Personas: a top tool for personalising pharma marketing campaigns

Natasha Cowan|8th May 2018

Customers’ top healthcare priority in 2018 is receiving personalised care from providers, according to a recent report by Deloitte. Their desires range from innovative customer apps, omnichannel access and patient portals in hospitals, to a better leveraging of social media, and the use of augmented and virtual reality.

From health apps, such as the UK National Health Service and Babylon’s GP at Hand, to the novel ease of genetic testing, patients now have a greater ability to monitor and understand their own healthcare needs. This, combined with the simplicity of ‘Googling’ a health problem, means customers’ expectations are changing.

The foundation of personalisation is understanding your customers. Personas are a useful tool for making sure your brand is centered on your stakeholders, without wasting time and resource on ineffective assets. As a result, they give you the ability to create tailored products and services that meet customers’ rapidly advancing expectations.

What are personas?

At its heart, a persona (right) is a decision-making tool used to empower brand teams by driving multichannel brand plans. It’s also a facilitation tool used to focus designers on developing solutions to customers’ problems. Personas are used by brands to create effective assets, but they are also used to help the wider company understand its customers.

A persona reminds us who the customer is and tells us what they require. It synthesises information about a group of customers, who share similar objectives and behaviours, and drills this data down into one fictitious customer profile, which represents the entire group of customers.

How does the customer-centric organisation use personas?

Five common principles drive personas – predictive summary of behaviour, customer insights, story, context, and memorability. These principles ensure each persona is fit for purpose.

The persona is grounded in customer insights, which are gathered in the context in which the customer would use the product or the service. The insights are consolidated into a single story about the group of customers, which highlights their frustrations and facilitates decisions. Context gives customer behaviours a purpose. By understanding the context of your product or service, you can visualise stakeholders’ frustrations and learn their unmet needs.

Personas also have to be memorable to be useful. By being concise and visual, while injecting a sense of personality, you can develop a powerful tool which can be used across the entire organisation.

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