GO Digital WSI

5 Tips for Fleshing Out Marketing Personas

Struggling with your marketing persona a bit? It’s easy to get lost in information when you first start studying demographics, focusing on the wrong things and being led astray by it. Truly nailing down the right information is possible, especially if you know what to look for in the first place. Use these seven tips to drill down.

Identify Decision-Makers and Influencers

Demographics are great – until they aren’t. In certain industries, the person who uses your product may not necessarily be the person buying it. This is most obvious in the children’s toy industry; children use the toys, but it’s usually the parents buying. Your marketing persona needs to take this factor into account.

Figure out who’s using the product. Then, ask yourself – who’s doing the buying? Now, loop back; who’s influencing the user to use the product? You now have two entirely separate personas to target for sales.

Talk to Your Actual Audience

When is the last time you actually, you know, connected  with your audience? It’s totally okay to do that. Run quizzes, polls, and fun contests to help get their opinion; use it to channel in on who they really are.

Figure Out How to Annoy People

Seriously! It sounds backward – and you shouldn’t actually test your theory by annoying your audience – but knowing what they hate is really important. Watch your comment sections and emails closely; what are people complaining about? Categorize it and figure out what you’re doing wrong; then, avoid it.

…And Inspire Them, Too

By the same token (and for the same reason), it pays to figure out what inspires your audience. Adding that info to your marketing personas can give you the power to create really compelling content during every single campaign. This one is a bit safer to test, too – there’s less risk of scaring people away!

Beware of Stereotypes

Demographics can verge into dangerous territory if you lean a little too hard on what is essentially a stereotype and not really representative of the truth. We find a perfect example in the video game industry, where marketers continue to overly focus on marketing to men under 30. The truth is that numbers became much closer to even as of about a decade ago – and most women who play games are closer to 44.

There are also instances where stereotypes can lead to unintentional discrimination in your marketing personas. If, for example, you classify a person of color as your persona, and then automatically assume they speak in a certain way or are probably under a certain income, that’s probably problematic. You need to find proof to back it up or root out the real story instead.

Nailing down marketing personas isn’t always easy; demographics can be intensely confusing. Sometimes, you just need a neutral outside source to provide a bit of guidance. At Go Digital WSI, we can help with that!