We have more data and less information every day in this digital, quantifiable world of ours. We can tell you that if your customers live in X zip code, they probably had an iPad and watched the Food Network. What we can’t tell you is why — with traditional media tools.
And that is a pretty good reason to dig deeper and push harder for understanding: “Why” will tell you how to talk to the groups of customers you don’t already have. We call this deeper level of understanding of a customer group, a “persona”. A composite entity created of traditional media data and segmentation, ethnographic, behavioral and creative use case development.
The great business guru Peter Drucker once said, “Information is data endowed with relevance and purpose. Converting data into information thus requires knowledge.” Knowledge is about quality and insight and understanding — and in the marketing world creates actionable Purpose (the core of your brand). It helps to bring in new consumers or allow us to retain old customers at a lower cost.
What personas help us to do is talk more relevantly and with Purpose to those consumers that find the broader, lower common denominator messages of mass audience brand messages (a huge part of building a brand and awareness of your brand) less relevant to their lives. The broadcast analogy is when the world moved from pure broadcast networks to cable. Now, it’s possible to find a channel for those passionate about anything. Say our ad is on a cartoon cable channel because we want to reach a younger audience, we might want to revisit the creative we did for network TV that focuses on healthy living.
With the rise of the channel shifting, broadcast, web and mobile consumers, building an audience beyond broadcast media has to be viewed as aggregating discreet customer segments with common values. They ask the question, “How is that relevant to me?” Personas built on media and other data can answer that question quite nicely.