co Persona Marketing: Can A Small Business Pull It Off? |

You don’t hear about it much, but persona marketing has a lot of potential online, even for small businesses. Video marketing will soon take off like a rocket and already there are companies that are starting to sell animated spokesmodels for websites. You land on a site and a human image pops up, sometimes the image of the website owner herself, and starts talking to you in plain language. What if that spokesmodel, however, was a fiction character – a persona?

We all remember the character Jeeves, formerly of Ask Jeeves, which is now simply Ask.com. Jeeves was a character, a persona. Unfortunately, he didn’t stick around long. He was cute, but many Ask searchers found him annoying and he finally retired.

Persona marketing is all about the brand. There have been instances when personas in marketing, or entertainment, online worked. LonelyGirl15 was one such example. While there were some critical elements to the show, it proved to be a successful marketing ploy for the target market. What if that kind of persona marketing were used for a small business trying to reach its target market in a clear, creative manner?

Persona marketing is not about being deceptive. It is about communicating values and a real, valuable message to a target audience. The key is in finding a persona that your target market can relate to. If you are marketing to teenage girls, use a teenage girl persona. If you are marketing to senior men then your persona should perhaps be a senior man. He can be a fictional character like Jeeves and LonelyGirl15 or he can be a real person assuming a role like so many TV commercials. Either way, there has to be a creative element to the mix in order to reach the intended target market and get them to watch and listen.

How creative can marketing professionals get?