I really like to give people thoughtful, personalized gifts. I think it’s the moment that someone opens the gift and their reaction that motivates me. I can always tell when someone feels so-so about a gift. The whole lotion and/or candle duo has never been enough.
When I want to give a good gift, I start by brainstorming everything I know about what a person is interested in. Most of the time my greatest ideas come from thinking about the little things – what makes them really excited, what gives them unexpected joy, their quirks.
It’s not as much knowing the person’s age, gender, job, and/or where they live. If I went based on that, I’d be getting people generic gifts anyone could give. My intention is to give a gift that’s truly special. If all the gifts were opened without knowing the givers, then my gift would still be connected to me, because it’s an extension of my personality and style.
Marketers can achieve the positive reaction I’m going for with gift giving when they know their audiences well. When marketers with strong brands make meaningful connections with their audiences, they are able to “give” in a way that’s distinct to their brand.
Know Your Audience
When you know more about your audience, you’re more likely to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right people. You’re more likely to create experiences that people enjoy. You’re more likely to create experiences that are memorable and shareable. When you don’t know your audience well, you’re basically the person who gives out gift cards for every occasion. Sure, it’s nice, but it’s completely replaceable and unmemorable. Brands need to deliver unique experiences to specific audiences.
What Personas Are
So how do you do that? First, you need to know who your audiences are. This is where personas come in. Personas are a representation of a user based off of quantitative and qualitative research. They give marketers a better picture of who they’re talking to.
Personas work best when they provide actionable information. What’s actionable information? Well, it depends on your brand, your industry, your offering, your brand strategy, what channels you’re using, etc. Actionable personas have information that helps you decide how to market to them. Actionable personas guide strategy and can help you make decisions.
Personas should help you decide:
• Key messaging
• Voice and tone
• Messaging channels
• Messaging timing
• Messaging frequency
• Messaging format
How Personas Help
For example, if you’re talking to people who are aged 40+, you’re probably not going to be talking to them on Snapchat. However, if you’re demographic is under 25 years of age, you’re most likely going to want to use Snapchat (unless you’ve found your audience is anti-Snapchat for some reason).
Does your audience like short-form content that’s highly visual or do they like to sink their teeth into long reads? You might find that highly visual content, like Instagram posts, work a lot better. Or you might find your audience craves 2,000-word blog posts. Does your audience appreciate simple, jargon-free language, or does that make them feel talked down to? Does your audience appreciate dry humor? How much can you joke with them before they get offended? What’s their day-to-day life like? Are they able to tune in to constant social updates or are they only able to get online once or twice a day? Are they active on the weekends?
You don’t know until you do your research.