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Problematic Personas / Ideal Digital Team

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In my latest post for Search News Central I explain my discomfort with using personas in online marketing. It boils down to the fact that online marketing is a data-driven industry, and personas are mostly guesswork supplemented by wishful thinking:

Search News Central: The Problem with Personas in Digital Marketing

At best, personas are extrapolations of a modicum of demographical data – from consumer surveys, social media analytics, or general market research. At worst, they’re purely wishful thinking lacking any foundation in reality at all. Even the more data-driven personas are derived from idealistic notions of what a potential customer looks like. They often end up as cardboard clichés, two-dimensional characterisations that – at most – reflect only a tiny proportion of actual users.

For State of Search I wrote a piece about what my ideal digital marketing team would consist of. There are many skills required to deliver effective digital marketing services, and the ideal team would possess them all:

State of Search: The Ideal Digital Marketing Team

The SEO Technician: This person thinks in HTTP status codes and can cite all allowed parameters in a robots.txt file from memory. The SEO technician understands Information Retrieval and can visualise how a search engine bot crawls through a website. SEO audits flow from their fingertips, and esoteric search engine wisdom peppered with Panda anecdotes is their idea of watercooler chat. This person is your on-site optimisation resource.

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