Knowing your audience = Personas
I’ve seen many teams balk at the idea of developing personas. I think they are a must!
Without a view to the larger picture of personalized content development, this can be seen as wasted effort.
If not connected to a personalization process, it actually can be a waste. Far too often, teams spend large sums to develop personas that end up generally telling you what you already knew.
However, if completed in the context of a robust personalized content program, it is critical.
Knowing your audience helps you:
- Group subsets of customers.
- Create better definition of their interests which ties to better advertising and sponsorship placement.
- Recognize daily habits which ties to intentional social media and email tactics.
Personas are representations of your various target audiences. You may have one or two, or you may have ten. It all depends on how much diversity there is in your audience.
Case Study: Geico
A great example of diverse persona use is evident by Geico. Consider the variety of themes used in their messaging. The Gecko. The Cavemen. Maxwell the Pig. The “I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance” bit.
These concepts from Geico have all run at the same time and each have a different flavor. Each connecting with different groups of people. With something as general as Insurance, broad is necessary.
Prioritization is Key
It is also important to prioritize the number of personas / target audiences you maintain against the amount of budget you have available. Each persona represents a full set of reach possibilities that all cost money. It is easy to stretch budget too thin or conversely, be so generic that the message does not connect. There are many levers to use to find the right mix. The key is to identify your most important personas and evolve your understanding of the customer to better reach them in the future.
So, consider a set of personas to be your ever evolving guide to best reaching your customers. Without this foundational element you may 1) be missing the mark with your customers or 2) be setting yourself up to not take advantage of smart marketing infrastructure that can provide a personalized experience for your customers.
*This article is part of a series titled Elements of an Effective Content Program. See below to review the related content.