What We Can Learn About User Personas From The Sims

What We Can Learn About User Personas From The Sims
June 7, 2016 Miranda Brumbaugh

We’ve talked about the difference between user personas for traditional and online marketing means. Now let’s focus on how to create a user persona for your next marketing campaign. After you have a comprehensive understanding of your campaign, you need to be able to create a profile of your target audience. One option is to look up character interviews that writers use for creating fictional characters. These interviews can be hundreds of questions long, all providing intimate details about the character or user. However, there is another, possibly more exciting, way to create a user persona for marketing campaigns.

Let’s Go Gaming

Whether or not you are a fan, you have to admit that an instant success in the world of gaming was the life simulation game, The Sims. You start by building your own character – their name, how they look, what they wear, their likes and dislikes, personality traits, ambitions in life, and their family connections. You can follow a similar method when you are trying to define your target audience. All the same, you don’t have to run out and buy a copy of The Sims to use this concept.

The new way to build a marketing model is to identify one super specific persona, just as if you were building a Sims character. Here are some questions you would hypothetically ask the user when creating a persona:

  • What would be your ideal breakfast: eggs and bacon, or quinoa and tofu?
  • Rather than the basic “What is your favorite color?” question, what is your favorite shade of your favorite color?
  • Are you a T-shirt and jeans type person or would you wear a vintage store dress when out with friends?
  • How many real life friends do you have, and how many Facebook friends? How many imaginary friends?
  • Will you get married, to whom, when, and where?
  • Do you believe women should be socially expected to shave under their arms or on their legs?

Think of the most insane and focused questions you can about a person, related to their character and not to your product/service. The details are what will get you to the point where you can create the “dream consumer” for your business.

Ever Changing Consumer Conscience

The more you know about your target market, the better you will be at planning a marketing strategy and creating specific campaigns that your ideal customers are likely to engage with. Instead of wasting your ad campaign sending banner ads to a blanket group of consumers, you have to aim directly at the one person in the crowd who would be most likely to buy your product and support your brand.

But then, you can’t leave the character stuck in time. You should breathe a breath of fresh air into your user personas at least every three to six months. Your products and services will change and you want your user persona to reflect that. Ideally you will constantly be updating and narrowing in on your company’s target consumer.

Creating a comprehensive user persona for your target audience will help to inform your marketing strategy and all of the marketing activities that you carry out. This will help you to market more effectively to those consumers that are likely to buy from you, helping to boost sales and profits.