Personifying Consumers Through Millions of Social Conversations
For decades marketers have attempted to personify their shoppers and consumers in order to “classify” them into groups to enhance their ability to reach, message, motivate and ultimately convert them into customers. The challenge has been to gather the intelligence and insight necessary to develop consumer classifications that were accurate and actionable in order to shape marketing and media plans, promotions, packaging and product placement.
Many marketers attempt to cobble together this information through sales data, survey results, focus group findings and sheer assumptions, but more often than not the resulting personas are manufactured and ultimately off-the-mark.
With the massive volume of consumer commentary through billions of daily posts across social networks and open-source channels, accurate, actionable consumer personas can now be constructed based on the actual self-identified comments of the consumers themselves. These personas can be incredibly detailed based on interests, life stage, lifestyles, activities, experiences and attitudes.
As an illustration, here is a breakdown of Disney consumer personas that dominate the Disney conversations across social media, constructed from nearly five millions consumer social conversations.
These personas, which only represent 66 percent of Disney’s social consumer base (there are other specific consumer personas not detailed in this example), illustrate each segments values, passions, desires and connections to the Disney brand. And the level of insight can get significantly more detailed around demographics, geographics, activities, interests, hobbies, etc.
Another illustration comes from 2.2 million social conversations on the Apple brand and products:
Within the dominant group, in this example, the “Brand Addicts,” 57 percent reveal a need to acquire new Apple product immediately. Many are not only “addicts,” but also evangelists for the brand, responsible for introducing new consumers to the Apple ecosystem.
Again, the specifics within these segments can become very specific and valuable. For example, tens of thousands “Brand Addicts” revealed putting off major expenditures, even delaying weddings, putting off monthly bills or deferring student loan payments, to purchase a new Apple product.
Today, with advanced social intelligence accurately identifying and personifying consumers has never been more powerful. Leading corporations are adopting this methodology to drive their product innovation, packaging, messaging, promotions, positioning, placement and ultimately their bottom line by delivering what the consumer wants based on their own requests, interests, activites and attitudes.
NOTE: The examples in this article are from the recently published Social Business Intelligence: Reducing Risk, Building Brands & Driving Growth with Social Media (191 pgs., hardcover, Ascendigm Press), written by a collaboration of academic and professional experts in social business intelligence field.
He's co-author of Social Business Intelligence: Reducing Risk, Building Brands & Driving Growth with Social Media and Avoiding #FAIL: Mitigating Risk, Managing Threats and Protecting the Corporation in the Age of Social Media.
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