The Many Faces of Your Customers
“For example,” he continues, “our ‘Hispanicity CultureCode HA2’ is what we also refer to as ‘Nueva Latina,’ representing a person of Hispanic origin who was born in the U.S. and is generally the second or third generation of their family. This person still identifies with Hispanic culture, but is English-dominant (speaking some English but not fluent). Marketers can still utilize Hispanic cultural cues (such as values, holidays, imagery, art) even if consumers communicate primarily in the English language. If they want to further understand socioeconomics, lifestyle, buying behavior and media consumption, we can drill down further into the data to reveal those characteristics.”
How Well Are Marketers Using Personas?
As specific as Melgoza gets about the data he provides to clients, he notices most marketers don’t take advantage of that type of insight — or even half of it.
Most personas are “passive descriptions” of a brand’s customers that help marketers guide creative development, but aren’t based on data.
“They have a weak foundation and are not grounded in truth,” Melgoza says.
Bobowski thinks marketers should get even more specific about their data than “Hispanicity CultureCode HA2.”
“If we’re really to do great things with the personas we create, it’s imperative we look at things from an account level,” Bobowski says, “drawing on the behavioral data our marketing automation systems afford us to deliver personalized, well-timed experiences based on contacts’ specific roles in accounts and respective stages in the buying cycle.”
Foster says personas should help marketers understand customers better so that they can help more, which will result in conversions and sales.
“Persona development is simply a marketing tactic to try and get the most relevant messaging, timing, offer, imagery, etc. to the users,” he says. “With the advent of marketing automation and drip campaigns, dynamic Web banner ads and changeable Web text, cross-platform messaging, etc., it opens up an imaginative and exciting time for marketers who enjoy testing how well they think they know the personalities of their customers.”
So don’t just dump personas on customers like belongings in a storage space and not revisit them. After all, new data comes in all of the time and can change predictive models which should, therefore, change personas.
“These days,” says Melgoza, “[it’s] all about growth and all about data-driven decision-making.”
Related story: The Persona Path Starts With Segments