Creating marketing personas is a critical part of developing the modern communications plan. While we use broadly defined demographic segments (ex. pregnant women 18-34) to establish our target market, marketing personas help us develop stronger programs because they force us to imagine how diferent types of people within our target live their lives, and hopefully find and buy our product. Creating strong marketing personas is a basic building block to market to pregnant moms.
What is a marketing persona?
A marketing persona is an archetype of one of our typical users, based on as much data as possible, who is defined by goals and observed behavior patterns. While a media target may be women 25-34, we create a persona by creating an archetypical person. For example, let’s take “Jane.” Jane is a pregnant mom living in St. Louis. Jane is a manager in an insurance company. She is 29 years old and has been married for three years. Her husband is very excited to have children but is leaving all nursery and gear decisions to Jane since he has a demanding job.
This would be a very basic marketing persona, but to make it even more helpful to marketers (and potentially other departments like sales or even product development), we need to convey other aspects of Jane’s life? What magazines does she read? Where does she shop on-line? How does she spend her free time? What goals does she have in her life, and especially as a new mom.
If we imagine Jane, based on real observation of moms like Jane, to be someone who always wanted to be a mom and now wants to have the “perfect” pregnancy and new motherhood experience, that will optimize our choice of products, messaging, media, and promotions to her. If Jane, on the other hand, is more of a career mom and is already planning comprises she’ll make in motherhood to make sure she’ll still have time for advancing in her field, that will set up another set of marketing decisions.
In developing a persona, I encourage you to write it out in detail, even potentially adding a photo so team members can imagine whom you are talking about. You might want to include some of the following to paint the picture:
1. How does your persona spend her work day? Her weekend?
2. How does she get her information on her pregnancy?
3. What would she consider her ideal nursery?
4. What products might be on the top of her shower wishlist?
5. What does she know about your product? What are her objections?
6. What type of “experience” is she looking for when shopping in your category?
7. What associations and social networks doese she use?
8. What publications and blogs does she read?
This might be just a start. You don’t want to be so overwhelmed by the task that you don’t do it at all, but the more texture you can add, the better you’ll understand the different personas you’re marketing to. Use what you know but also external data, such as this recent post of ours on millenial moms.
1. A persona is just a representative idea of a significant portion of your targer market. You will likely have at least 2-3 personas to represent your potential consumers. Make sure to use a real name, and maybe even a photo.
2. Don’t be negative in your representations. You don’t want to start by creating a customer you and your team don’t really like. The only place for negativity may be in how you overcome potentially negative feelings about your product.
3. Your personas should not age over time. In our target, this is not really an issue.
4. Your persona should not be defined by a current economic situation or current technology. For example, she should saves money in a certain way because she is in her nature an economical person, not because the economy is bad. What’s most important are her goals and challenges which shouldn’t change due to external situations.
What do you think of this approach? Does it make sense? Will it help you? Can you suggest different personas for our category?