We have many annual traditions here at RPS and by far, one of our favorites is our annual Pumpkin Carving Party because it gives our entire team a chance to show off our creative skills. Plus, it’s a chance for us to enjoy some fun with the extended RPS family and friends, too! This year’s party was no exception. Take a look at the fun we had and what our team created!
Blog - Rock, Paper, Scissors
They are our greeters, security detail, and often the stars of the RPS social media accounts. They make our days brighter with tails wagging and sweet puppy kisses. While they’ve been known to scare a delivery person or two, the office dogs of RPS may seem like some unlikely office mates, but to us they are just a part of the family and members of our team.
Why do Ava, Kata, and Kyla come to the office? Well, it all goes back to our roots. When Cindy first started RPS, she was working from the Sutt family home, so the dogs were obviously there. As we grew and needed more space, it just seemed natural for the dogs to come to the office, and almost every day since, the dogs of RPS have been a part of our daily activities.
While service and therapy dogs have been welcome in the workplace for quite some time, pets in the office are somewhat of a newer trend (obviously, we were way ahead of the game and setting the trend!). Quite a few studies have been conducted on the benefits of dogs in the workplace, and it turns out having dogs in the office can be very beneficial. Some of the benefits dogs can bring to the workplace include:
- Reduced stress levels (International Journal of Workplace Health Management)
- Encourages social interaction among employees (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
- Promotes physical activity, which helps employees maintain their health (Evening Standard)
- Improved satisfaction of employees and office morale
- Can aid in employee retention rates
- Can also aid in recruiting employees (USA Today)
However, here at RPS having the dogs at the office is also a simple reminder of one of our core values: to be playful. The dogs keep us active each day, whether it’s a quick game of tug-of-war or fetch, a run around Lawrenceville, and even their crazy antics and picking on each other, they remind us to enjoy the little things, not take things too seriously, and to always have fun. And if you hang around our office for a while, you’ll start to notice they each have daily routines and roles within the company.
Sweet Ava is our pup that loves a good belly rub and cuddles. If you’re having a bad day, there’s a good possibility Ava will be hanging around your desk to make sure you’re okay. She’s our unofficial Director of Emotional Support. She also loves Run Club and each Wednesday and Friday just before 4 pm, you’ll know she’s ready to go because Ava will start trotting around the office until we’re all ready to go.
Kyla is our spunky and eager greeter, as well as the head of RPS Security. A fierce protector of her people, Kyla is always keeping an eye on things from the front windows to ward off the bad guys (and unsuspecting delivery people). She also loves to see what everyone is having for lunch and will wait with huge puppy dog eyes for a handout.
Kata might seem shy at first, but that’s just because she’s the newest member of our canine team. She joined us in February 2017 and is starting to find her place in the mix, as well as her voice. We weren’t sure if she would ever speak, but has recently started barking to say “Hello!” anytime the door opens. She’s also Randy’s sidekick and spends lots of time by his desk making sure he stays on task.
We love our canine team here at RPS because they fill our days with love and fun, and we can’t imagine the office without them in it!
Here’s the deal: There’s nothing like your boss calling you into the office and assigning you the tremendous task of creating the next segment of the video series for your website and social media marketing campaign, featuring your latest and greatest project. This is the big leagues and Coach is putting YOU in.
It’s easy to rush down the hall, grab the old banner stand from the closet, and throw on your fanciest pinstripe suit. But before you go to all that trouble, you need to think about how your video will look to your audience and how to best showcase what your business has to offer to make sure you’re shining the spotlight on it in the best way possible.
Certain textures, patterns, and colors can cause some serious camera backlash. Small patterns like pinstripes plaids are generally more difficult to see on video, and the last thing you, your company, or your product needs is to have vibrating patterns and or a blinding color to detract from a positive promotion moment. For that reason, we’ve created a list to help navigate through the good and the bad of TV camera effects.
- Colors to Use:
- Medium/Pastel colors
- Textures and Patterns to Use:
- Larger patterns
- Anything with a matte finish.
- Colors to Avoid:
- Bright Reds
- Light Blues
- Textures and Patterns to Avoid:
- Parallel lines
- Reflective/shiny materials
The last thing you want to worry about when your name is in lights and the countdown to your 15-minutes of fame has started is whether or not people will be able to see you and your product. By avoiding these specific textures, colors, and patterns your product will be in the spotlight and your services will be well communicated as well.
See you on the big screen!
In our latest webinar, we talked about what audience personas are and why you need them. Read on to learn more about creating your audience personas. Be sure to read our Part 1 blog post for the background information, or you can watch a recording of the entire webinar at the bottom of this post.
Creating Your Audience Personas
Before you start forming your audience personas, you need to know what elements to include. You can start by using data from your current audience, as well as any research you have access to that would be helpful in determining who your audience is. You’ll also want to take into consideration the demographics and psychographics of the types of people you want to connect with.
Demographics will help you establish WHO your audience is. These are the external and surface factors regarding who your audience is and create important dividing lines when it comes to sales and marketing. These factors include things like:
- Marital status
- Family size
Psychographics refer to the WHY or reason why an individual is motivated to take an action like purchasing a product or service, investing in an organization or business venture, etc. Psychographics can include:
- Hobbies or interests
- Social class
- Daily habits
Other factors to consider include where these individuals receive information (TV, social media, online news sites, etc.), shopping preferences (brick and mortar retail shops, online retailers, etc.), and career choices. Also worth considering as you flesh out your audience personas are client goals and challenges, as well as quotes or testimonials. In addition, you can also start listing out how you can help your client overcome their challenges, reach their goals, and create a marketing message that addresses their solution.
There are many different ways to collect this information. You can start with any information you have on file for your current clients to begin your audience personas. Other ways you can collect information include surveys of your current clients, surveys conducted on social media, reviewing social media and website analytics, among others. If you have access to market research, you can also use it to your advantage as it will give you specific insight into how and where people consume information and other valuable information related to consumers and their needs and preferences.
How Many Do I Need?
The number of audience personas to create will vary from one business or organization to the next. For example, for those with business-to-business products and services, you would want to create audience personas for the types of individuals who would be decision makers in their companies (think CEOs, CFOs, etc.), while a company offering business-to-consumer products and services will likely need to create several audience personas based that cover the range of types of individuals that they want to be their customers.
Nonprofit and franchise businesses have some pretty definitive audience personas worth creating. For nonprofits, these include donors, volunteers, and board members (people that have the financial resources, time, and/or leadership experience to contribute), as well as audience personas for the people they provide services to. Franchise businesses not only need to think about audience personas from the customer perspective, but also for the purpose of franchise sales by creating audience personas for investors and other business-minded people.
Ultimately, there isn’t really a set number of audience personas you need to create. The point is to think about your business or organization and consider who you’re currently reaching and who you want to reach, as well as deciding which segments are going to give you the best return on investment, and create as many audience personas as you need.
How Often Should I Update My Audience Personas?
Similarly to how there is no one right answer for how many audience personas you should create, there’s also no right or wrong answer for how often you should update your personas. The main thing to remember is to update them often enough so that your established audience personas are fresh and relevant, and to always be mindful of opportunities for adding a new audience persona to your list. Aim to review and/or update your audience personas on a consistent basis, whether that is quarterly, bi-annually, or once a year.
There’s a lot that goes into creating audience personas, but it is well worth the time! As always we are here if you have questions about the process, so don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!
Did you miss our recent webinar on audience personas? Read on to learn what audience personas are and why you need them for your business, or watch the recording of the webinar at the end of this post.
We hear it a lot. “I’m not sure if my messages are reaching my customers, much less my potential customers. What do I need to do to get it right?” Part of the solution is knowing and understanding your audience.
“What’s the best way to do that?” you ask. Start creating your audience personas!
What’s an audience persona?
An audience persona is a representation of the ideal types of people you want to connect with and send your message to. When you’re defining an audience persona, you’re looking at a person who influences a purchase decision and is actively looking for content based on their interests, as well as someone who is considering the purchase of certain products or services.
Why do you need audience personas?
We’ve said it in past webinars and we’ll continue to say it – marketing should be intentional. It should not be reactive or done “on the fly.” That being said, part of the reason you need audience personas is because they give you a place to look back to as you create your marketing plan and strategies to ensure they are aimed at the right people. Atomic Marketing puts it this way:
“It’s a key part of moving away from making assumptions about who your customers are to creating archetypes that accurately represent your distinct types of customers. Audience personas create an archetype that anyone in your team can use to improve content or other operations.
Especially online, where your nearest competitor is simply a click away, you need to hone in on your particular customer so you can answer their needs.”
Beyond that, having audience personas in place offers a number of other benefits as well as value to your marketing efforts, such as:
- Helping you narrow down who you need to speak to so you can avoid generalizing your messaging
- Giving you a better understanding of who you are speaking to
- Allowing you to gain perspective and insight into the challenges, goals, needs, and backgrounds of these individuals
- Providing you with guidance for creating an effective marketing campaign
- Telling you where your audience spends time so you can better connect with them where they are
- Helping you create better products or services based on the understanding of what your customers need.
As we mentioned, audience personas can help you create a solid marketing campaign, including your content strategy. One great example of this is the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, who used this approach so the organization could use the audience personas in their storytelling as a way to help attract and retain volunteers, donors, and wish referrers. The personas they created were then transformed into print materials (deck of cards, flip books, and posters) that the communications staff could use as a resource to help keep the audience top of mind. This helped the organization realize opportunities for telling stories they had neglected in the past, as well as put the audience first and get the organization’s team members excited about using audience personas to better tell their stories.
Audience Personas, Buyer Personas, and Target Audiences: What’s the difference?
You’ve probably heard the terms audience personas, buyer personas, and target audience a time or two. And you might even be thinking “Aren’t they all the same?” Not exactly.
We’ve already defined what an audience persona is. A target audience is like a specific group or demographic of people that would be most likely to be interested in your product or service. For example,if you own a toy store, your target audience could be include parents and grandparents. Think of a target audience or audiences as a more general, big picture look at who you’re wanting to focus your messages to.
A buyer persona is a representation of a person who acts on or makes a purchase decision or is actively seeks branded content. Oftentimes, this is a current customer who is already buying from you. The buyer persona can be thought of as a more zoomed-in look at your target audience.
Obviously, the three are very similar yet very different, and you need to have a good understanding of each so you can create messages that will be effective in reaching the right people. Audience personas, buyer personas, and target audiences are all important pieces to consider not only when creating your content marketing strategy, but also as you create content specifically related to the sales journey.
As such, you would create a target audience as a first step for reducing the overall number of potential customers into smaller, more target groups – your audience and buyer personas. You use audience personas to create the ideal types of individuals you want to reach and you use the buyer personas for gaining insight into the customer’s buying journey.
We’ve only just begun in our discussion of audience personas. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we’ll share some tips to help you create the audience personas you need.