Personas are fictitious people representing real customer groups, i.e., different types (e.g., most valuable, most loyal, most responsive – or the least valuable, etc.).
Most typically, personas are presented to decision makers as persona profiles, i.e., narrative representations of different kinds of users belonging to a particular demographic, behavior, and/or attitude involved in using a product, site, or brand.
Online advertising work refers to activities that online advertisers undertake in their typical work day.
Personas can help online advertising in their work. Here’s how:
- Segmentation refers to dividing the total available market into addressable constituents, i.e., segments. Here, we observe that persona is a segment with a name and a face. Hence, segmentation can be done in a persona-assisted manner, yielding personas as outcomes.
- Once segmentation is done, targeting follows; namely, advertisers select which segments to focus on. Here, a persona system can recommend specific personas to target, given an explicit goal such maximize reach, engagement, or sales.
- After targets are chosen, ad copywriting follows. Here, personas can help human advertisers or generative AI models to create ad headlines, texts, and even imagery personalized to the selected personas.
- After ad content has been created, advertisers proceed to campaign set-up. This means creating the campaigns in the ad platform and configuring the settings. Here, personas can provide a structure; i.e., campaigns can be organized by personas, ensuring that the naming and targeting criteria match the personas.
- This then yields an advantage in the next stage which is optimization; i.e., making decisions based on the results. Namely, once campaigns are running, they start to generate data; if the data is organized by personas, it becomes easier for an algorithm (or a human) to adjust budget allocation given the actual marketing performance of a given persona.
Ideas here are based on academic research: Kaate, Ilkka, Salminen, Joni, Jung, Soon-gyo, Olkkonen, Rami, and Jansen, Bernard J. (2023). How Can Intelligent Persona Features Support Online Advertising Work? In the Proceedings of The Sixteenth International Conference on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions. IARIA, p. 65-67. Venice, Italy. ISBN: 978-1-68558-078-0.
Curious to do your Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral thesis on personas? Contact me for collaboration opportunities and research topics: Dr. Joni Salminen, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.