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Brand identity – creating personas that bring your message to life

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by Caterina Sullivan, on 22nd August, 2016

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While some consumer products have fairly obvious ‘hooks’ that will quickly interest a target audience, others present a different challenge. There are a few ways that businesses bring dry topics to life through their marketing. One only has to switch on daytime TV to see that celebrity endorsement is a popular advertising option, but there can be a real disconnect between a pampered star and the target audience. After all, how many of our lives mirror those we see on screen? Little surprise then that the creation of a persona that is just like real customers is an interesting prospect.

For Tammy Sherwood, who manages marketing for medication management experts MPS Australia, there was a need to help pharmacies embark on an often difficult conversation with patients and carers.

“All of the leading research available reports a large number of our aging population are on more than five medications a day, but pharmacy staff across our network found it difficult to initiate discussions about management options.  It is a sensitive subject,” said Tammy.

These patients taking several medications stand to extend their independence, reduce risk of medication-related incidents and discover improved convenience from the easy packaging solutions that MPS offers.

MPS elected to engage RAW Marketing to conduct independent market research in order to truly understand their customers. This research was, said Tammy Sherwood, an essential part of the process and resulted in RAW’s recommendation to create a collection of customer persona to illustrate the advantages on offer.

“The program was done in a staged process. First the research and analysis, then developing the personas for our retail consumer strategy, which then organically fed into a sales tool-kit for pharmacy network staff.  Now we have just brought our personas to life with in-store video assets.”

Specifically, the research allowed for the creation of four personas that were very real to the pharmacies, and to the people at MPS. Introduced were characters Bob, Mary, Harry and Jenny.  Each is typical of people that pharmacies encounter every day.

“When we talk to pharmacists, they quickly connect the personas with real people, real customers. In a room of ten staff, at least one will say, ‘Mr Jones is our Harry,’” said Sherwood.

Feedback from the pharmacies has been very positive, and the conversation openers, part of the tool-kit, has helped them to increase their revenue while offering a service that makes a real difference to their target market.

The personas have, said Sherwood, helped to get maximum value from the market research investment. “We feel like we’ve got the research and wrung it out for all it’s worth – we’ve really got our money’s worth by putting the findings into practice.”

Getting the business to support the campaign was essential, but Sherwood said management and staff warmed to the personas quickly. “Everybody in our organisation knows them – they are a part of our family now.”

From a business perspective, Sherwood has the satisfaction of knowing that her marketing activity has impacted on the bottom line. “We’ve had more growth in community customers than we ever had before.”

Yet to Sherwood, the ultimate test of the personas was the way that customers related to them. “We want to improve Australians’ quality of life by reducing medication incidents – if the personas help to do this, we are successful.”

For more about insightful market research and creating personas that connect, contact the team at RAW.

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