My colleague Steven Donaldson of Radiant Brands recently wrote a nice post about how even small brands can triumph over marketplace noise and connect with customers.

He talks about a simple four-step process that links a brand with consumers. In his words:

  1. Define what’s uniquely valued in your brand
  2. Define the personas of your customers
  3. Build a strategy for connecting to these personas
  4. Create the channels and stay in touch

This is great advice. Defining personas, in particular, resonates with me. It’s more than a mere marketing nicety to consider who you’re selling to and put some effort into fleshing out a portrait. In fact, creating personas brings the whole concept of marketing segmentation to life.

As a copywriter who specializes in marketing communications, one of my favorite personas is the tired marketer who’s managing a product launch. There she is, at 10 on a winter evening, decked out in her fuzzy robe and bunny slippers. The kids are in bed. Her spouse is headed that way himself. But, lacking sufficient headcount, she’s sitting in front of her PC, trying to write something compelling about the new product. She knows it backwards and forwards, and she’s a brilliant strategist, but writing is not her strong suit. Or at least she doesn’t consider it a good use of her time.

That portrait, in my opinion, is a pretty doggone good persona. It accurately describes a good part of my market. And it’s helped me better focus my promotional efforts.

Have personas helped you? If so, how? If not, why?

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