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anne m schueller_portrait-hat with-Anne M. Schüller is a management thinker, keynote speaker, business coach and multi-award-winning bestselling author. She has been repeatedly named Top Voice by the business network LinkedIn. The business administration graduate is considered a leading expert in touchpoint management and customer-focused corporate management. She is one of the most sought-after speakers in German-speaking countries. For more than 20 years she held management positions in sales and marketing at various international service companies and received several awards. In 2015 she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the German Speakers Association (GSA) for her life's work. Touchpoint management, customer loyalty and referral marketing. She also conducts power workshops on these topics. Your Touchpoint Institute trains certified Touchpoint Managers. Her clientele includes the elite of the German, Austrian and Swiss economy and Managementbuch.de is one of the most important management thinkers. Her bestseller “Touch.Point.Victory.” is Trainer Book of the Year 2016. Her bestseller “The Touchpoint Company” was named Management Book of the Year 2014. Her bestseller “Touchpoints” is SME Book of the Year 2012. When it comes to the subject of customers, she is one of the most cited experts. More information at www.anneschueller.de and www.touchpoint-management.de All texts by Anne M. Schüller.

The future of the customer journey: Personas are the new target groups

Personas are fictional representatives of a customer group that combines their characteristic characteristics, expectations and procedures. They replace the anonymous target group set by a human figure into which one can easily find oneself.
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Why people are so useful

Why are people so useful? Without empathy, we lack creativity. Personas, for example, help the employees, who are only indirectly dealing with customers, to see people behind the order number or the file number. And there, where only algorithms are being worked on, data packets become alive at once.

For example, if you are writing a mailing: Imagine the person you want to write to! What if you do not know this personally? Then give the recipient a name and a face. Perhaps you know someone who looks and behaves like this, who has such views, attitudes and desires. Your neighbour? Your former Manager? Uncle Otto or Aunt Janni?

Fits Uncle Otto, then start writing Uncle Otto this letter. You can see him in front of him as he puts on his glasses, opens the envelope, digs into the contents, starts to smile and insensibly begins to nod with his head: because your offer is attractive to him. And because he feels addressed personally.

The six elements of a persona

The profile of a prototypical persona includes the following six elements:

  1. Name and photo: What is a typical representative from the target or customer group considered? And what is his or her name? In the photo selection, I prefer a well-made drawing. Photographs of real people, who usually come from picture banks, often pinpoint a persona too much.
  2. Background information: This is about age, gender, place of residence, occupation, family circumstances, income situation, hobbies and other interests.
  3. statements: Quote verbatim statements that may be typical of this type of customer. Or list key words that reflect his values, points of view, views and attitudesspiegeln. Assign typical brands through which he could make a statement about himself.
  4. Expectations/objectives: What would this persona want to achieve with the purchase of a product or the use of a service? What problems does it want to solve? What is the benefit of this? And what feelings could accompany this? What fears could she have? And what could she particularly inspire?
  5. Buying process: How does this persona shop? What is the Customer Journey? How does it inform itself? Who has influence on them? What is the status of offline and online? What are the most important touchpoints for them?
  6. Ideal solution: What would an ideal product or service solution look like from the point of view of such a persona?

This is how the “profile” of a persona could look like (in my book Touch.Point.Sieg you will find further examples, also from the B2B area):

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Persona Melanie

How people are developed

In order to develop a persona, you should consult typical representatives from this customer group. Five to ten such persons are enough to work out the characteristics of their attitudes, needs, requirements and procedures.

In addition, observations, common sense and traces in social networks can be used to create an accurate persona. Colleagues from sales, customer service or complaint management can also provide valuable information. Finally, studies can help to work out what is typical of a group of people.

Do not let personas but merely design the marketing department. It is best to have employees who are in daily contact with the customers. A workshop in which, like the profilers at the Kripo, with a detective flair, the creation of personas, brings beyond the benefits in addition a lot of fun.

Personas should be visually visible

Their profiles, sometimes called “buyer personas”, are ideally pinned to an office wall or cardboard figures so that they can communicate with almost real people. This also helps ensure that everyone has the same image of a target in mind when working on customer projects. And you can always ask yourself together what the persona thinks of something and how she feels on her customer journey.

Then it becomes clear which personas fit the brand - and which do not. Furthermore, clearwho is most likely to buy. In online marketing, personas can also be tagged, i.e. assigned keywords, so that advertising is only displayed when the relevant terms appear. Above all, however, any sticking points at the touchpoints can be resolved with the help of specifically played through customer trips.

An example: the Persona Sandra at Pixum

Sandra is one of four personas of the online photo service Pixum. She is a young mother. To optimize the online marketing of his photo calendars, this has Company In a workshop, Sandra's customer journey was scrutinized.

From the point of view of the persona, the participants played through step by step how Sandra made the plan to create a Christmas calendar for grandma and grandfather, and found in their research on the website of Pixum.

So-called heatmaps, usability tests and satisfaction surveys had already identified possible critical touchpoints in the customer journey. These were now matched during the workshop with Sandras Journey, their journey through the website. This is how Pixum found out where and how Sandra had to be retrofitted.

A weak point was, for example, that a still completely finished photo-calendar was only retrievable after registration. Critical points like this corrected the online photo service and, as the Acquisa 10 / 2015 reports, could both reduce the bounce rate and significantly increase the conversion rate when ordering photo calendars.

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7 responses to "The future of the customer journey: Personas are the new target groups"

  1. Sophia von Rundstedt says:

    RT @SimoneJanson: Touchpoint Management & Customer Journey: Personas are the new target groups - - Recommended contribution 1aoYm8klkZ

    • Dirk Engel is offline says:

      Personas are certainly a good tool to make target groups clearer. It's just a shame that the word “market research” isn't even mentioned in the article. A convincing persona is not only based on everyday experience and a few individual interviews, but on a lot of data and reliable information that is supplied by the various market research methods. Personas without market research run the risk of poetry and wishful thinking.

      • Anne M. Schüller says:

        The best market research is when we ask customers directly. That's exactly what I suggest in the article:

        In order to develop a persona, you should consult typical representatives from this customer group. Five to ten such persons are enough to work out the characteristics of their attitudes, needs, requirements and procedures.

  2. Thomas Eggert says:

    Touchpoint Management & Customer Journey - Part 3: Personas are the new target groups ... via BERUFEBILDER - Recommended contribution G3NiahXpjB

  3. REGIS GMBH says:

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