Brilliant Reads: bringing your personas to life

Our monthly round-up of the most intriguing ideas in the marketing world. Written by our team experts to give you clear and concise knowledge.

A common element of a content strategy is customer personas, yet often they’re overlooked. Understanding your customer in the digital age is a constant work in progress, but data-driven personas are crucial for success. We’ve gathered all the info you need to create and maintain powerful customer personas.

Make data and customer-first insight the heart of your operations

Although brands know that reaching customers in meaningful ways is the key to building lasting relationships, a lot of content gets wasted. This happens when a content strategy isn’t planned based on customer’s needs, interests and behaviour.

This is where personas are essential.

Investing in strong customer persona is a highly cost-effective way to improve marketing communications; helping brands to be more accurate in reaching customer at the right time, in the right place, with the right message. Customer behaviour changes constantly, so it’s essential to refresh them regularly.

A deep exploration into building buying personas – The Drum – 3mins

Ensuring your personas are data-led

Personas or customer profiles have been around for a while. It’s good business practice to investigate buying behaviour and customer motivations, but no matter how many interviews, surveys or focus groups you gather, these old ways won’t get you the content strategy you need.

Data-driven personas, on the contrary, are the result of a combination between traditional research methods and various digital tools that make it possible and easy to collect fast, detailed and scalable data that updates in real time, keeping your personas fresh and aligned to changing customer trends.

Traditional persona creation ends up being too narrow or too broad and biased to customers responses. Instead, through data-driven personas brands can answer questions such as

  • What are our personas talking about right now?
  • What devices are they using at each stage of the customer decision journey?
  • How are our personas researching new brands/products online?

The answers to these questions can provide useful insights for strategists to plan, creatives to create and publishers to produce brilliant content.

The dream of data-driven personas – Brilliant Noise – 4mins

Building personas around empathy

Traditional buyer personas often fall into the trap of relying on stereotypes. This can cause customers to feel misunderstood and poorly represented. Even small audiences contain different individuals, and traditional personas don’t embrace differences. To avoid this, instead use empathy to create more diverse personas to help you connect, relate and reach a wider audience.

Communication between businesses and audience is more personal than ever, so you owe it to your customers to develop personas that reflect real people. In return, you will earn their loyalty and with a few smart data practices, you’ll see this benefiting your bottom line.

How to create marketing personas that start with empathy – Webflow – 4mins

The pitfalls of personas and three creative solutions

In theory, personas are a powerful tool. They help you make better decisions, not just about how to market your product or service, but what it should be in the first place. In practice, personas don’t always deliver on this promise. There seem to be three common reasons why personas lose their power:

  • They don’t have authority.
  • They don’t come with instructions.
  • They’re not easy or engaging to use.

With these in mind we came up with three creative approaches that we think will help make personas a powerful force in your organisation. From taking the target persona and crafting a story around it, to building standalone chatbots, these are our three creative solutions to release the potential of your personas.

The problem with personas and three creative solutions – Brilliant Noise – 3mins

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