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Persona.  At first thought, persona seems like a simple item to address in focusing on the target audience of your product, service, or brand.  It’s not the act of simply creating  imaginary characteristics based on stereotypes.  Rather it’s an involved process of researching the demographics, psychographics, and technographics of your target audience.

Asking essential questions is the place to start.  Who is your message designed to reach?  Who would your product or service benefit?  Who would be purchasing your brand?  Humanizing a target audience will help your business identify and connect with the segment you are reaching out to.

Moving away form the act of making arbitrary decisions about what you and your company “thinks” is the best action to take.  Moving towards the goal of determining what your target audience wants, needs, and expectations from your service, product, or brand is a step in the right direction.

Through research with supporting statistics, locate and determine who your targeted persona is.  Looking at the age, gender, careers, goals, interests, struggles, and individuality all combine together to create a story which further identifies a specific persona.  Once all of the details have been finalized and firmed up, your persona will be a strong representation of who your company needs to reach out to and connect with.

In a graduate seminar class and my social media marketing class, the discussion of personas has been a topic of interest.  No longer is it effective to make assumptions regarding the needs of your target audience.  Rather taking the time to listen, research, and determine the characteristics of users of your product or service will bring greater success to your marketing strategies.

Often times there will be an overlap of the personas and their characteristics.  This overlap will further assist in determining the relationships amongst the variety of personas.  This overlap is a commonality is a shared goal amongst your target audience – your product, service, or brand.