The Difference Between User Persona and Buyer Persona, and How to Determine Them - User persona and buyer persona are certainly two essential things in business planning. By formulating these two aspects, you can deliver products or services relevant to the needs and characteristics of users and buyers. As a result, your business will be profitable.
However, you need to know that although user persona and buyer persona seem to have similar meanings, they have different concepts and meanings. To find out the difference, let's check out this article.
Simply put, a user persona is user personalization. User persona represents or describes the ideal user of the product or service we want to create. Why "ideal"? Because this user persona is made to describe the “ideal” character or profile of market that being targeted.
Generally, user personas contain demographic information such as age, gender, occupation, or place of residence and psychographic info such as interests and values. Furthermore, a user persona can include a photo, name, and a brief profile description.
Well, the purpose of creating user personas is to produce products and services, also to determine the right marketing strategy according to users' needs, interests, preferences, and characteristics. Besides, this is important to answer the exact customer’s pain points.
Designing user personas is at least divided into two ways.
First, the preparation of user personas is based on the target market. This means that startups need to research the profile of their target market, and then the existing data is processed into a user persona design that is considered the most ideal. Second, user personas are prepared by analyzing existing user profiles.
There is also another way, which is based on assumptions. For example, you might consider "What kind of users that will use this product or service?"
You need to know that user personas can change from the initial design, so you need to review the user personas that have been created from time to time by adjusting the user profiles that you get. Using this way, you can accurately picture the user's character and behavior.
In general, here are the steps to create a user persona:
Collect data by conducting market research, such as interviewing or surveying the target market. You can also analyze existing customer data.
From the research results, try to identify existing patterns to determine user characteristics. For example, your target market is employees in big cities. Then, you interview them one by one. Now, what are the patterns regarding information on age, gender, preferences, lifestyle, educational background, and pain points?
From the existing data, create a fictitious character that is an ideal description of the user persona. Then, remember to review periodically to validate and update the user persona.
Slightly different from a user persona, a buyer persona is a fictional character of an ideal product buyer. Buyer personas focus on describing the character, motivations, and factors that influence a person to make a purchase decision.
The purpose of buyer personas is to help startups identify the people who will buy their products. In addition, buyer personas also aim to help startups determine the right marketing strategy, similar to user personas.
So, what's the difference? Marketing strategies that customize user personas will focus, for example, on how content will be presented on social media. On the other hand, marketing strategies that customize buyer personas will focus, for instance, on what kind of promos make someone interested in buying.
Interestingly, buyer personas are not necessarily user personas and vice versa. For example, in a company, the creative division uses design software. But, the one who will decide to subscribe to which package is the procurement division.
The steps to create a buyer persona are similar to creating a user persona by doing research. However, the research target here is paying customers or customers who have purchased.
You can explore the factors that drive them to make purchases, perceptions of a brand, how they choose one of several brands with similar products or services, and their income levels.
After understanding the explanation of these two terms, we can conclude that user personas focus more on users' needs, preferences, pain points, and experiences. Thus, startups can ensure whether the products or services provided can adjust these things.
Meanwhile, buyer personas focus on purchasing decisions and the factors behind them. So, it affects the value or features you will highlight, the subscription packages you offer, prices, and various forms of promos you will present.
In some cases, user and buyer personas can be the same, but some are different, depending on the product offered. Most importantly, these two personas must be able to support each other to provide the best marketing strategy, product development, and customer service.*