Did you ever think you knew someone pretty well, only to find out you didn’t? Perhaps the person had interests and talents you never would have imagined. Such as being certified in CPR or enjoying fire spinning as a hobby.
The relationship between advertisers and consumers can be like this. Advertisers think they know their audience, but their knowledge is only superficial. So when it comes to promoting products and successfully making a sale – through commercials for instance – the effort falls short of the target. And the advertiser is left to wonder why.
So, how do you get to know your audience? One way is through the development of ‘personas.’ Like in-depth profiles, they dig deep to get to the root of what makes your target tick. So when you zero in for the sale, there’s no doubt that you’ll hit home.
To create an effective persona, you have to think like a psychologist and learn what motivates a person to buy. Most ad agencies have forms that help compile this information that include questions such as:
– How old is the prospect, or what generational group (Gen X, Millennial…) does he or she belong to?
– Is the prospect a high school graduate? Did he or she attend college? If so, where?
– How much expendable income does the prospect have?
– What kind of car does he or she drive?
– What hobbies does he or she enjoy?
This can go on for several questions, all geared toward creating a crystal clear picture of the person you want to appeal to. For instance, a persona for a high-end photography supply store consumer might look something like this:
The person we’d like to appeal to is a thirty-six year old male with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. He’s a mid-level manager in an architectural firm and is married with two kids, and he lives in the suburbs around Tucson. He loves camping in the mountains with his family and is a fan of open-wheel racing, and his name is “Scott.”
Now this is specific. In fact, you may be thinking it’s too specific, however, what a persona such as this accomplishes is that it leaves little doubt about whom your commercial message has to appeal to.
This way, whoever is crafting the commercial message can look “Scott” in the eye and target the message with precision. It also gives the advertiser the ability to create a litmus test of sorts, by asking, would Scott really believe the claim I’m about to make?
Once you develop a persona, it becomes easier to create new ones. For example, if your products or services appeal to more than one type, a family of personas can help you define each target and give you a comprehensive feel for your audience. The key is to be as specific as possible for each.
Personas are a helpful tool for getting to know your target markets intimately. The more you use them, the higher the likelihood of crafting commercials that hit home.