When attempting to create an effective message in any media – electronic, print, or verbal -- efficacy can be increased by the use of personas.Personas entered the scene in the 90’s and have become increasingly utilized by marketing professionals in the senior living industry.The concept fits well with our adult child clientele shopping for a parent as well as the older adults shopping for themselves.
WHAT IS A PERSONA?
A persona is not a person but a representative of a group that has similarities in situation, interests, and behavior. An adult child persona could be that of a daughter looking for a care level for a parent(s). Or, the persona could be the female adult child who noticed a decline in her parent’s health, so she is attempting to be proactive in seeking some long term solution to future needs. The first situation is an acute situation requiring a quick solution. The latter remains time-imperative, but the solution may not be immediate. The messaging should be different for each of these personas.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR PERSONAS?
“Put yourself in their shoes” when presenting to your customer.We often try to empathize with the difficulty of moving, adjusting to a series of losses, and forecasting the future with its possible complications.Such a strategy is the precursor of identifying and defining personas.
- Think about how your customers fit into similar groups with similar needs, situations, questions and need for solutions.
- Drill down to see if the original groups can be segmented to yet another distinct level.
- Put yourself in the shoes of that persona and identify the following:
- Who is it? Typical age, gender, marital status, occupation, life situation
- What is/are their differentiator(s)?
- What motivates them to action?What are their needs and desires?
- What is their general attitude toward your product?
- What action does this persona take in seeking information?
- What is their style of decision making? Personal contact? Email? Fast or slow?
ADAPTING THE MESSAGE
Identifying personas will help you to recognize the unique behaviors of your customers. Each persona is unique and should be met with a different form of messaging. Once you have identified each persona, create an intentional response pattern for each persona or group. For instance, electronic messaging may be more effective with adult children since they are seeking a quick solution and are technologically savvy. Electronic messaging should be mixed with other media to connect with older adults, some of whom fall behind their tech-savvy children.
The key is to consciously identify your customers or customer groups and increase your effectiveness by marketing to each in different ways.
Contact us today to learn more.
Related Blog Articles in Series
- Your website is the new first impression.
- Who is seaching for your website part 1.
- Who is seaching for your website part 2.
- Differing requirements.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.