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Forget about Personas. Meet some real people.

by · May 16, 2013

As new disciplines emerge – like content marketing in the digital age – new jargon blossoms like wildflowers in a new meadow. Or sometimes like clods of cow shit.

Whichever category you put the term ‘Persona’ into (for me, it’s bovine-centric), you can’t deny that it’s won a permanent place in the B2B content marketing canon. “Don’t even think about doing content marketing without personas.” is Commandment Six last time I checked.

At Velocity, we’ve propagated the cult of the persona ourselves, with round-up blog posts and the occasional tirade about using personas properly. And yes, there’s a Persona section in the content marketing playbooks we create for our clients. But, to be honest, I’ve never felt entirely comfortable with them. For two reasons:


The Most Important Marketing Tool You Probably Aren’t Using

by · December 20, 2012

Before social media taught us we had to sound human, we could talk to everyone in the same generic business-speak to everyone. Now, people have come to expect businesses to speak to them in a more personal way and to be more relevant.  Personas allow you to do that.

Personas will determine the content, tone and language that you use when communicating. To better understand how important this is, imagine yourself at a family holiday party.  You would not discuss the same topics or use the same kind of language with your grandmother who loves to garden, your college-age nephew who is fascinated with politics, or your sister, who’s an executive at a software company.


The Future of Successful Business Means Scaling Empathy – Part 1 – Customer Personas

by · October 9, 2012

How many times have you heard someone profess the importance of being a more “human” business? That’s usually followed by a bevy of information about how social media is the key to that. I’d argue that social media is more the enabler. It amplifies and gives more prominence to something every business needs to implement more of to be successful. You need to understand  the importance of empathy.




1.the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.


How To Turn Facebook Into Your Single-Most Effective Marketing Tool

by · July 18, 2012

The most common marketing mistake is focusing on the product and not the customer. Messages about the product and its benefits without reference to the person who will use it constitute announcements, not marketing.

In order to speak to customers so that you will be heard, you need to make sure that they feel that they are being heard.  And the only way to make the kind of impression on a customer that makes her choose your product over the myriad of options is to speak to her emotions.  This requires having a deep understanding of your customers.