Have we got marketing personas all wrong?

Persona development in marketing a really important. They’re a great way to make you think about your target audience in greater depth.

But sometimes we need to approach them differently.

Think about yourself as a persona for a second. (Because we can all be sure that someone in some marketing department somewhere is trying to pin you down.)

Have you always been the same person throughout your life? Probably not.

Going to university, buying your first home, getting married, getting divorced, getting married again, having kids, your kids leaving home, making that career move, becoming a grandparent – all the things that we go through in our lives that inadvertently, and yet inevitably change our perceptions and priorities.

At the time, we’re not alway conscious of going through a life change. But we all are at some point.

It’s something that Lloyds have embraced in their recent advertising campaign:

Trigger based marketing personas

 

They’ve found a way to embed the need for their financial services within the context of big life changes. It really resonates.

These ‘transition states’ are real sweet spots for financial services marketing. It’s at these points of flux and transition that we’re open to re-imaging our lives. If we can align our campaigns with these life triggers, then you’re onto a winner. They’re the things that create, or bring to light, the need for a financial product or service.

And they’re also completely within reach when it comes to paid channel of audience segmentation. Don’t forget that Facebook knows everything about you. Targeting marketing efforts based on life triggers seems like the smart thing to do.

But there’s an added layer of complexity – these triggers don’t actually have to happen to you. For example, your neighbour over the road gets diagnosed with a terminal illness. You don’t know them that well, but it doesn’t matter. Just being exposed to the reality of ‘what if…?’ scenarios totally changes your mental calculations when weighing up the pros and cons of protection products.

Let’s stop looking at personas in terms of age, hair colour and what car people drive, and instead focus on the things that both help to effectively segment your audience and deliver marketing messaging that matters to them, here and now.

 

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