Thursday, July 5, 2012

Targeting With Personas Part II - Example

Example: Software Company

Imagine a marketing manager for a software company that sells single-sign on software (password management software) in a B2C market.The marketing manager has developed four personas:
  • CEO, Executives, Managers (CEO)
  • New Internet User (New)
  • College Student (Student)
  • Professional in the Tech Industry (Yuppie)
Next, the marketing manager must gather the relevant demographic information, assess the needs of each group, and consider which situational triggers may cause them to buy the product. After some research, the following information is discovered about the target market:

Four hypothetical personas.
CEO, Executives, Managers (CEO)
  • Age: 45
  • Internet Experience: High
  • Spending Habits: Strategic
  • Trigger: Provide reasons to “upgrade”
New Internet User (New)
  • Age: 16
  • Internet Experience: Low
  • Spending Habits: Shiny Object (things of interest at the time – parental support)
  • Trigger: Educate to illustrate the need
College Student (Student)
  • Age: 20
  • Internet Experience: High
  • Spending Habits: Shiny Object (things of interest at the time)
  • Trigger: Discount
Professional in the Tech Industry (Yuppie)
  • Age: 30
  • Internet Experience: High
  • Spending Habits: Strategic
  • Trigger: Awareness

Based on these categorizations, it is possible to construct secondary target market personas. The Yuppies are the optimal target market. BUT if they’re already being bombarded by messages from the competition, it would be prudent to retarget the company’s messaging at secondary audiences. In this case, the company could gain market share with the students and CEOs through developing persona-specific messages.
For example, to target the CEOs, the message should be crafted to engender a need, which could be done through highlighting key product differentiators from the competition. Since students are missing the means (finances) to purchase the software, this hypothetical software company could offer coupons toward the students to lower the cost. A “buy-one-get-one-free” coupon would be one possible strategy, as would a discount for becoming a fan of the company’s Facebook page.

Let’s assume that after a few weeks the strategy to attract the student market is unsuccessful. This MAY mean that it is necessary to segment that secondary target audience even further. The following is an example of how this process could be accomplished:
Specifying the student persona even further.


The marketing manager can drill down even further within the optimal or secondary target audience but the key is to stop specifying when the cost of finding information is greater than the benefit to be gained by marketing uniquely to that subset. This will have to be weighed on a case-by-case basis depending on the available budget for market research and the profit from the offering.

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