July 19, 2023

In the age of personalization, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start.

In the age of personalization, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. There are so many avenues to take when trying to engage and connect with your audience, but it starts with understanding who you’re talking to... and why. 

Personas are at the heart of personalization – literally (persona-lization). Ultimately, a persona is a broad characterization of a subset of your audience. It’s finding similarities between a group, and digging into what that group cares about, products they adopt, and the concerns, wants and needs they have. Grouping personas can happen in so many different ways, but we like to take a data-driven approach that also aligns with business goals. 

Overwhelmed? Yea, I don’t blame you – let's give an example. 

Let’s say that you want to lower the average age of your customer base, in other words, your  business goal is ultimately to get younger. Great! The first step you will want to take is to define “younger” - are you trying to get Gen Alpha, or just increase customers in Gen Z and Gen Y? Maybe all three? If it’s all three, then you should make three personas, one of each: Gen Alpha, Gen Z, and Gen Y. Now that you have it defined (roughly), the next step is understanding how these generations engage with your institution today – and what do they look like in your market? What social media platforms do they use, how do they research, what products do they have and not have?  

We know, it’s a lot of questions, but all of them are aimed at giving you a 360 view of these personas, how you engage with them today, and a path forward for how to personalize your efforts to attract and retain them. 

Of course, this is just one approach. Perhaps yours is focused on Growth, Retain, and Maintain markets, or around product types, or even generalizing consumers and really digging into your commercial audience broken out around COI types. The ways to tackle this are endless... but really it needs to support what your long-term strategic objectives are. 

This is just the first step of course... next up is customer journey mapping, which is the long-hard look in the mirror that many of us need. It’s the chance to evaluate the holistic journey each persona takes to become a customer, what it’s like to be a customer, and most importantly, why they leave.