Ellie on 'Buying personas: putting a face to data'

Buying Personas: Putting a face to data

We all like to put a face to a name, so why are brands not putting faces to their customer data? Recently, a client mentioned how the paid adverts he sees on Instagram stories are irrelevant and he swipes straight past. On the other hand, I frequently spend time viewing paid adverts and clicking through to websites from targeted advertising. I know full well that these adverts have been targeted to reach my exact personal profile - from my age, location, likes and interests and shopping habits - and yet I continue to engage with these adverts and often purchase products. The jury may be out on whether Facebook should be collecting and using data in such a manner, but I for one am willing to hold my hands up and admit that if the result is more personalised advertising which may interest me, I am on board.

This leaves open the question as to why paid social transforms awareness and traffic for some brands whilst fails dramatically for others. The answer? It is simple, really. As well as a well executed paid social strategy, brands must invest in ensuring that they have clear buyer personas, backed up by market research and competitor analysis.

This is the first major hurdle where marketeers entering into the world of paid social are falling down. Traditional marketing has looked to customer data to understand buying patterns and inform future campaigns, and the role of buying personas in the paid social sphere is no different.

Brands cannot expect to understand their target audience and predict how they will receive advertising without knowing who they are talking to. Buying personas help brands to streamline endless data and focus their social marketing strategies to get to know your customer better. After all, when you can spend your valuable marketing budget talking to an audience who may become your next loyal customers, why wait?

Louise Rumball