Corporate communications and marketing

Ditching outdated personas for real-world examples

August 2021 6 min read Written by Papirfly

In this article, you’ll learn…

  • Why demographic-driven customer personas are out of date
  • Different types of personality-driven customer persona
  • How to structure your content strategy to meet these personalities

At the heart of great content marketing is a strong understanding of who your audience is. What do they do? Where do they go? How do they shop? What do they care about? Having solid answers to these questions is a big boost to your attempts to convince customers about your brand.

Customer personas have been a tried-and-tested technique that marketing teams have relied on to find these answers. Yet, even today many of these personas are grounded in factors such as age, gender, location, occupation, etc.

This isn’t to say that demographics don’t hold any weight in forming a content strategy. However it is possible to get too tied to these factors, which can lead to sweeping statements like:

  • “Millennials really want…”
  • “People from this town care about…”
  • “Teachers want to see…”

These generalisations ignore the incredibly diverse personalities that exist within each of these categories. So, for content marketing to really hit home with prospective customers, it is better to actually work with identifiable, real-world personality traits, and build your strategies around their patterns of behaviour.

To help you get started, here we will define seven updated customer personas based on a key characteristic, personality and actions, and how you can influence them with content across their sales journey with your brand.

Short on time? Download our cheat sheet to read later:

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#1 - The activist

The activist consumer has really emerged in the past couple of decades, as more and more people take a keen interest in the values, actions and stances of today’s brands. Companies can no longer stay neutral on major debates if they want to engage with this customer – and their content must reflect that.

Who are they?

  • Care about the values and ethics of brands
  • Long memories for any misgivings
  • Slow to build trust, but then fiercely loyal

Approach to buying

  • Examine a brand’s ‘about’ pages
  • Seek out third-party reviews
  • Care about how products are made

Your content strategy

  • Focus on strong value-based pages and resources
  • Share core value content on social media and other campaigns
  • Highlight your customers and employees’ experiences
  • Take a stance on significant news and events

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#2 - The bargain hunter

As the name suggests, the bargain hunter’s biggest priority is sniffing out a great deal. Discounts, limited-time offers, competitions – these spur their interest and get them excited above all else.

Who are they?

  • Prioritise cost, value and ROI over quality
  • Prone to making impulse purchases
  • Challenging to build brand loyalty with

Approach to buying

  • More likely to shop online
  • Will browse price comparison websites
  • Drawn to discounts, vouchers, free shipping, etc.

Your content strategy

  • Track your competitors’ prices
  • Maintain a flow of special offers to your audience
  • Encourage sign-ups with promises of bespoke special offers

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#3 - The time-sensitive shopper

The world today is more on-demand than ever – every movie and TV show you could ever want on Netflix, next-day delivery from Amazon, instant connections through Tinder. Whether it’s due to having to handle a ton of responsibilities at work and home, or living an active and varied lifestyle, time-sensitive shoppers don’t stay focused on a brand for long… unless you give them a reason…

Who are they?

  • Their free time is sparse and precious
  • Have short attention spans
  • Care about getting what they need when they want it

Approach to buying

  • Don’t appreciate being sold to
  • Respond to interactive, short-form content
  • Less inclined to research all possibilities

Your content strategy

  • Stick to simple, concise, clear messaging early
  • Split up content to make it easy to digest
  • Personalise content to connect with individuals

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#4 - The researcher

Unlike the time-sensitive shopper, the researcher is willing to devote plenty of time and effort into finding everything they can about a brand and what it offers. They will search far and wide to reach a solid consensus over which companies they will get behind.

Who are they?

  • Devote time to comparing brands, products and services
  • Look at cost, quality, production, brand values, etc.
  • Conduct research both online and in-store

Approach to buying

  • Browse online reviews, testimonials, etc.
  • Appreciate long-form content and want the full details
  • Buy from brands with depth

Your content strategy

  • Present in-depth information on product/service pages
  • Create FAQs, white papers, guides, feature comparisons, etc.
  • Encourage reviews and feedback from existing customers
  • Develop a range of in-store branded materials

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#5 - The fence-sitter

Indecisive, pensive, non-committal – the fence-sitter is more cautious and doubtful than the other customers found in this list. They take a fair amount of convincing before they will pledge themselves to a brand, but your content can help you overcome that blockade.

Who are they?

  • Really need to understand a product/service before committing
  • Will talk to others before making a decision
  • Cautious when building trust with a brand

Approach to buying

  • Visit websites multiple times before buying anything
  • Check through ratings, reviews and other feedback
  • Can be spurred on by limited-time offers

Your content strategy

  • Use high-quality video content that emphasises your brand
  • Develop informative downloads to address any doubts
  • Lean heavily on social-proof content

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#6 - The pioneer

The early-adopters. The trend-setters. There’s nothing a pioneer loves more than getting involved with a product, service or brand before it goes mainstream. They want to know what sets your brand apart from the crowd, and settle for nothing less than special.

Who are they?

  • Seek out independent, niche brands
  • Frequently review products and services
  • Generally wealthier than other consumers
  • Risk-takers and optimists

Approach to buying

  • Look for emerging brands on forums or social media
  • Prioritise the potential of a product over cost and current quality
  • Care about a brand’s story and journey

Your content strategy

  • Share news and developments on social media
  • Produce content audiences can engage with
  • Highlight your company’s story in videos
  • Attract user-generated content where possible

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#7 - The enthusiast

Say it quietly, but the enthusiast is every brand’s favourite customer. The ones that provide repeat business. Advocate your service. Refer you to their friends. But because they’re already loyal does that mean you can safely ignore them to pursue no business? Absolutely not!

Who are they?

  • Devoted loyalty towards your brand
  • Will often share your content on their platforms
  • Recommend your products/services to friends

Approach to buying

  • Expect special treatment for their loyalty
  • Have their ‘go-to’ products and services
  • Don’t need to learn more about your brand

Your content strategy

  • Feature their experiences in your marketing
  • Send them personalised content and offers
  • Produce community-driven campaigns

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Getting content to your customers on brand, every time

Focusing your content strategy on the unique characteristics and personalities of today’s customers is key to forging and maintaining strong relationships with your audience. We hope that this insight into several standout customer types will make a difference in how effective and engaging your content is moving forward.

Of course, while it’s important to vary your content based on consumer characteristics, some things about content production will always remain true. It must be high-quality. It must be consistent. And it must be on-brand.

BAM by Papirfly™ helps you fulfil these core requirements so you can produce an extensive range of content to capture the imaginations of as many of these customer types as possible.

  • Create an infinite amount of marketing collateral in-house, with minimal training required
  • Bespoke, intelligent templates ensure that asset creation is simple and there is no risk of going off-brand
  • Easily adapt campaign materials, text and imagery for your global audiences

Embrace the future of marketing today – discover the full possibilities of BAM by arranging your own personal demo, or get in touch with our team.

by Papirfly

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