The Keys to Persona Marketing

Posted on Jun 17, 2022 |

Ozzy Osbourne was born in 1948 and lives in a castle. Prince Charles was born in 1948 and lives in a castle. They’re both valid persona to market to BUT they are, er…well, different.


Persona and Personalisation

I use persona* marketing to personalise and make copy more emotional, for calls to action and promotions, plus a bit more, the conversion to a sale.

That’s the whole point of persona marketing, eh? Well, not quite. Persona are not one dimensional characters, they are fully formed and this is where creative writing comes in, the ability to produce living characters on the page, the screen and to appear as real people to appeal to and convert to your tribe.


Persona and Character Creation

This is what appeals to me. My creative writing comes into play for digital marketing, the persona are real people to me.

When you write a character anything can spark off the creation. Where you want to get to is the character having a life of their own. They are real. In my head, I can hear their voice. I’m not going to bog you down with all the elements of character creation, we want to get to the nub of the keys to persona marketing, don’t we?

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Keys to Character Creation

I’ll let you into a secret to creating characters. First, they are never based on a person; they are built from scratch. Second, once you let them loose, they WILL NEVER follow the plot you’ve mapped out for them.

Show not tell…

Characters should hide quite a lot of themselves, they are usually conflicted (it makes them interesting). When I say conflicted, I mean like you and me. Characters are never simple.

I’ve based characters on colours and which each colour stands for, you wouldn’t know that. Sometimes on cartoons. When I have a rough idea of them (never the name, the name comes last, why? Well, we all have a prejudice as to how a name dictates an action, witness the use of the character term ‘Karen.’). There’s more to that creation than that.

Let’s just say I have an idea of them. Next, I will ‘hot spot’ them (an acting technique), whereby I ask them a list of questions to see how they react.

I could go on but you’ll want to know the keys to persona creation, well…

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The Frictions and The Mental Shopping List

Each person / character is marked over four categories, in the main, what is the friction (that is would stop them from buying) and second what is their ‘mental shopping list?’

The characters are also marked with other ‘criteria’ which add up to make them rounded characters / persona.

A matrix is created and a score given for multiple factors (it varies depending on the business proposition). With the score you can see if they have anything in common and what each persona’s precise frictions are.

Anyway, once done you have, not the answer to your persona copywriting direction, but rather a benchmark (where to start) and you can test your copy, your call to actions, your features, your micro conversions and more besides. Then test again and supplement with other techniques like ‘panel data’.

I’ve developed this Marketing Persona Matrix over the years and seen the benefits.

I hope this gives you some insight to the keys to persona marketing, drop me a line if you would like to know more.

*If you feel like a little insight, search around terms like Persona + Japanese Anime, for a different angle or even look up ‘The Writer’s Journey’ by Christopher Vogler.


Jim Signature




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