People, not Personas

People, not Personas

Marketing and product-management efforts continue to trend toward finer personalization, as customers demand products customized to their specific needs and turn away from standard, mass-produced experiences.

The explosion in the number of SAAS marketing tools in the past ten years has addressed marketers’ desires to understand the customer at more granular levels – the demand is increasing, and collecting data to understand and anticipate the needs of the customer is the new frontier. For some, a “360° view of the customer” is the holy grail.

In early efforts to target marketing more precisely, the industry used segmentation, demographics, and location to group together what they hoped were like-minded customers. This continues today with flyers in the mail for services based on your address and assumed income level.

The design industry created personas – fictitious characters that represented the important and perhaps median characteristics of a target user of a product or service. This helped marketing and product managers across many industries make decisions to satisfy these personas with targeted market campaigns and product features. It also short-circuited the need for uncomfortable and expensive conversations with real customers – the practice was to do research with a few representative users, and then make assumptions based on that data. It was a convenient tool to reduce the risk of allocating resources, because it provided a defensible narrative to management and investors.

But even with personas, the product or marketing manager had to sacrifice precision in defining the customer because each person has a unique story: driven by logical and illogical needs, wants, fears, and biases.

The marketing and product manager want what they believe they can’t get: access to and direct feedback from individual users of their product. Typically, they can’t collect data on the identities of their customers for many reasons: tiered product distribution distances the manufacturer from their customer, product is sold on secondary markets, and people forget or refuse to register their products. So the relationship between a customer and a manufacturer often peaks, weakly, at time of purchase.

Snap4that was created to solve this problem. It’s a simple mobile app with a powerful effect: customers love it because it brings the pesky details of their product to their fingertips – manuals, replacement part numbers, how-to videos – keeping them all in one place. And product managers finally have a direct connection to the people who own their product. They know who bought their product, and most importantly, they have that contact information to reach out and deepen the relationship with that customer.

Contact us to learn more about how Snap4that can help you know your customers and grow your business.