With an increasing amount of brand engagement conducted via websites and other digital platforms, Rowland’s digital and data team has been working with a number of business to segment audiences and consider how this insight relates to the design and implementation of digital content and marketing efforts.
A full analysis is included in our 2020 Digital Marketing Report, but to follow are the key considerations in understanding your online personas.
Start with segmentation
Segments exist to categorise various types of audiences/customers. The segment groups often follow traditional data groups such as
- demographic information — age, race, profession
- psychographic information — buying behaviour, lifecycle stages, attitudes
- geographic information
Segments will only get you so far
Segments help group audiences and are drivers to achieve business strategy but do have limitations when it comes to deep rooted psychographic behaviours.
Personas are, for all intents and purposes, a way to map commonality in beliefs, needs, motivators and the overall audience engagement with your brand, from offline to online and beyond.
While web analytics confirms information at a segment level, understanding your brand’s personas requires a deeper level of character profiling based on some typical ‘roles’.
What are typical persona roles?
For many B2B brands, personas often centre around researchers, decision-makers, purchasers and validators. Some will show bias, others will be finance-driven while many will be analytical in their approach.
Once you understand who your typical business personas are, and how the interact with your business and each other, you will need to validate if they are using your channels as you expect. This will often be tested using hypotheses about website trends (e.g. user flow, time of day, etc.) and adjusted to reflect the changed needs of the audience groups.
To understand more about how to create and react to digital personas, read our full report here.