Once you’ve created the product vision, you’ll need to determine who you’re creating this product for.
For this, you’ll have to define your target market and then go a step further to define your customer persona(s). So what is the difference between the two?
Defining your target market will give you the segment of people you’re targeting, according to their age, location, education, industry, interests, gender, and similar demographic information. Of course, you don’t have to note down all these details, only those that are relevant to your product.
Although narrowing down your audience may sound counterintuitive at first, it’s a crucial step. The fact of the matter is that you can’t sell to everyone, and if your marketing scope is too wide, you’ll only be wasting your resources.
Marketing to everyone is like shooting darts in the dark — you will probably run out of darts before you even hit the dartboard once.
Keep in mind that the target market and the target audience are two separate things. The target market are people who will be using your product, and the target audience are people you’re selling the product to.
Here’s an example: you’re making software that helps children learn to read. Your target market are children aged 5-8. But, since kids of that age rarely have money (or the desire) to invest in software, your target audience are their parents, grandparents, etc.
So, when making the product, you keep your target market in mind, but when selling the product, you sell it to the target audience. In most cases, these two are the same group of people or they greatly overlap, but sometimes they are completely different.
A customer persona (also known as a buyer persona) is the representation of your ideal customer based on market analysis and data collected from existing customers. Aside from demographics, a customer persona should give you information about your ideal customers such as their typical buying behavior, their lifestyle, needs, problems and challenges, goals, and motivations.
Once you define your customer persona (or personas), it will help you further develop your strategy when it comes to the product itself but also marketing and sales. You’ll be able to know where to find your ideal customers, how to speak their language, create the features they need, deliver the content they’re interested in, and even predict their common objections.
All stakeholders should be able to have a say in approving customer personas you have created, as this step will influence many future decisions. The easiest way to share customer personas with everyone is to create a product management board in Infinity. By using the Columns view, you can create a new column for each persona so that you have an overview of all personas at a glance. As you create a new persona, you can add all relevant information about them along with images that will help you visualize the personas you have created.
Here’s an example of Business Owner, Product Manager, and Project Manager personas created in Infinity:
You can easily create your customer persona(s) using the Infinity Product Management template.
Once you’ve defined your customer personas, this will be a strong foundation that will determine all your decisions. But, you should be ready to learn about your audience as you go and even adapt your target market and customer personas if you see the need for it in the future.
Unsure how to start? Preview or download the Product Management template and check out the examples of 3 customer personas we have created along with their goals, challenges, buying motivation, buying concerns, and tools they use. You can use these to build your customer personas off of.