Segmentation research has been a staple of marketing-oriented companies since the advent of “target marketing”. Well-crafted segmentation studies can be truly enlightening and have the capacity to focus marketing efforts like nothing else. Alas, they are often cumbersome, laden with arcane tables and graphs, and paint a ‘flat’ picture of the consumer landscape.
In our view, no segmentation study is fully realized unless it is followed by personas work that can bring target segments to life, humanize the sea of numbers, and excite the people charged with product development or communications efforts within a corporation.
What is a persona? A shorthand for uncovering the complexities of the dynamic tableau that is a target segment, and for illuminating a segment’s dramatic, real-world, compelling characteristics. A way to showcase the target as real people, with depth and understanding for who they are and what their lives are like – to step well beyond the statistical averages and charts of a PowerPoint deck. Marketers need to imagine the people who populate each segment: what is unique about their appearance and personalities, and about how they live, how they apply their values, and how they think & behave with respect to your category.
BRS has a proven protocol for creating personas, and can help you plan to socialize them within your organization.
Deliverables? The output from personas research work needs to be highly visual and multi-channel, so as to excite people across broad areas of responsibility within the corporation. We create story-films for each persona, desk references for a succinct reminder of key characteristics, and multimedia presentations that telegraph the essential differences among personas. Our goal is to leave everyone with a unified vision of the potential for each target segment, so each person can apply this knowledge in their own work, now with a common focus and a shared vocabulary.