When it comes to understanding your target audience, creating an imaginary customer persona may seem like a good idea.
But let me tell you, it's not effective in the long run.
Let's assume you have a startup that developed a health and wellness app.
You created an imaginary customer persona based on market research, which you used to guide your product development and marketing efforts.
But as the app launched and gained traction, you realized that the imaginary persona wasn't quite accurate.
You were missing important nuances and details that only real people could provide.
You needed to connect with your REAL audience to truly understand their needs and create a product that resonated with them.
That's where the three types of REAL personas come in.
First, there's the direct persona - people who are similar to you.
This can be a great starting point, as you likely share some commonalities and can use that as a foundation for understanding your target audience.
But don't stop there.
There's also the indirect persona - people who are similar to someone you closely know.
Maybe you have a friend or family member who fits your target audience. Use that relationship to gain deeper insights into their needs and motivations.
And then there's the unknown persona - people you want to serve but don't have anyone in your network who represents them.
This is when you need to do in-field research and directly talk to them, until you understand their needs and how they think, feel and act.
By using real people to guide your understanding of your target audience, you'll gain a deeper and more accurate understanding of their needs, motivations and pain points.
And that's what will ultimately lead to a product or service that truly resonates with them.