2015: The Year of Personas
For years this message took the form of a physical card, sent via the USPS. As communication channels and formats expanded, however, we adapted our “card” to reflect new methods of communication. Throughout the years, we’ve created animations, experimented with gamification, and shot videos.
Though the form factor changed, the inspiration for the card remained the same: Our holiday card reflects the ideas and trends we’ve seen in the market throughout the year. And for us, 2015 has been the Year of the Persona.
Personas, audience profiles, user types, and so on have been used for years to define and document the concerns, wants, and behaviors of a target audience. Which, in turn, helps you create content that addresses their needs. That’s not new. What was new this year, however, was the dramatic increase in conversations about persona creation and personalized content.
It’s their world, we’re just marketing in it.
We couldn’t be happier to see the conversation shift in this direction. We believe this is part of a larger trend by major brands that being obsessed with customers and their interests and concerns is a winning strategy. So whether it’s the widespread adoption of content management systems and marketing automation systems that enable and support personalized content, or the increased pressure marketers are facing to justify expense, personas and persona-based content has been on our clients’ minds all year. And it’s not just us. According to a poll from the CMO Council, higher response and engagement rates are the top reason to use personalized content. Other benefits included more timely and relevant interactions, and greater customer affinity and word-of-mouth.
To celebrate the Year of the Persona, we created a set of holiday personas. Inspired by some strong personalities in the office and backed by rigorous and wide-ranging research, these fictional characters represent how our team, our friends and family, and our clients behave during the holiday season.
Check them out—we hope you recognize yourself or your colleagues in this mix. And let us know how we did. Did we forget a key persona? Ignore an important audience segment? Email us and perhaps we’ll add them to the list.