Personas Research

Personas Research

Elusive behaviors of transient customers frequently leave marketers and the businesses they serve scratching their heads. This is why business owners often stick to targeting marketing efforts toward the most engaged customer. After all, that is the personality type you know the best. In many industries 80% of sales come from 20% of your audience. For some, this is enough. But not for me.

graphic of a plant

I want to know how that momentary customer found us, what they thought of the product and their experience, and why they haven’t been back since. Through effective research and the establishment of audience personas, businesses can understand the complexities of their customer base, and expand their reach into secondary audiences, all while continuing to keep that 20% “in the tent” base happy.

The visuals below showcase one of six personas developed for the OHIO Alumni Association. In partnership with Ologie, our team conducted pioneering, robust, qualitative and quantitative research to section and articulate audience groups, as well as identify attitudinal and behavioral elaboration likelihood for each type.

graphic contains two figures with clothing, accessories and objects that suggest they are very busy, distracted, family-oriented, hard-working and highly engaged with technology.
Illustrations created in-house by Kyle Lindner

What resulted was a greater understanding about primary and secondary audiences, as well as actionable marketing and programatic formulas for more effective segmentation and measurable engagement.

Final deliverables for the project include six audience personas with robust trait analysis, key characteristics, statistics, lifestyle and online behavioral preferences, propensity for engagement and giving, and corresponding opportunities, roadblocks, sample engagement scenarios, journey mapping and conversion pipelines.

Three roadblocks include: limited time and attention, lack of focus, and busy lives.
Three opportunities include: short, scan-able content, in need of escape, and focus on family events.
Blank worksheet to fill in engagement scenarios include space to address persona's question, habit or goal, and another space to address answer, solution or support.

The project has been used to inform future strategy and brand evolution, and enables more deliberate content development with greater audience awareness.

From the experience I learned to collaborate effectively with agency partners, as neither of us had undertaken this type of project or something to this scale before. It is unique to be on the cusp of applying what you know to be marketing best practice to an industry like higher education.

It was a project that took a great deal of time and energy, and much of the work is unseen (as strategy work often is). I was fortunate to have such a professional, energetic team of creative professionals to work with, and in the end the visualization and final report made all the difference to administrative buy-in and support of our efforts.

Role call: Audience Research conducted by Ologie, Jennifer Bowie, Hailee Tavoian. Synthesis, Content Development and Segmentation Strategy by Hailee Tavoian, Kailee Slusser, Jennifer Bowie. Original Illustrations developed in-house by Kyle Lindner.

Illustration by Kyle Lindner

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