Understanding the Persona Advantage

Beneath the Cover, writing a book, Persona Architecture, uncovery processIn my last post, we looked at two scenarios to help you understand how knowing who your customer is on a personal level can lead to a deeper engagement with that audience. Here and in the next few posts we’ll look at the four basic personas.

People have been interested in the correlation between personality types and human behavior for thousands of years. As early as 400 BC, the early physician Hippocrates noted that there were four basic types of people (he was also said to have been the first person who believed that diseases are caused naturally, not because of superstition and gods). In his treatise, On Airs, Water and Places, Hippocrates classified people as being one of four types: Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Melancholic. While the names of these four personality types have changed through the years, the basic theory holds true. It remains relevant to your life and business today.

Persona Architecture takes the theory behind personality types and makes it applicable to your everyday operations. To help you understand and apply personas in your business, and how we work with our clients during our uncovery process so that they arrive at a better sense of who their audience is, let’s walk through the critical components of personas.

After compiling all the nuts and bolts of a persona – age, residence, education, marital status, income, interests, needs, longings, goals – the portion of this process that makes the persona come to life is the scenario.

The scenario or narrative of a persona is like a quick synopsis of a person’s life story. The scenario covers important life events that shape a person’s wants, needs and motivations. The scenario is, to use a Hollywood term, the back story of a person’s life. It explains what makes him or her tick, and in explaining this and outlining or drafting the narrative of these needs, wants and motivations, we help our clients arrive at a story in which the persona feels like a real person.

The ability to connect to your audience through your copy, your products and your marketing with people you’ve never met or spoken with will set you apart from your competition. Personas give you that advantage.

People crave that connection today. Before they will trust you to solve their problems, they want to feel like you know who they are, that you know their concerns and that you understand them.

We’ll continue to explore this going forward.

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