Personas are central instruments in design and marketing processes within all kinds of organizations. Designing products according to the customer’s needs and selling products at the right time and on the right channel with the right messages is of a high value. In order to do this, organizations must know their customers. This thesis provides the business concept for a SaaS start-up that offers an online tool for the data-driven creation of real personas.
Nowadays, personas are used in marketing and design processes. The start-up POWDIENCE will support those processes and provide an online tool to create data-driven personas, which will solve the main problems with the persona creation. The goal of this bachelor thesis was to develop a business concept for POWDIENCE, including a product structure, a prototype of the tool, a price model, a landing page, and a roadmap.
There were research and analysis tasks in the first part and development tasks in the second part. Various research methods were applied to gain initial insights. First, a literature research was carried out to find out more about personas. To learn about the existing solutions and competitors, a desk research was done. Afterwards, qualitative interviews were conducted with potential clients and experts to gain insights about their needs, pains, and gains. The insights from the research phase were used to develop a first prototype. Furthermore, the conversion rate of the developed landing page was used to measure the interest of potential customers.
The literature review gave deeper insights about personas. Personas are fictitious, specific, concrete representations of target users. They are used in design and marketing, and there is a difference between these two kinds of personas: While design personas shed light on the product definition and development process, marketing personas shed light on the sales process. The interviewees confirmed that there is a need of accurate data-driven personas. According to the potential users of POWDIENCE, even data-driven personas were not always useful because they consist mostly of demographic data, what makes them too general. Furthermore, a lot of time and effort is put into the persona creation process, although after all, the persona is rarely used. The experts confirmed that there is a potential for the business idea. Nevertheless, they reminded that it is a highly competitive market. The competitor analysis showed that there are existing tools for the persona creation. However, either no real data is used, or the usage is too expensive for small and medium enterprises.
The interaction process was made to show how the user utilizes the tool. The creation process consists of the three main steps ‘Discover’, ‘Shape’, and ‘Play’. The defined functions in the product structure originate from the insights that were obtained during the interviews and from the feedback of the client. With the product structure and the process, the prototype in form of a wireframe was developed. The said wireframe and its specifications were used by programmers to realize a first version of the product. The price model has five different packages: Free, Basic, Premium, Enterprise, and Individual. Not all functions are available in all packages and the number of personas that can be created increases, the bigger the package is. The landing page shows all the functions of the tool, the price model, and contains elements like calls to action and value propositions. Lastly, the roadmap shows at which point in time new product versions are released, when which marketing measures are taken, which customer segments are targeted, and when which financial goals are set.