Personas are fictitious people and the typical user which holds important characteristics of your target group. The questions is, if we need personas at a time everyone is talking about 1:1 marketing?
Personas are a user model to describe a target group. Target groups are a set instrument since many years. Adobe is one of them who are talking about personas but they go ahead:
“Think journeys, not just personas, when mapping customer conversions” [ref]https://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/analytics/mapping-conversion-journey/?scid=social61953886&adbid=735351707354431489&adbpl=tw&adbpr=63786611[/ref]
Customer journey? Another buzzword? The customer journey is for sure important. It is important to know what drives someone in his decision process but this can diversify. Personas helps us to group this and focus our marketing activities into the right direction. This is more a 1:many marketing then a 1:1 marketing. But to be honest… who is doing a real 1:1 marketing? Who is analyzing (mostly) all activities of an user online and offline and steers his marketing based on predictive modelling? This is, right now, more a dream and a future vision. Technical very difficult (in times of the cookie debate) and all the different data silos a marketer needs to combine to do so.
Coming back to the question if we need personas…. The answer is yes and no. They help us to make things easier, they are a intermediate step to real 1:1 marketing.
Do we need mapping customer conversions like Adobe describes it? From a customer point of view not. We should more focus to have the right message at the right time…. the channel is often just an accident. While we are doing 1:many marketing personas are useful.
If we split it down to the different channels like website, content marketing, e-commerce…. then we need to answer the question of the need of personas (and the time how long we need them) for sure different. Years ago we talked about one or two personas within our business, today we talk maybe about 10 or 20 and in future we will talk about much much more. The border the bound to 1:1 communication / marketing / action is fluent.