Here’s a scenario for you to think about – your company is about to distribute an eDM, a newsletter, or even launch a new communications campaign, but here’s the thing, do you actually know who you’re speaking to? Do you know their likes, dislikes or what they like to do on the weekend? If the answer is no, then that’s the wrong answer.

For decades, organisations have developed and defined target audiences based on a simple set of demographics, such as, age, gender and marital status. However, it’s no longer enough for organisations to define its audience by any single thing. Why? Because they’re people, and people are constantly evolving.

In August 2016, research from Harvard Business Review found that emotionally-connected customers are twice as valuable to a brand*. Put simply, organisations who take their customer engagement to a whole new level can reap the rewards.

The first step to achieving this connection is to bring customers to life…we do this via personas. Personas are representations of real people, and they are characterised not by their age or gender, but by their behaviours, values, habits and lifestyles.

We develop personas with one end-goal in mind; to create deeper connections with audiences via meaningful and engaging moments.

Creating personas can have a number of positive benefits on an organisation, including:

Insights to form campaigns: By developing deeper insights on an audience, communications campaigns can be designed specifically for that target audience.

Not only can you take into account tactical elements, such as their preferences for media consumption, time of day for online and social media use, but you can build a concept and strategy that taps into their values and ideology.

Finding moments: Finding moments to reach personas goes beyond advertising and traditional media. We encourage organisations to think about how they can find everyday moments to connect and interact with brands.

This means thinking about how the persona lives their life, and where there might be an opportunity to engage within it.

So, whether it’s sponsoring an event that aligns with their hobbies or hosting an event in their neighbourhood to publishing content for them to read while on their commute, finding everyday moments demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the target audience.

Messages that resonate: There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to talking directly to your personas. By developing key messages that resonate specifically with different target audiences, and which are tailored to suit their desired outcomes, organisations have a greater chance of creating an emotional and deeper connection with that persona.

These messages not only gives organisations an opportunity to talk directly to key audiences in a specific way about their company, but also about issues, trends and topical news which they are passionate about.

Relevant content: Content designed to target one persona won’t always work for another. By using personas to create content specifically for each persona, organisations can ensure that all outgoing communications are relevant, engaging and appropriate for that specific segment of their target audience.

At IMPACT we believe in taking customer insights one step further. We believe that personas aren’t just created and then forgotten about, they’re living, breathing characters who can make a significant contribution to an organisations communications strategy.

If you want to learn more about personas, and how human insights can enhance your brand’s communications, contact me on +61 2 9519 5411 or candi@impactagency.com.au.