understanding one’s ideal mobile user’s decision-making process is critical to the success of their mobile marketing campaigns. It is widely believed that after you create and implement user personas in your mobile marketing campaign, you will attain clear guidance for the decisions you need to make to gain more users.
In essence, user personas help crystallise a specific user type, and are often focused on core users in the absence of immediate contact with the end-user. Furthermore, user personas allow marketers to customise their mobile marketing and advertising efforts to target the customers most likely to download and utilise a mobile application.
It basically makes it easier to map out content and achieve alignment across one’s mobile app. So, with well-designed and researched personas, mobile developers have a fighting chance to know what they want to achieve, and make decisions based not on what they would want, but what their real users would want.
The Benefits of User Personas
As we have already alluded to, when users feel their preferences are respected and known, they will tend to be much more inclined to utilise the app frequently, despite the many other choices in the market.
User personas are one of the best ways to connect with your audience. So, after implementing them, you will also attain:
- Deep insight into the behaviours of users so you can tailor content to get more leads.
- The ability to customise mobile marketing messages to get the best response at every touchpoint in the customer buying cycle.
- Higher quality lead generation, so you stop wasting time on leads who are not ready to purchase, and rather, spend that time more efficiently with those who are ready.
- Highly targeted funnels to instil trust and strengthen user relationships to retain more leads and loyal and lifelong users
- Lastly, user personas allow you to focus on the most important audiences, which helps decision-makers with strategic agendas to prioritise specific users over others. And thus, resolve conflicting needs and wants among the user base while determining if the right problems are being solved and curbing the self-centring bias of the decision-makers.
How You Can Use User Persona for Your Mobile App Business
- Increase return on investment (ROI) with the user persona models that involve three distinct loops:
- Content: The kind of content that will speak to your user persona.
- Channels: The communication and social media channels that the user persona uses the most.
- Data: Good data to monitor your efforts, report on your successes, and revise your strategy as required.
- Reframe your work from the user’s perspective: User personas keep you focused on addressing the user’s priorities instead of your own. Carefully think about your user personas every time you make your mobile marketing strategy with a goal to help your personas to meet their objectives within your mobile app.
- User personas can be leveraged to determine exact content types, topics, style, tone, and distribution channels for your mobile marketing campaigns.
Creating User Personas
As we have established, many mobile developers tend to create “user personas” to better understand their audience and focus their mobile marketing efforts. This targeted user profile highlights the specific interests, needs, challenges and fears of different user segments within one’s target market. And these personas can constitute like-minded people, for example, those living in close geographical proximity to each other, users of a given age range, or those who fit any other information pertinent to their decisions to use the mobile application.
So, with detailed user personas, one can more easily envision who they are speaking to through your mobile marketing and, hence, naturally, target them with an exact message that resonates with them. As such, user personas make the entire process of user interaction easier by pre-defining segments and highlighting their problems or interests.
So in order to create a user persona, there are some steps you can take.
Ask Your Users
Basically, suppose you have an audience or list of existing users. In that case, you can ask them intentional questions about themselves in an attempt to learn more by gaining a greater understanding of who they really are, their characters, and how they live their life.
This can allow you to easily determine the buckets they fall in, and the problems they are having that you might not be actually solving. So, with this data, you can easily define your “lowest hanging fruit” or “bleeding from the neck” users.
Furthermore, insights from real users can help you draw parallels and provide you with a baseline for how to approach potential prospective users, people who may desire the most to interact with your app.
Estimate (And Check Later)
This practice is a bit more common for new mobile apps or even new mobile products that come out of an existing mobile business.
If you have an idea of who your target user is, but there is no validation that they are actually the person that will be using your mobile app. Then you can conduct some research, check who is interacting with your competitors, then narrow down your options and test a persona. Then, as your mobile app grows, you can iteratively optimise your user persona and replace your initial guess with informed data.
Best Practices to Build Your User Personas.
As you create your user personas, some best practices you’ll want to follow entail:
- Choosing one primary persona and making the rest secondary.
- Focusing on the motivations behind the user behaviours—the reasons behind what users are doing.
- Keeping the persona fictional, though as real as possible, while accurately reflecting a composite of all the users interviewed or investigated.
- Weaving the persona’s data like demographics, and pain point information that influences their behaviour and decisions, and how this behaviour might play into their reaction to your mobile application.
As earlier mentioned, user personas are essentially blueprints of ideal users and can be segmented into different categories based on behaviour, patterns, and social profiles.
Notwithstanding, user personas are an awesome marketing tool for mobile marketers as they can conduct research using Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter to understand their users’ needs and wants. Consequently, this can help mobile marketers formulate better user experiences, personalised promotions, offers, email campaigns and targeted communication.
So, overall, user personas help provide a clear picture of your users and audience at scale, from super-user enthusiasts (the Controller and Empowered personas) to less-engaged or actively resistant mobile users (for example, reluctant and dissident). So, as technology continues to morph endlessly, “knowing thy user” will be a way to stay ahead of the game.