Personas vs. Cookies

As a brand, there are several ways you strengthen your connection with customers. Customer personas versus cookies is a hot topic amongst brand strategists and digital marketers right now. Some businesses opt to rely on personas while others only trust cookies. Here at Minty Fresh Digital we wanted to break it down.


Personas

A persona is a fictional avatar of your ideal customer. Buyer personas are shaped out of research, surveys and interviews with the target audience. They are not broad; instead of targeting a general population personas are specific. They focus on quality over quantity. They zero-in on the characteristics of the ideal customer. Personas define the age, education level, income, location, goals, and challenges of the target customer. They outline their values, hobbies, which blogs they read, and how they get their news. Personas make clear how best to speak to the customer and and identify which of your products features and benefits are most compelling to them. With enough detail, personas allow the brand to view the product from the ideal customer's point of view.

Some argue that by focusing on a specific buyer persona you leave out or alienate possible customers. However, it is this specificity that also draws in and retains your ideal customer. Personas allow for consistency in marketing and an understanding of the customers wants and needs. Brands can use personas to build a reliable strategy to connect deeply to their ideal customer.

Cookies

Cookies are small text files placed on a user’s computers. They are used by websites to gather information about the user. Essentially, cookies are responsible for delivering a personalized experience.

For example, Amazon personalizes each customer's shopping experience with the use of first-party cookies. These cookies track what you buy and allow the site to suggest other options that may interest the customer. Third-party cookies track browsing habits across several websites. They allow for a customized browsing experience based on a customer's past behavior and help automate dynamic advertising units like dynamic banners.

Although some object to the use of cookies, believing they invade privacy, Hubspot actually found that personalized content performs 42% better than standard content. Cookies report and store hard data that internet marketers and advertisers can use to customize the user experience.

Personas and cookies are indeed different animals, but they share one important commonality. They are both proven to boost ROI by personalizing the online shopping experience through the magic of predictive and behavioral marketing. It is up to your brand to decide what is best for your product.


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