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Personification: Beyond Segementation To Customer Personae

Original Article by Jacqueline Murray from DarenLentz in Ohio, USA - Sept. 25, 2014

Do you know what content will captivate your target customers? Are your sales people armed with messages that resonate? Is your website attracting attention and speaking to your customers? Do your new products delight customers? To achieve your brand's marketing and commercial goals, you need to align with the needs and goals of your users. Having robust market segmentation and buyer personae profiles are a means to help your team understand your users and customers better and communicate with them more effectively.

Value of Market Segementation

Market segmentation is a fundamental marketing tool driven by the understanding that all customers are not created equal. It's an important strategic activity as its desired output is quantifiable segments that enable a business to identify and prioritize the target segment(s) for a specific product, service or marketing message. Bases for B2B segmentation include geography, company demographics, product categories and buyers. In healthcare marketing, medical device and diagnostic marketers use additional criteria like clinical setting, disease state or facility type. Although these segments are very important for targeting, they do little to provide insights into the goals, motivations, pain points, user experiences and personal stories of the individuals within the segment population.

What are Personae ?

Personae are semi-fictional characters who represent the different influencers, decision makers, buyers or users of a company's products or services. A persona represents a group of people with similar values with respect to the use of a particular product or service. There could be (and likely are) several different personae within a single market segment depending on the complexity of the buying process and your product offering.

Below is an example of a customer persona within the clinical laboratory market. You'll note that we've assigned a name and a picture to the persona. This "personification" helps to bring the profile to life and allows us to envision the person behind the profile.

Value of Customer Persona Profiles

Persona profiles are valuable because they help you uncover deeper insights about your customers and reveal opportunities to delight them. From a marketing and branding perspective, personae help set the tone for developing emotional brands and communications that resonate with their intended audience. Creating persona profiles also provides a means to communicate to your team (both internal and external) a deeper understanding of the customer psyche. Once the team can empathize with the challenges and goals of the personae they are in a much better position to spot ways they can add value be it through product development, marketing content or communications.

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