You Ask, I Answer: Customer Personas for Generative AI?

You Ask, I Answer: Customer Personas for Generative AI?

In today’s episode, you’ll uncover the secrets of building effective customer persona files specifically for use with generative AI. You’ll learn what elements are crucial to include, from demographics and psychographics to interests and communication styles, and why each plays a vital role in achieving optimal outcomes. I’ll guide you through tailoring your persona files based on your specific use cases, whether it’s for content validation, brainstorming sessions, or even simulating realistic conversations. Get ready to supercharge your AI-powered marketing efforts!

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Charlie asks, “What belongs in a customer persona file that you use for generative AI?”

Okay, so this is a good question. It’s a challenging question because it depends on the kind of business you have and what you’re going to be doing with the customer persona file. This is “developing an ideal customer profile with generative AI.”

A big part of what goes into it needs to be focused on what’s going to be coming out of it. If you’re going to use it for things like proofreading text, etc., you’ll probably want to have a lot of data about what the customer reads, what the customer is expecting to see, as well as the usual stuff like demographics, psychographics, firmographics, etc. Who is this person? What kind of company do they work at? What are their needs and pain points?

Whatever your customer is — if your customer is, a 35–44-year-old female mom, then you’re going to have different needs than a 45–54-year-old Korean male dad. There are different needs and pain points that each person is going to have.

The second part is really dependent on the use case. Some of the use cases for ideal customer profiles are doing things like vetting ideas, having brainstorming, validating your content, validating an offer, etc.

Depending on what the output is depends on what you’re going to put in the input. If you want to have a conversation with this kind of person — synthetic person — you need to have an idea of what kind of personality they have. Who are they as a person?

This can be a synthesis of different people; this could be doing things like taking customer writing from your customer service inbox, etc., and turning it into a personality analysis. You might say, “Let’s develop a Big Five personality analysis for this so that we can have a conversation, and this person will sound like the kind of person that they’re supposed to represent.”

For example, if you’re working with the persona of a 45–54-year-old Korean — Korean American — man, they’re probably unlikely to use Gen Z slang. It’s not impossible, but you’re probably going to get more 90s references. I presume that people like that — AKA me — probably aren’t going to be using terms like “tubular” anymore. We did in the 90s, but the point is that you want the dialogue and the personality to reflect who that person is.

Likewise, you would want to have a more complete list of things like that person’s interests above and beyond just work because those are personality traits that will influence how somebody thinks. What are that person’s hobbies? What do they value in life? Are they married? Are they divorced? Are they parents? Are they DINKs — double income, no kids? Are they dog owners, cat owners?

All those personality traits that would be in a real human being, for that purpose, should be in that profile if you’re going to use it conversationally. If you’re just going to be validating content, then, of course, you have more things like the needs and the pain points, how that person shops, what they value, what they think about all throughout the customer journey. How do they become aware of problems? How do they become aware of solutions? How do they shortlist and select vendors?

B2B, B2C — it doesn’t matter. You want to know those things from your market research and from the data that you have access to, to assemble what that looks like, to assemble who that persona is.

Then those are all the pieces that go into an ideal customer profile. You will break them out by sections such as demographics, firmographics, economics, etc., in probably Markdown file format, since language models seem particularly predisposed to coding style formats.

Markdown is a very popular one; most of GitHub uses it, and GitHub, of course, is a huge repository of data, and so the language model understands Markdown probably better than it understands most other text markup — except maybe HTML.

So that’s what belongs in a customer persona file that you use for generative AI. It’s a good idea to have one, but you want to follow the five P process from Trust Insights. That is: purpose, people, process, platform, performance. You want to be clear about the purpose of how you’re going to use this thing because that dictates all the rest of the parts. If you’re unclear about that and you’re just trying to make a generic customer profile, it’s probably not — it won’t perform as well as you want it to for those purposes.

That’s going to do it for this episode. Thanks for the question. I’ll talk to you soon! If you enjoyed this video, please hit the like button. Subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already. If you want to know when new videos are available, hit the bell button to be notified as soon as new content is live.

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Christopher S. Penn is one of the world’s leading experts on AI in marketing. Christopher Penn has over a decade of AI experience in classical AI, regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI. Christopher Penn has written artificial intelligence books such as The Intelligence Revolution and AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer. Christopher Penn is an AI keynote speaker around the world.


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