In the Age of Personalization, Do We Still Need User Personas? (Spoilers: Yes!)
Even though personalization has long been touted as the silver bullet that would send engagement and sales through the roof by, essentially, providing a Web experience for an audience of one, it’s not living up to the hype for everyone. According to a recent study, of the 45% of integrated marketers who’ve tried to personalize their home pages, just over one-third think their efforts are paying off.
Personalization may fall flat if integrated marketers skip their due diligence and don’t create robust user personas, those fleshed-out profiles of your hypothetical users. The best user personas cover not only age, profession, lifestyle, and geography, but past purchasing behaviors and attitudes toward your category and product – for example, what they know about your product and what might be holding them back from using it more often. Either used alone or as the backbone of web personalization, user personas can help create a seamlessly customer-centered experience. Here’s when, where, and why they continue to be crucial.
Guiding UX and Design Choices
User personas help make your web experience more intuitive by supporting each step of the customer journey. One of the obvious shortcomings of the data collected for personalization is that even if it can tell us who, how many, or where, it still can’t tell us why: why people only spend 20 seconds on a page or why 71% of our shoppers abandon their carts. With the qualitative insights user personas yield, you can make better decisions about design and UX/UI, such as how prominent to make customer reviews and feedback, whether to use a static image or a carousel, or if you want to put customer service in the header or the footer.
It’s not enough to know that your visitors might fall into the categories of ‘new mothers’ or ‘retirees’: before integrated marketers set parameters and write rules for personalization, they should have a deeply nuanced understanding of what motivates each segment of their audience. User personas will help you make decisions about how and when to serve up specific content and even what kind of offers would work best.
Creating Killer Content
Lastly, having a set of well-researched user personas will help you create even more relevant and insightful content. You don’t need to write 100 variations of your copy, but user personas make it easier to create content that strikes the right tone and feels tailored to a reader’s needs and interests. Without personas, you’re only guessing at what your audience wants.
Sound Like You?
If your personalization efforts aren’t working as hard as they should be or you want to revisit user personas, let’s talk! Signal Graphics offers a wide array of web design, content strategy, and content creation services. Whether you’re looking to fine-tune an existing site or you need an experienced partner to help you build a new website from the ground up, we can help you create an interactive experience that will turn users into customers!