What Everybody Ought to Know About Persona Marketing!
Have you ever heard the song Love Locked Down by Kanye West? You’ve probably heard it once, and then ended up singing the song for the rest of the day. Today, musicians and entertainers not only have to be talented, but also resourceful. They must create products that are easily marketed, and yes infectious. It is common knowledge that millions of dollars are wasted each year on unsuccessful marketing campaigns. Virtually all of these campaigns are well funded, well executed, and well managed. Sadly, many of them are missing one central element, persona marketing. Persona marketing, when done correctly can bring about astounding results with little or no money.
Beyoncé is perhaps the best example of someone who has mastered persona marketing. She executed this technique by using only word of mouth to market her featured video album, Beyoncé. Kanye West executed a similar strategy by displaying his New Slaves video on the face of brownstone buildings all over the world. Some conservative managers will write off these marketing tactics as gimmicky. However, in a crowded market, with a great deal of noise, we have to find more effective ways to reach our end consumer. Al Ries and Jack Trout touch on the increasing difficulties that marketers face in their book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. The first of the 22 immutable laws of marketing deals strictly with persona marketing. By learning this rule you’ll be able to craft effective marketing campaigns with little or no money.
The law of leadership: It is better to be first than it is to be better.
It’s dangerous to be the first one on the water. In fact, when I first started blogging people warned me about being too different. They advised me to copy someone else’s strategy and make little tweaks as needed. Sadly, many people have the “me too” mentality. They think that they can just copy their competitors and convince their consumers that they’re better. This is a big mistake. Consumers already have an idea of what they want in a brand, product, or service. In fact, they already have a prototype designed in their head. Marketing managers must work to come as close to the consumer’s ideal prototype as possible. Of course, they have to do this through persona marketing.
Once they do this, they will be able to win over their consumers and gain brand loyalty. They become first in the minds of their customers. So when a customer thinks about getting a soda, automatically he’ll grab a Coke. Once a consumer is loyal to a brand it becomes virtually impossible to change their minds. There is a great deal of risk in change, and people simply won’t do it if all of their needs are being met. We can see this with popular brands with cult followings such as Apple and Harley Davidson. It is important to understand that copying your competitors is a bad idea. It’s like flying on standby; you waste a great deal of time and energy waiting for your competitors to fail. And even if they do fail, chances are, their consumers will still be loyal.
You need to find a profitable niche.
David Meerman Scott in his book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR states that the big firms have spent billions on marketing and branding. Brands like Coca Cola, IBM, and Miller Light have had a significant head start and thus are first in the minds of many consumers. However, their one-size fits all approach usually doesn’t appeal to everyone. This gives small businesses and busy professionals the chance to craft out their own niche. If they can’t be first in a major category, they can be first in a sub-category. Charles Schwab didn’t open a better brokerage firm. He opened the first discount brokerage firm. Lear’s was not the first woman’s magazine. It was the first magazine for the mature woman.
How do you carve out a successful niche?
My process starts with helping you understand your biggest competitors. Many of them have a blanket approach to marketing and branding and thus neglect a significant portion of their market share. Through persona marketing, I am able to study the demographics and research how people buy, what they buy, and what they’re most passionate about. Then, I design a product or service around the consumer’s needs.
You need to penetrate your niche and be sure that your message is infectious.
Beyoncé’s song, Single Ladies was geared to appeal to the growing number of single women and mothers in the United States. Kanye West’s song New Slaves was targeted toward fanatics who were enthralled with occult studies and the New World Order. The Macintosh was designed for computer illiterate people who just wanted a desktop that they could plug in and go. Fortunately, many of these niches can be easily penetrated because the markets are underserved. If you strive to meet these consumers’ unfulfilled needs, they’ll not only love you for it. But they will also become your fans for life.