Persona Marketing can be a great tool if you have the time and resources to do it right. Once you have the made the initial investment to develop your personas, it pays dividends for years. Bonnie Rind of Bonfire Development Advisors defines personas as the following:
In theater, a persona, meaning “mask” in Latin, refers to a role played by an actor. Colloquially, the term is used to describe the social representation we all put on display in daily life. In product management and development, a persona is a detailed representation of an example user.
For our purposes, we create personas, or example users, as tools to represent the needs, desires, skills and environment of one or more classes of real users… These personas enable us to make appropriate decisions when building and marketing our products.
Personas are a way for customers to self-select into your marketing stream without you having to collect large amounts of data about them. If they relate to one of the personas, they will voluntarily engage with your company – and probably buy stuff – more easily. For example, personas have proven to increase clickthoughs on email marketing.
One of the best examples of this that I have seen is Birchbox. For those who aren’t familiar, Birchbox is a subscription service which mails you sample-sizes of products personalized to your interests for $10 a month for women, and $20 a month for men. Of course, if you like one of the samples, you can buy the full-sized item through their website. Brilliant.
They use personas to personalize their products for their customers. On their website they present nine women who serve as archetypes of the female Birchbox customers. When you select one, it discusses their unique hair and skin concerns. Customers can easily find one of these personas with which they relate, and conveniently find recommendations for products to buy.