Staying Grounded with Audience Personas
As longtime publishers, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who are audiences are and what they want. On the media side of our business, getting to know our audiences is essential to product development and marketing programs for clients. Before we can create content and experiences our audiences wanted, we have to get to know them intimately.
One of the activities we do is creating personas—representations of an ideal customer based on market research and data about a company’s existing customers—for each of our key audiences. The first step is always to identify the key audiences we already have followed by the ones that we wish to have. For example, our team identified these key audiences at a company retreat where we were looking at new audiences for some new media products we were launching.
- Young Creative Professionals
- Affluent Stay-At-Home Moms
- Professional LGBTQ Men
Next, we named each audience.
- Professionals: Lucy
- Moms: Rebecca
- LGBTQ Men: Peter
Then, we spent time with each of these characters. We drew them on a whiteboard and then listed things that helped make each character more human.
· What do they eat for breakfast?
· What is their favorite clothing brand?
· Where do they vacation?
· What kind of car do they drive?
· Who is the most important person in their life?
· Where do they live?
· What do they want more than anything?
· What are they most afraid of?
· What do they do for fun?
· Where do they shop most often?
· Who is their favorite artist? Author?
After we answered all of these questions and added some elements to the drawing, we’d keep these wall-hangings up and refer back to them during our decision making. We’d constantly ask ourselves questions like, “Would Lucy really like this event?” or “Would Peter really read this email?”
Audience personas keep us grounded in what our audience really wants and needs.