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Looking For The “Persona” In Your Audience

A while ago I read Optimize, a book by Lee Odden. Odden talks about the importance of not only defining your audience demographically, but psychographically, aka life style. What Odden calls a “Persona”. (His definition is more complete and really justifies reading his book, which I truly recommend).

At the beginning I was reluctant to embrace this concept. I have been working more than 10 years for the US Hispanic audience (a melting pot by itself), and finding a unifying pattern for this audience has always been difficult.

The US Hispanic audience is challenging because of its complexity: different countries of origin, different education levels, different use of Spanish, so many differences. How can I establish a “persona”.

Then, I went to a workshop on Media Demographics at San Francisco State University, by Rachele Kanigel. And the “Persona” concept was brought up again and I think it finally clicked in my mind.

It made me realize that we should stop keeping our cultural background so much in mind and find instead our similarities based on social behavior in US. Are you very different from other parents when your kids attend the same school, even if you have an accent? Or are you very different from you neighbor when you also drive a top brand year model car? Can the layers of social integration override cultural origin?

Consider also our life aspirations.

Ortega y Gasset, a Spanish philosopher said: “I am me and what surrounds me” (Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia). Add: “What I dream of being”. This is a reason why many Hispanic media have a blond anchor women and our ads are filled with blue eye babies. Maybe we want to see what we dream to be, not what we are. That, we can see in the mirror every morning.

Read this in Spanish in Periodista Hispano

Clarisse Céspedes

Journalist and Content Strategist. SEO, sponsorships and video. Follow me on Facebook and @ClarisseCespede.

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