You Should Know Me…

“One Size Fits No One”

A persona, in user-centered design and marketing is a fictional character created to represent a user type that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way (Wikipedia). Personas are fictional characters, which you create based upon your research in order to represent the different user types that might use your service, product, site, or brand in a similar way. Personas are also pivotal to crafting effective email marketing campaigns. Highly targeted emails get more opens, clicks, and engagement. Targeted emails are also more optimized for lead generation and likely to result in increased conversions. Creating personas will help you to understand your users’ needs, experiences, behaviors and goals. While personas do not describe real people, it is based on real data collected from multiple individuals. Personas add the human touch to what would largely remain cold facts in your research. When you create persona profiles of typical or atypical (extreme) users, it will help you to understand patterns in your research, which synthesises the types of people you seek to design for. Personas are also known as model characters or composite characters.

My Persona.

Personas provide meaningful archetypes which you can use to assess your design development against. Constructing personas will help you ask the right questions and answer those questions in line with the users you are designing for. For example, “How would Peter, Joe, and Jessica experience, react, and behave in relation to feature X or change Y within the given context?” and “What do Peter, Joe, and Jessica think, feel, do and say?” and “What are their underlying needs we are trying to fulfill?” You may ask “Why spend my time researching a Customer Persona?” The answer is: It ensures you aren’t making any uneducated guesses about the best ways to connect and engage with your potential customers – one of today’s biggest challenges is how to create engaging content. By developing your Customer Persona, you can save both time and money by targeting and focusing your marketing efforts. For example, if your persona spends the majority of their time on Instagram, developing a paid social media campaign will be a lot more effective than creating newspaper adverts. By understanding what your customer is looking for, what motivates them, and how they make their decisions, the marketing communications that you create will make your future client feel as though “Wow, this blog/ad/post was written just for me!”.

Getting to Know Me.

Remember, a Customer Persona:

  • Is fictitious – created by you!
  • Represents the key traits of a large segment of your audience
  • Is developed using your knowledge of real customers

How do you create a Persona?

Conducting research into your persona(s) can be achieved in a number of ways:

  1. Surveys: Use online survey software like Survey Monkey or ask questions through your social media channels.
  2. Interviews: When interacting with current customers, ask open ended questions. Whilst we all love a glowing report about our products and services, it’s also important that you learn how you can improve.
  3. Feedback: Speak with the staff who interact with your customers on a daily basis, either through answering the phone or in person. This will help you understand the challenges they face, allowing you to develop a realistic persona.
We Think Uniquely… We Want Different Things!

There are 10 steps to creating engaging personas. The 10 steps are an ideal process but sometimes it is not possible to include all the steps in a project. Here I’ve outlined the 10-step process as described by Lene Nielsen in her Interaction Design Foundation encyclopedia article, Personas.

1. Collect Data: Collect as much knowledge about the users as possible. Perform high-quality user research of actual users in your target user group. In Design Thinking, the research phase is the first phase, also known as the Empathise phase.

2. Form a Hypothesis: Based upon your initial research, you will form a general idea of the various users within the focus area of the project, including the ways users differ from one another – For instance, you can use Affinity Diagrams and Empathy Maps.

3. Everyone Accepts the Hypothesis: The goal is to support or reject the first hypothesis about the differences between the users. You can do this by confronting project participants with the hypothesis and comparing it to existing knowledge.

4. Establish a Number: You will decide upon the final number of personas, which it makes sense to create. Most often, you would want to create more than one persona for each product or service, but you should always choose just one persona as your primary focus.

5. Describe the Personas: The purpose of working with personas is to be able to develop solutions, products and services based upon the needs and goals of your users. Be sure to describe personas in a such way so as to express enough understanding and empathy to understand the users.

  • You should include details about the user’s education, lifestyle, interests, values, goals, needs, limitations, desires, attitudes, and patterns of behaviour. 
  • Add a few fictional personal details to make the persona a realistic character.
  • Give each of your personas a name.
  • Create 1–2-pages of descriptions for each persona.

6. Prepare Situations or Scenarios for Your Personas: This engaging persona method is directed at creating scenarios that describe solutions. For this purpose, you should describe a number of specific situations that could trigger use of the product or service you are designing. In other words, situations are the basis of a scenario. You can give each of your personas life by creating scenarios that feature them in the role of a user. Scenarios usually start by placing the persona in a specific context with a problem they want to or have to solve.

7. Obtain Acceptance from the Organisation: It is a common thread throughout all 10 steps that the goal of the method is to involve the project participants. As such, as many team members as possible should participate in the development of the personas, and it is important to obtain the acceptance and recognition of the participants of the various steps. In order to achieve this, you can choose between two strategies: You can ask the participants for their opinion, or you can let them participate actively in the process.

8. Disseminate Knowledge: In order for the participants to use the method, the persona descriptions should be disseminated to all. It is important to decide early on how you want to disseminate this knowledge to those who have not participated directly in the process, to future new employees, and to possible external partners. The dissemination of knowledge also includes how the project participants will be given access to the underlying data.

9. Everyone Prepares Scenarios: Personas have no value in themselves, until the persona becomes part of a scenario – the story about how the persona uses a future product – it does not have real value.

10. Make Ongoing Adjustments: The last step is the future life of the persona descriptions. You should revise the descriptions on a regular basis. New information and new aspects may affect the descriptions. Sometimes you would need to rewrite the existing persona descriptions, add new personas, or eliminate outdated personas.

Once you have a clear profile for your ideal client–a good buyer persona–you’ll find it easier to scout, study and comprehend their problems and motivations. A better understanding of their pain points will let you frame email content that addresses their issues in an effective way. With clear buyer-persona, you can frame an email marketing strategy that builds trust and increases brand recall by focusing on writing a relatable and engaging email copy for your email campaigns, which help your targeted recipients derive value faster.


Personas – A Simple Introduction

Stukent. (2019). The New Way of Email Marketing – Stukent. [online] Available at: 


The Digital Marketer’s Guide to Humanity!

Don’t Hurt the World.

Rating the level of danger on a scale of 1-5 where 5 is highly dangerous and 1 is not dangerous at all, I think the level of danger for the current model of online advertising is a 4. I think online advertising clutters our minds with so many images and messages, it’s pervasive, intrusive, and invasive. Online ads are considered to be so annoying that people dole out massive amounts of money to sites such as YouTube, Hulu, Kindle, Spotify, etc. just to avoid them. 

I Get Overwhelmed!

According to this article, “People are “objectified” by the advertising industry, they are wanted for one thing: to buy the product or service. Everything that makes us human is reduced to that of a consumer.” The negative effects of online advertising on society include but is not limited to: 

  • Data exploitation
  • Privacy breach
  • Enforcing negative stereotypes
  • Creating a sense of discontentment
  • Inspiring stress in our relationships with ourselves and others
  • Influencing us to spend money we do not have
  • Persuading us to purchase things we do not need
  • Exploiting our vulnerabilities
Be Human

Living in a post-Cambridge Analytica world, consumers are filled with great distrust for tech companies and the marketers that advertise on their sites and/or apps. And without transparency and trust, it is near-impossible to build lasting brand-loyalty. According to this New York Times article, “All over the internet, general fakery abounds — there are millions of fake followers on Twitter and Facebook, fake rehab centers being touted on Google and even fake review sites to sell you a mattress.” It is for these reasons and more that I have come up with the DIGITAL MARKETER CODE OF ETHICS (also known as the DM CODE). As Marketers, we must, like doctors, DO NO HARM by avoiding harmful actions and obeying the laws and regulations that guide our profession and businesses. We must also strive to regain the trust of consumers by religiously following the DM CODE:

“The Time Is Always Right To Do What Is Right” – Martin Luther King


HONESTY – to be forthright in dealings with customers and stakeholders.  To this end, we will:

  • Strive to be truthful in all situations and at all times.
  • Offer products of value that do what we claim in our communications.
  • Stand behind our products if they fail to deliver their claimed benefits.
  • Honor our explicit and implicit commitments and promises.
Still the Best Policy!


TRANSPARENCY – to create a spirit of openness in marketing operations. To this end, we will:

  • Strive to communicate clearly with all constituencies.
  • Accept constructive criticism from customers and other stakeholders.
  • Explain and take appropriate action regarding significant product or service risks, component substitutions or other foreseeable eventualities that could affect customers or their perception of the purchase decision.
  • Disclose list prices and terms of financing as well as available price deals and adjustments.
“In the kingdom of glass everything is transparent, and there is no place to hide a dark heart.” ― Vera Nazarian


FAIRNESS – to balance justly the needs of the buyer with the interests of the seller.  To this end, we will:

  • Represent products in a clear way in selling, advertising and other forms of communication; this includes the avoidance of false, misleading and deceptive promotion.
  • Reject manipulations and sales tactics that harm customer trust.
  • Refuse to engage in price fixing, predatory pricing, price gouging or “bait-and-switch” tactics.
  • Avoid knowing participation in conflicts of interest.
  • Seek to protect the private information of customers, employees and partners.
“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” – H, Jackson Brown, Jr.


RESPECT – to acknowledge the basic human dignity of all stakeholders.  To this end, we will:

  • Value individual differences and avoid stereotyping customers or depicting demographic groups (e.g., gender, race, sexual orientation) in a negative or dehumanizing way.
  • Listen to the needs of customers and make all reasonable efforts to monitor and improve their satisfaction on an ongoing basis.
  • Make every effort to understand and respectfully treat buyers, suppliers, intermediaries and distributors from all cultures.
  • Acknowledge the contributions of others, such as consultants, employees and coworkers, to marketing endeavors.
  • Treat everyone, including our competitors, as we would wish to be treated.
It costs $0.00 to treat someone with respect.


RESPONSIBILITY – to accept the consequences of our marketing decisions and strategies.  To this end, we will:

  • Strive to serve the needs of customers.
  • Avoid using coercion with all stakeholders.
  • Acknowledge the social obligations to stakeholders that come with increased marketing and economic power.
  • Recognize our special commitments to vulnerable market segments such as children, seniors, the economically impoverished, market illiterates and others who may be substantially disadvantaged.
  • Consider environmental stewardship in our decision-making.
“The reason people blame things on the previous generation is that there’s only one other choice.” ~ Doug Larson.


CITIZENSHIP – to fulfill the economic, legal, philanthropic and societal responsibilities that serve stakeholders.  To this end, we will:

  • Strive to protect the ecological environment in the execution of marketing campaigns.
  • Give back to the community through volunteerism and charitable donations.
  • Contribute to the overall betterment of marketing and its reputation. 
  • Urge supply chain members to ensure that trade is fair for all participants, including producers in developing countries.
“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” – Henry David Thoreau

In conclusion, I believe that unethical online advertising threatens the quality of all communication and consequently the well‐being of individuals and the society in which we live.


Tackling the Internet’s Central Villain: The Advertising Business.

Facebook faces a reputational meltdown.

Codes of Conduct | AMA Statement of Ethics.

Statement of Ethics.

The Murky Ethics of Data Gathering in a Post-Cambridge Analytica World.

The Negative Influence of Advertising.