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Hello, Is It Me You’re Looking For?

No, really. Is it? This is a serious question faced by marketers on a daily basis. Do you even know who it is you are looking for when it comes to marketing and communication? How can you effectively communicate who you are, what you do, how you are better than the competition if you can’t clearly identify your audience? – Personas. What Are Personas? Personas are fictional characters developed based on the needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns among your real customers and target audiences to help you understand your customers better. A really great example of a company using personas is Unilever. Did you know that they have six different ice cream brands under their brand umbrella? If you take a look at the marketing materials for Breyers and for Magnum you would never guess that these two brands work together. Unilever created personas for all of their ice-cream brands and realized that moms like Breyers and Magnum skews towards a younger, more fun group. Because of persona development Unilever is able to create campaigns, and even brands, that more effectively target their main audiences with the right messages. When Should I Use Personas? Any brand can benefit from the use of Personas to help guide marketing, communications and sales strategies. While it may be a large project, such as a rebrand or new website, that leads you to create personas, this investment will pay off time and time again. Revisit your characters yearly and update as new information and needs dictate. Personas allow you to segment your audiences and help you to target the message(s) you want to deliver. How Many Personas Should I Create? If you’re building personas from your own data, develop as many personas as you have meaningful clusters in your datasets. If you lack data, a post-purchase survey can quickly build a useful and robust dataset. If you’re building personas from qualitative information and interviews, consider asking a few questions on ‘typical’ customers. “Typically, what kind of customer purchases our warranty?” “Typically, what kind of customer gives us the most hassle?” With a few ‘typically, what kind’ questions, you’ll find yourself with an actionable list of personas. If you feel you have too many, consider grouping the most similar. How Do I Create Personas? To create marketing personas for your company, use the following checklist to help put yourself in the shoes of your typical customer and answer the questions associated with your personas’ role, goals, challenges, company, and more. Try to answer all of the questions here, and then come up with some of your own. Don’t be surprised when you discover two or more distinct personas emerging from your research — that’s exactly what this exercise is meant to uncover. Not sure what type of information should be included in your persona development? Not to worry, I’ve included a quick list of recommendations to help get you started. This is a basic guide, depending upon your product or service; you may want to add to this list so that it is custom to you particular situation. If you can find a photo that seems to fit well within the persona you’ve developed, show it. This will help make the personas more real to you. 001163-WD_Persona-B2B-thumb_PREP Download our B2B Persona Guide Here 001163-WD_Persona-B2C-thumb_PREP Download our B2C Persona Guide Here Is your company looking to develop personas as part of your next marketing push? We can help. Contact us to tell us more about what you’re working on. …Lionel Richie music fades out.
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