Good-bye Personas; Hello Data-Driven Personalization
Standard marketing textbook fare about finding target customers goes something like this: “Analyze your current customers. Develop personas to represent major customer segments. Target those personas.”
All of which sounds great unless you are launching a new product that doesn’thave any customers, in which case there is nothing to analyze. Then what?
At that point, a lot of people just invent personas anyway. They develop product, brand, and customer acquisition campaigns for putative personas. Sometimes they get lucky. Other times they spend a lot of money and get nothing. Still other times they retrench and end up overhauling their entire product.
A better approach: let your personas reveal themselves. Design several broad audiences and test customer acquisition campaigns against each of them. Consider factors beyond demographics and interests, like the customer’s emotional connection to the product. Change one variable at a time to zero in on audience characteristics that drive acquisition.
- Data-driven customer personas, built from scratch, that often are different from and incremental to initial hypotheses
- Market fit between brand and customer
Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Persona
Goodbye personas, hello human data-driven personalization. If you’re relying on your CRM to slice, dice, and manage your customer interactions, stop, says Ernan Roman, an advocate for customer voice. In this post, Roman describes how innovative companies are ditching personas and finding ways to leverage human data to create more authentic relationships.
If you want a great example of why it’s important to avoid getting wrapped around the axle of your core persona, consider young adult novels. Pre Harry Potter, most marketers—okay, most people—assumed that young adult books were for children. Today, more than half of YA book sales are to adults, and the YA segment has been a continued bright spot in book publishing, thanks to open-mindedness about the customer target.