20th June 2013
Mindy Gibbins-Klein, ‘The Book Midwife,’ said that when writing a book, one of the very first stages is to clearly define your reader to the extent that you feel that they are in the same room as you. She encourages us to think about precisely who our target audience is.
The point is that whilst it’s an axiom of content creation that you should know your ‘target audience’ or ‘niche markets’ intimately, how deeply do we reflect the knowledge we have of our customers when we communicate with them?
Defining personas helps multi-disciplinary teams gain a shared understanding of the customer in terms of their goals, capabilities and contexts. Personas also help prevent “self referential modelling” when the writer or designer may unconsciously project their own mental models on the project or product.
Imagine that person’s needs and wants, what interests them, which content topics they prefer and where to find them. Think about where your customers spend their time online, what groups they belong to, where they go to get their information and which social networks they typically use.
Only when you have a marketing persona – a name, a face, and a real, visceral sense that you know who this person is – can you start to create content that connects.