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From a marketing perspective, Personas are fictional characters curated from analysing consumer data that represent segments of their target consumers in the market place. These marketing personas help instill empathy into advertising and communication, hoping to appeal to the personality within their customers through ads. Converting consumer demographics into Psychographic Audiences
What is Psychographics
Psychographics is a qualitative methodology used to infer personality traits and psychological attributes of a person. It is commonly applied in describing consumer values, opinions, attitudes, interests and lifestyles. When used in advertising, psychographics can help shape ad messages, schedule ad sequences, create ad content and select ad channels based unique profile attributes.
Marketers often leverage such data in estalishing their 5P in designing marketing mix strategies (product, people, place, price and promotion). This is exceptionally critical in streamlining omnichannel marketing activities across different offline and online mediums.
Persona – the “enriched” Audience Profile
Basically, personas are nothing more than fictional characters created to represent a specific segment of consumers that might engage with your brand, products, services or sites in a similar way.
Personas can help businesses understand consumer needs, concerns, goals and motivators, and embrace the diversity of your consumer markets. It elevates marketer’s perspective above the products that they are selling and start focusing on how the product will appeal to the consumers and how it may apply to satisfying consumer needs and wants.
Demography identifies who your prospects are, while personas provides perspective into why and how prospects will engage with your products and services, making personas very important before rushing into designing new products, launching marketing campaigns and creating marketing & communication strategies.
Personas are curated by gathering information through surveys, interviews, demography, behavioural data, user details, and other sources available to the marketer.
Research and interviews are designed specifically to identify the following attributes of their customers to build a representative of the consumer groups:
Consumer demography, spending, interest, challenges, stage of life
Concerns, pain points, influencers
Goals, aspirations, desires, actualisation
Needs satisfaction attributors, motivators, influencers
From the research data, fictional persona characters are created and used by businesses to shape product design, UX, branding, positioning and marketing & communications. These personas are primarily biased to its curators for a specific business and may not apply to others, including competitors.
We have seen the benefits of creating personas in aid of our marketing, but do stop to consider the limitations that it has on the flip side
The inception of personas into marketing, and especially digital marketing has proven to be integral in many aspect of the marketing mix and affecting consumer decision making. However, applying personas into digital advertising has several challenges.
Digital media spanning from Search, Display, Video and Social, placements are made from multiple platforms designed to reach specific audience segments within the internet space. However intricate and intelligent algorithms and data mapping has evolved, these platforms are limited to data matching and group targeting.
Having personas highlighting the psychographics of your consumers can be very helpful in planning marketing and communication strategies. However, its application has also clear challenges and limitations to advertisers.
Considering the layers of data and the expertise required in curating the personas, it can be a significant investment, especially for SMEs and ecommerce businesses.
Secondly, the standard methodology of persona curation are very product or brand centric. Personas curated cannot be applied to multiple products even within the same product line.
Lastly, the curated personas cannot be effectively mapped or re-marketed across the digital media networks. Advertisers have to fall back on “carpet-bombing” audiences based on demographic and interest targeting parameters.
Though personas continues to present its value in designing products and understanding your customers. It is less effective in targeting and reaching your consumers from the massive audiences on the internet.