Case Study: How to Create a Pen Portrait of Your Consumer in 5 Easy Steps

Marketing
4 min. read

Lorna Keane / March 01, 2017

Marketing that works starts with understanding your audience. In fact, the more you know about your consumer, the more accurate your targeting will be. For agency planners, this process starts with insights. Using the GlobalWebIndex platform to steer their marketing in the most audience-centric direction, creative communications agencies like Southpaw say their best work starts with painting a precise, detailed and holistic picture of their consumer. “The audience and consumer are a key focus for us” says Tom Primrose, Planner at Southpaw.

“Our job is to understand them as much as possible, and then target them in market in the most appropriate way.”

For planners like Tom to get this level of understanding, there are five key steps to take.

1. Find out what they’re into.

“The first thing I do when I get given key attributes of a consumer is plug these into GlobalWebIndex and create a pen portrait; a one page document that translates the character of the consumer”, says Tom. “This really helps me when I’m briefing our creative teams; I can explain who the consumer is, what makes them tick, what their priorities are in life, their behaviors, and other key areas such as their interests which are hugely important.”

Tom outlines how finding out what interests them first and foremost can provide insights into the influencers, the messaging and the tactics that will work for them.

“Recently, from my research with a client, I could see their audience were very into online gaming, which really helped me to build out that consumer profile and translate an accurate picture to our creative team.”

Online gamers.png

1Source: GWI data analyzing UK male online gamers [aged 16 to 35]

2. Know where they’re hanging out.

Once you know what they’re into, Tom says the art of creating a consumer portrait becomes a whole lot simpler. The next step is figuring out where they hang out to better understand the platforms and channels they use the most. “GlobalWebIndex is an incredibly useful tool that helps you understand the platforms your audiences are on, and how they interact with them”, he says.

“We recently advised a client on which platform to sell their product through, based on the information we found. We identified three key audiences, which I plugged in to create personas for, and ran these against a number of queries. What I could see was that they were all over-indexing by 60% or more for Instagram as their preferred social platform, so it was concrete evidence for me to recommend this as a must-have channel for them…

They’re now investing more of their marketing spend in this channel than any other!”

Digital Marketers.png

2Source: GWI data analyzing social media consumption of UK males working in marketing, advertising or media

3. Understand their perceptions.

“The most interesting part of the platform for me is the ‘self perceptions’, where you really start to understand how the consumer ticks, what their views are and what they see as important”, says Tom. Explaining how he uses this to get into the mind frame of his consumers, Tom says understanding their perceptions in this way is key to creating an insight that drives a successful campaign.

Uncovering how they feel and think about anything from brands and products to life and lifestyles finally allows planners like Tom to quantify the perceptions of their audiences. Coupling this with knowledge around their online behaviors provides Tom with the confidence and reassurance he needs to drive optimal targeting.

“You could uncover a self-perception, for example, and put that alongside a discovery in terms of the key media they’re using – Put these two together and you can create something incredibly unique and insightful that is sure to target your consumer, as well as stand out in market.”

self perceptions[1].png

3Source: GWI data analyzing online habits of brand conscious U.S. females [aged 18 and 35]

4. Put yourself in their shoes.

Combining this knowledge on his audience’s’ interests, behaviors and perceptions, Tom was able to build out his consumer portrait in as much detail as possible. But getting that 360-degree customer view doesn’t end with this. In an effort to build radical empathy for your audience, “once you have that picture of the consumer, you need a picture of their typical day”, says Tom. “The GlobalWebIndex platform allows us to do that.”

“I recently created a ‘day in the life’, or what’s sometimes called a ‘moment map’ of my target audience for a brand I was working with. Once we had the persona put together, we rattled that against all the different media touchpoints and it showed what they were over-indexing for. The persona we produced, which we called ‘Hannah’, was for girls aged 20 to 30, so unsurprisingly social media was a key focus, along with on-demand video.

I analyzed what  ‘Hannah’s’ typical daily routine would look like and I saw an opportunity for how the brand could engage with her.”

By putting himself in the shoes of his target audience in this way, Tom could figure out exactly how best to reach them.

moment map-3.png

4Source: Example of an ‘experience wheel’ as developed by LEGO

5. Identify the touchpoints.

Identifying the most important touchpoints that could guide the team’s strategy in the right direction is key. Tom explains how he rounded off this consumer portrait to give the creative exactly what was needed: “So ‘Hannah’ gets up, immediately checks her phone and goes on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook”, he says. “Taking a closer look at who and what she follows on these platforms, we found it was mainly bloggers and celebrity figures, so we suggested that we do a collaboration with one of these bloggers to capture her attention, and to bring her closer to the brand.”

Adding to his consumer portrait with detailed information around  ‘Hannah’s’ daily media touchpoints – from when she wakes up and travels to work, to when she exercises and goes to bed – Tom could best translate the when, how and why of what marketing could work. “Once we have formed this complete picture, we share this with our creative team to help guide where their peaks of advertising should appear and how these insights can influence the overall campaign.”

“This complete and detailed portrait is so pivotal for driving creative inspiration. You’re giving creatives a format that they can be imaginative with, which is essential for any campaign to work.”

Like what you’ve read? Download ourconsumer journey mapping infographic for a closer look at what impacts every stage.