For a moment, let us forget about numbers like clicks, CTRs, CPCs and CPAs or demographic data like age range, income-levels, geography, et al. Instead, let us focus on your audience, or to be more precise, the people you are selling your products and services to. After all, your customer is, and should be, the center of your advertising universe.

How do you see your audience

Let’s say you are an advertiser for baby clothes, you would probably want to target your online ads to young moms. So why would she want to buy baby clothes from you online? To answer this question, we should take a look at her personality and her activities during the day.

She would probably be around 26-32 years of age and married. She is extremely fond of her baby and makes a lot of effort to keep the baby healthy and safe. For this, she is on the constant lookout for the best baby products available. She seeks advice from her friends who’ve had babies and her relatives, of course, would be giving her advice even without her asking! Today’s Young Mom also uses the online space to get more knowledge on baby-care and read reviews on baby products. So this is why there is a very good probability that she will buy baby clothes online as well, as long as she’s assured that the product is of good quality, a trustworthy brand and affordable.

Now when you try to reach this audience on an online ad channel like Facebook or Google Display Network, the targeting options would probably make the ‘Young Mom’ look like this – {Age:26-32; Gender: Female; Interest: Baby Products…}. Does this completely represent the real ‘Young Mom’ persona we’ve been describing?  Targeting audience using only demographic data like age, gender and location can give you a wide audience set, many of whom may or may not be interested in your products. But in order to reach a more relevant audience set, you need something else that defines the persona, that is, the reason WHY there is an intent for the persona to buy your product. This is where psychographic targeting comes in.

What are Psychographics and how do they help

Psychographics are indicators of one’s interests, behaviour, attitudes and opinions which help in understanding the reason why a persona may / may not buy a particular product. Psychographic data, when combined with demographic data, can give you an almost complete picture of the persona and also help you choose the kind of products that can appeal to this persona.

Psychographic targeting parameters for a persona are defined by a psychological tendency for a group of people to behave in a certain manner or be attracted to similar things. So for a Young Mom, the psychographic parameters would include an affinity to explore resources that give her knowledge about how to take care of her baby. On the online space, the indicators for defining the psyche of a persona would include past browsing activity, activity within website, past purchase history, claimed interests in social networking pages and other such data. Psychographic data, thus collected and pieced together, can give a very good insight as to what kind of products a particular persona might be interested in or capable of purchasing.

Let us see how psychographic data can estimate the purchasing capacity of a persona by taking the same ‘Young Mom’ example. What else can we infer about this persona just based on their income levels?

Consider the ‘Young Mom’ is from a middle class background. She probably had to stop working to be a stay-at-home mom since she’s too busy taking care of her baby. This would have caused a strain on the family’s income, and therefore, she would be on the lookout for good deals and discounts that don’t pinch the wallet much. If the ‘Young Mom’ belongs to a high-income background, an entirely different story is possible. She probably could afford to hire a nanny to take care of her child when she’s not at home and she has enough disposable income to purchase premium range baby products. By examining psychographic data like past purchase history and adding it to other demographic and psychographic data, you can now distinguish between these two types of ‘Young Mom’ personas and craft your ad messaging based on their individual requirements.

More examples

Here’s an example of an advertiser who wants to sell Acme mobile services over the online space. Mobile services can appeal to a number of different audience personas, so let us consider the following three cases:

Persona 1: Gadget Guru

Persona 2: Young Mobile Maniacs

Persona 3: Flamboyant Talking Toms

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These guys just love gadgets. They do everything on their fancy gadgets on the go. They stream videos, listen to music, catch the news, etc., online.

These guys just got into college. A cellphone in their hands is their newest fad. Having said that, getting to pocket money to cough up a huge mobile bill is a problem. Hence, they keep it simple.

These guys have a large circle of friends and hence they have the biggest phone bills. They’re a flamboyant lot that go out a lot, are on instant messaging services all the time, sharing videos all the time.

An advantage of properly identifying and describing a persona suited for your products is that the task of creating your ad message becomes much easier. That is, when you know the intent and the psyche of a persona, you can tailor your message so that it appeals to the persona. Now that we know what the personas are like, let’s take a look at what kind of messaging would work for them.

Persona 1: Gadget Guru

Persona 2: Young Mobile Maniacs

Persona 3: Flamboyant Talking Toms

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Here’s another example, in this case, we consider a travel company that offers different kinds of holiday solutions. Let us look at some personas that can be targeted by this company and the messaging that would appeal to these personas.

Persona 1: Travel Enthusiast

Persona 2: Easy-going Worker

Persona 3: Honeymooners

He just loves traveling! For him, taking a trip is like eating a meal. Tell him let’s go and he’ll be ready. He loves exploring the mountains, the beaches, the local cuisine and everything that comes with traveling.

These guys like things simple. They want everything cleared and ready for them with minimum hassle. They like things to be ready made, easy to pick up and just bounce off with.

These guys are engaged and about to be married soon. They need a fully planned holiday so they have to fuss over nothing! They are tired with all the wedding planning and just need the time to relax and grow fonder of each other.

Game, set and match! This does make the task of setting the right ad message easy doesn’t it?

Online advertising offers you a number of channels for reaching out to your audience. By using a persona-based approach towards advertising, you need not worry about what channel you are advertising on. ‘Young Mom’ on Facebook remains ‘Young Mom’ on Google Display Network. The trick is to customize your targeting parameters to reach the required persona on all these channels. (Learn about our PersonaAds platform that takes care of all the targeting by itself across channels here)

As an advertiser, you know your audience the best and why they would buy your products. By leveraging this intelligence you have on your target audience personas and by planning your campaigns and messaging with the persona as the primary focus, you are sure to garner an amazing response to your campaigns. At the end of the day, it is not the numbers, but the customer who is the king!

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