By David Clark, Paul Eisen, Karl Steiner

Persona development is an established practice used during the strategy and design phases of a project when companies bring new products to market. Typically companies approach the segmentation of personas as they approach the marketplace: defined by variables like role, income, product usage and age. These are important factors, and can help companies create compelling offers that resonate with target audiences.

Yet these factors are not always sufficient for segmenting personas to drive truly effective solutions. A given customer may have sophisticated tastes or financial acumen, for instance, yet have a very simplistic orientation toward technology. Conversely, “basic” customers with regard to buying patterns or some other bundle of demographic variables may possess technology mastery and have the capacity to create surprising levels of value with an application. TandemSeven has formalized a segmentation method that builds on the traditional marketplace approach by more closely considering relevant behavioral factors.

In this paper, the authors reveal the art of creating behavior-based personas by melding two characteristics—information needs and technology inclination—into cohesive, meaningful identities that will help development teams make appropriate tradeoffs with confidence. Furthermore, the paper formalizes the relationship between interaction style and the required sophistication of information. The following pages detail how companies can create solutions that delight their customers more reliably by incorporating the ways in which customers interact with technology into persona segmentation.

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