Personas: Give your campaign a face

What makes the success of a digital marketing campaign? It depends on several factors: originality, design, technical innovations, etc. Even when considering all of these, you might still be unsuccessful if you don’t respect the fundamental rule of satisfying your users’ needs. The Personas method provides you with a more precise and realistic vision of your typical users.

A product, a campaign, a new concept… you don’t create these things for your own pleasure. Consumers are waiting for you behind every website page. The challenge of advertising campaigns is immense: they must propose content that is relevant, personalized, intuitive, natural, and practical in order to make their target audience feel engaged.

Lately, special attention has been given to the user experience – his global feeling and behavior when facing a campaign – which has lead to the development of many methods that aim to ease the discussions and decision during the whole creation process life cycle such as creating and using Personas. Discovering the final users’ needs is then the ultimate objective.

Change your perspective, generate ideas

Concretely, a Persona is a personalized representation of a target audience. This character, fictive but realistic, allows you to understand the goals, values and needs of your typical visitors. He is used as a reference concerning the tone of a campaign’s offer, its design and interactions. Moreover, he allows you to change your perspective – and thus to avoid designing for yourself – which is essential! According to a University Paul Verlaine de Metz, France study, using Personas significantly improves the amount of ideas generated, the number of domains discussed, the level of detail and even the level of originality during the campaign conception phase.

But how is this done? The challenge is to come up with the greatest possible comprehension of your final users. All the tools you have on hand to build your Persona are useful, such as surveys, web analytics, interviews, statistical data, stories from forums, direct observations of the users in virtual and real life situations, etc. You can then give him a first and last name, an age, a life style. Everything that gives depth and multi-dimensionality to your Persona is added value.

Of course, this first step forces you to make some choices. It would indeed be hard to imagine dealing with thousands of Personas. Besides, the perfect design for everyone does not exist and doesn’t appeal to anyone. In the case of a rather large target audience, it is necessary to define the central users that you wish to understand, and only then the peripheral audience. On the contrary, if your target audience is rather small, you can focus on certain details in your design that will make a difference.

This being said, in all cases, it is definitely useful to create several Personas, but you should at least create three categories:

  1. The primary Persona: this is the main user. He is the one who needs to be moved by the offer and its design. The choices that are made for the other Personas should not conflict with this one.
  2. The secondary Persona: he has an interest in your product and uses it occasionally.
  3. The anti-Persona: this corresponds to the type of users you don’t want to reach. The design shouldn’t be modified for this one.

Give life to your Personas

After having designed a range of contrasting Personas who are built upon serious and realistic information, all you need to do is give them life. Call them by their first name, display their description on your walls, and make full-size models out of them. Essentially, these Personas must take part in the discussions and decisions of your campaign.

Bearing in mind these realistic representations of your target audience, your brand will be able to appropriately craft messages and deploy campaigns tailored to your consumers, bolstering ROI and heightening successful KPIs.

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