Rethinking Segmentation for the New Digital Consumer

Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Posted By
Rav Sanghera

What does ‘persona’ mean?

A persona is, by dictionary definition, a section of someone's personality/trait that is showcased and received by others. It is a brief look into a person.

What is a persona?

Firstly, before you can begin thinking about your segmentation for your new digital consumer, you need to understand who your current persona is. A persona is an imitation of your websites intended user; they are fictional characters that are created from research to bring to life the different types of users that you want to attract.  

They allow you to create broad profiles that encompass a segment of your current consumers and the consumers you want to target in the future. "Personas generate empathy; and empathy is essential to the DNA of UX design. Personas allow you to look at a personal representation of your users and come to a better understanding of what your real users’ needs and goals look like in real moments of their lives." -[career foundry]

How to create personas for marketing?

To create a persona, you should research and speak to your current customers and even your look-alike target audience. What are some of the traits that they both have in common? This could be from their geographical location, their proximity to your business or their education background.  

Personas are broad representations of different customer segments in your business. This can include both positive and negative personas to help you better understand why, as a business, a certain type of customer won’t fulfil your needs. Look into what driving force there is behind a customer contacting you and also what may stop them.

There are also two main types of personas that as a business you should understand: The buyer and the user persona. A user persona will help you to create a website design that speaks directly to them making sure they are engaged and that the site is offering all the answers they need. The buyer persona, which can also be called a marketing persona, is based on market research and your current customers - Being key for your marketing efforts and product development.

What is a buyer persona in marketing?

A buyer persona, also known as a marketing persona, is based off both qualitative data from your current customers and quantitative data from market research. This can include information such as a demographics, income and education. They can help to find any gaps within the product or service and help you to achieve and solve any broader issues, allowing you to increase your chances of reaching and solving your consumers problems.  

So, how can these buyer personas help within your marketing efforts? You can create messages and content that not only appeals to them but also speaks directly to your consumers. With buyer information, you can specify messages and avenues of your marketing strategy to fit different consumer segments.   

What is market segmentation?

Market segmentation is the process of dividing up your target audience into sections/segments that are defined by categories. You can create as many segments as you want depending upon the level of detail you wish to go into.

Segmentation ensures that you aren't trying to speak to everyone as that becomes too broad and difficult to do. To help create stronger marketing messages that resonate with each segment you can test different strategies to find the best and most effective for each. This will increase your chances of attracting quality leads that will convert users into customers all because messages are tailored to them and their needs.   

Bring your own persona  

With the new era of digital personas, we must keep in mind two important characteristics: Digital capabilities and trust.    

Trust is the user's willingness to share personal information when they feel they will get something in return. This can be hard to first establish with users as many people still go back and forth deciding whether they want personalisation over privacy. This can vary depending on the business and the trust level that a user has with them.

For example, New York implemented an online system to take over their current toll system, however, may users felt that they couldn’t trust the system, thinking it was a breach of privacy. New Yorkers had no trust with the company, and many did not feel comfortable giving them access to their data and preferred to queue and use the manual toll booths (New York Times, 2019).

Digital capability considers the users' skills to use technology features and how easy can they adapt to these new features. As well as the ease they have when using new mobile apps and interacting with new updates and wearable technology such as watches and earphones.

Proof that it works  

How can you trust what we’re saying will work? Well, Lego did something very similar to gain the coveted ‘Toy of the century’ award. They did this through using market segmentation and ensuring that they understood their different personas.    

The challenge that Lego faced was how to market their building bricks online, and more so, how to attract their audience. A member of their social media team suggested that the company was walled off from social media and they had to begin creating a social media presence. Lego wanted to transform the culture of their business. They wanted to build a relationship with their customers and possibly generate new ideas for products. But mainly, to better understand who their customers are.    

One of the first steps that Lego took was to create 6 personas based on their current users and their usage. The personas ranged from those who are highly involved with the products, for example, people who could help shape the future of the products, and people who have no experience at all with the Lego brand.  

Once they have clearly defined their personas, Lego then separated them into two larger groups so that they could understand which of their personas would be more receptive - Allowing them to understand who to focus their social media interaction on.

Lego interacted with the users that they knew would interact and engage with their brand online. These users online would share, respond and even give ideas freely to Lego. Social media allowed Lego to engage with brand ambassadors and help people remember the joy they had playing with Lego.  

Lego continues to ignite their customers passion and imagination, which is clear to see from their all in one policy which is “hey come on in, we’re all the same here, we’re just a bunch of people who love LEGO”. They don’t want to limit the users of their products, whether they are 4 years old or 99 years old, Lego is for everyone.

To get more information about how to create your personas and get a better understanding of who your consumers are, speak to our team today and arrange a call or a meeting. Let Creative Ideaz partner with you to help you #BeSuccessfulOnline.

Rav Sanghera

UX Researcher @ Creative Ideaz