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Customer Persona Essentials: How to Make Your Content Connect

Kaila Garrison
Product Marketing Manager

“C’mon, you know Allison. She’s a financial analyst, married to that guy who owns his own landscape design firm. They have three children and live in that neighborhood near the new high school.” 

 


Whatever you can do to visualize someone within a demographic—even give him or her a name—makes communicating infinitely easier. That’s a persona. In short, personas put faces on data. And everyone on your content creation team will come to rely on them for more effective communication and better end results.

 


A good persona becomes a great persona with depth. Demographics are a start—age, gender, location, etc. The deeper the knowledge, the better. Although there is no right or wrong way to establish your organization’s personas, here are six factors to consider:

 


  1. Buying behaviors. When? Where? Why? Does he purchase all year or only during certain times of the year like holidays, warm weather vs. cold weather. Is there a spike after an email blast, media buy, coupon or other offer? Is she a bargain seeker or luxury buyer? Explore it more.  [LINK TO http://mashable.com/2012/06/13/influence-marketing-infographic/]


  2. Influence. Is she an influencer [LINK TO http://mashable.com/2012/06/13/influence-marketing-infographic/], or more likely to be influenced? And by what? Word of mouth? Media placements? Or, by you—i.e., success stories about your brand?


  3. Lifestyle. Busy, but in control? Aging, but still loving life? Overwhelmed with parenthood, but engaged in the community? Are there obvious categories? Problem solver? Frugality rules? Independent thinker?


  4. Activity. An obvious question like “What do they do?” can lead to insights on how they might like to interact with your brand. Spend lots of time outdoors? She may tend to gravitate to your organic lawn products. Big into DIY? Let him know more about the benefits of your bamboo-flooring product. Crafty? Give her fun ideas on how to repurpose old T-shirts into a quilt. When she needs new T-shirts, she’ll remember your clothing label.


  5. How do they use technology? All the time, with multiscreens? Sparingly, because of a lack of confidence? Does technology define their entire social spectrum? Do they use it to find deals, or to find the brands to which they already have a connection? Knowing this information means knowing how to push your content to your audience effectively.


  6. How do they view your brand? Relevant? If not, engaging content can start to chip away at that barrier and show them exactly how it does have a place in their lives. If yes, then build on that relevancy by encouraging advocacy (see Influencers above).


  7.  
 


It’s just a start. But remember: Creating then utilizing your customer personas should start in your content planning stage. The right content management tool will include devices such as surveys and templates to assist you in information gathering.


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