Powerful Personas

By: Jeanne Schneider

Building personas is all about taking your key demographic data and creating personalities with real names, values, interests and behaviors to effectively communicate exactly who you are trying to reach with your social media campaign.

According to Forbes, Generation Z represents $143M in global spending power…and they don’t even have credit cards yet. Having come of age in the time of smartphones, they are the generation most invested in social media currently occupying the planet. And they’re using it for more than keeping in touch with their friends, they use it to build a personal brand, make money, purchase clothing, drive political activism and amass large followings.

Generation Z embraces multiculturalism, with a rising rate of biracial and minority births, has also watched the legalization of gay marriage, the first black US president and are expected to continue social progress related to ethnic diversity.

Diversity and high investment in social media are a blessing and a curse for marketers looking to personify key demographic groups within Generation Z. On the one hand, we can literally look at the social media profiles of young users and get a strong understanding of their personality, interests and how best to reach them. On the other hand, the level of diversity this group is exposed to will prove difficult to group together for the purpose of building efficient, concise personas that still reach a compelling portion of this audience.

The key to mastering building personas for Generation Z will be to initiate personalities with diverse interests from the onset of your research, and keep them updated throughout the course of your campaign to ensure you’ve got a full understanding of this key demographic group.

This Article Has 6 Comments
  1. Kelsey Fagan says:

    This is a great insight to Gen Z considering they are the rising generation that spends a lot of time online. It’s interesting that they represent such a large amount of spending power but really aren’t considered adults yet. Creating personas might be easy in some ways for this generation, but I think that it will also be difficult because they have so much access to resources, it might be hard to pinpoint one or two key elements of the generation. Great post for today’s guest lecture!

  2. Sophia Meyer says:

    This blog was an interesting read for me because I had no idea that Generation Z held so much spending power. I feel as if marketers spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to market to millennials and do not consider generation Z, which should obviously be a huge consideration giving their spending power. I think it would be possible to come up with 6-8 different personas that are specific enough yet vague enough that they are able to target generation Z. It would take a great deal of research to come up with these personas, but it would be useful so that marketers do not assume Gen X are simply social media, self absorbed zombies, which they are often pegged as.

  3. Erich Aguillon says:

    I agree Jeanne. With everyone preaching targeted/segmented marketing being the most cost-efficient and highest ROI marketing practice, it really is difficult to build personas that would cater to distinct demographics within the diversity of GenZ for a specific campaign. I guess maybe sometimes it may be best to drop some demos in favor of others to save money and make sure your message isn’t muddled.

  4. Sierra Goodman says:

    Just like the generation ahead of us, we will have to understand the generation under ours. As the presenter commented the other day that they still don’t quite understand millennials. It will be equally or more difficult to understand GenZ, which to me is a bit daunting. Building personas is a relatively new thing and the practice is already changing dramatically. Considering GenZ’s buying power it will be a necessity for us to understand them and do it fast.

  5. Grieta King says:

    I wasn’t aware of how high the spending power of Generation Z is, but I think it mirrors the increase in ads that we’ve seen on social media sites, because that is where Gen Z spends mass amounts of time. I think it is really interesting how you mentioned that personas are going to be hard to nail down for Generation Z, and also that there is a rise in births from minority and biracial groups. I think that this will play a role in the building of personas because change is happening more rapidly than our generation is used to. Paying attention to social media and the growth of multiculturalism will make creating personas easier for Generation Z.

  6. Keeley O'Dougherty says:

    I loved reading your commentary on this topic because it put a lot of the questions I have about personas and put it into words. I find the task of creating media personas an extremely daunting one because it seems very hard to categorize so many people into one persona. But, I think it is great that creating accurate personas is becoming more difficult because it means that companies have to pay more attention to minority groups instead of stereotypes large demographics or people.

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