Constructing Your Persona

By: Lola Butcher

Constructing Your Persona

Photo: Lola Butcher

When it comes to personas the possibilities are endless. Building a persona, or multiple in this case, to epitomize your business is a key component to humanizing your brand and making it more relatable in order to represent your audience. In order to make an effective persona, the following elements are crucial:

  • Name, Job Title
  • Demographics → Age, Gender, Family, Education, Location
  • Goals → Short Term and Long Term
  • Fears and Values
  • Message → Overall Marketing Meaning and Significance

In this article written by Kevan Lee, 

he elaborates on the basics on when it comes to understanding and executing the concept of a persona. Essentially, he states that to achieve a high standard persona you need to start with the basics and eventually work your way up. After comprehending the initial elements, you can then elaborate and become more specific based off of a certain audience or a certain industry. Personas. Have. Personalities. And portraying those personalities in a skillful manner can make or break a brand representation.

Personas overall are a crucial strategy for understanding your target audience. It can help build a relationship, internalize the ideal consumer of the product being sold, as well as personalize your marketing. Social media also plays a large role in determining whether or not a particular persona will fit. Social media is another doorway to observe your audience’s personality through various platforms. Heidi Cohen from the “Actionable Marketing Guide” provides an image that breaks down 3 types of people that you find through social media who create an impact on various platforms.

In class on Monday we had two fabulous guest speakers one of whom broke down the basics on personas. Doug Wilson who is a Senior Instructor of Marketing right here at the University of Oregon and is also the founder of DL Wilson Consulting, spoke to the class about creating a persona. His main points included:

Do’s:

  • Understand your customers and target audience
  • Simplicity is key
  • Straightforward but attention grabbing
  • Check-in and ask yourself if this persona accurately represents your market
  • Remember that everyone interprets information differently
Don’ts:

  • Do not have more than 10 personas, it is not always possible to reach every audience
  • Watch out for stereotyping, it can be tricky
  • Over-generalizing

Reflecting back on the fundamentals of personas, it is important to keep in mind that to maintain a substantial awareness of the diversity present within different publics. In order to further understand personas, check out this video that further elaborates on personas and how to create the ideal one:

 

Twitter: @lola_butcher

Instagram: lolabutcher

This Article Has 10 Comments
  1. Morgan says:

    Great post, Lola! The three types of people on a website are so interesting and very applicable. I think it is also really important you emphasize in your “don’ts” that sweet spot of how many personas to have. When Doug emphasized that 10 is too many but that overgeneralization is common, it really is key to hone in on solid, well formulated personas, especially with those three types of people. By combining the two it really allows for a solid basis of how to draw people to a site.

  2. Kelsey Scott says:

    Well said, Lola! I have not had very much exposure to the idea of customer personas until taking this course. I’m not surprised that 90 percent of visitors on social media pages are considered “lurkers,” yet I can see how this statistic makes it incredibly difficult for marketers to uncover what type of audience they are attracting. I think that creating personalized, specific personas is very important in order to drive the correct social media or marketing strategies for a brand. Thank you for sharing.

  3. SSM Student says:

    Consumer profiles are very helpful. They humanize your consumer which can make your marketing strategy more personable which people would see more authentic.

  4. Erich Aguillon says:

    Consumer profiles are very helpful. They humanize your consumer which can make your marketing strategy more personable which people would see more authentic.

  5. Samantha Nadel says:

    Hi Lola,

    I really like how you discussed the 3 types of people you find on social media. I find it interesting that 90% are lurkers, compared to only 9% being commentators and 1% being creators. I am curious as to what determines whether or not someone will be a commentator/creator rather than a lurker? How can we get more lurkers to become commentators/creators, and how will that affect our persona-building strategy?

  6. Rita Herbstman says:

    Lola – great blog post! Personas are always fun to talk about and create. The bullet points in your post made it extremely easy to read. The video at the end definitely wrapped everything together. The Do’s and Don’ts were also a great touch!

  7. Kristle says:

    I definitely like the video at the end of your post. It wraps up what you talked about. Personas are one of my favorite parts of creating a marketing strategy, so having these resources that you provide will come in handy in the future. Knowing the types of social media followers will let you create a persona for each of those categories.

  8. Celine De Clercq says:

    Excellent post, and a super informative video! You really broke down the basics in an easy, understandable way. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Claudia Davis says:

    Great post Lola! I would definitely agree that personas are a crucial strategy for understanding your target audience. Crazy to think that 90 percent of visitors on social media pages are “lurkers”. I can totally see from marketers and bloggers perspectives how disappointing it would be to find out that the majority of their followers are ghost followers and don’t really do anything.

  10. Kurtis Cooper says:

    Fantastic insight to that of the online persona. In particular the section on the three different types of people on social media I found to be the most interesting. The fact that the largest group on social media are “lurkers” is amazing to me. It also puts my heart at ease for when some of my content doesn’t get the attention that I think it deserves from my followers. Also great touch with the attached video, very insightful.

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