User personas and brand immersion – the Elite: Dangerous way

| 05 Dec, 2014

A core element of best practice within the Jellyfish client services team is brand immersion - gaining a detailed knowledge of our clients’ customers, products and competitors.

So, a very kind invitation from the team at Elite: Dangerous was most welcome, with four of the Jellyfish team visiting Duxford Imperial War Museum for the premiere of the fourth instalment of the Elite franchise.
It was a sensory overload with options of either crystal clear 4K screens or mind blowing virtual reality through the Oculus Rift. I tried both. They are now on my Christmas list.
The Turtle Beach headsets just about drowned out the sound of my own heart thumping in my chest whilst fighting against the Empire (I am a Federation guy).

...oh and there was a SPACESHIP.
On a brand immersion level, attending the event gave Jellyfish a unique opportunity to rub shoulders with the players of Elite: Dangerous’ Gamma. This has in turn helped Jellyfish in creating ‘real life’ personas, which would aid interaction with the audience on the right level, talking their language and understanding what they want from the brand.

Channels we would use to attract John are:

  • Display – We would target sites which John would visit and utilise banner space, homepage takeovers and remarketing
  • PPC – We would target terms relevant to John’s interests, whether this be using RLSAs for competitors and generics like MMORPG, associated products and of course a strong Brand campaign
  • Content outreach – We would do this through social and article submission to high authority sites 

Social listening

Another great way to build or enrich personas is through social listening tools, such as Brandwatch. These tools provide detailed insight into the demographic characteristics and conversation topics that are most relevant to your brand, sector and competitor keywords.
For example, we can break down a brand’s social audience by:

  • Account type (whether they are an organisation or an individual)
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Profession
  • Location

This analysis will help you to confirm/evolve persona models, and also stimulate relevant and engaging content ideas for social, blog posts, email and outreach.

Surveying your customers
Finally, surveying your current customer database is still a great way to garner information on your audience. This can provide a ‘first hand’ perspective on how you categorise customers into personas.

What questions should you ask?
Think carefully about the questions you ask; striking the right balance between ease of use and richness of response is key. For our gaming audience, we’d be asking:
What gaming magazines do you buy?
a) PC Gamer b) Edge c) Game Informer d) Game Spot 
Other: Please specify 
How often do you purchase gaming magazines?
a) Bi-weekly b) Monthly c) Quarterly d) Every six months or more e) Never

The above questions will give you an indication of the style of magazine, if they play PC or console games and their commitment to gaming. And as a final…final thought, I’d recommend incentivising your customer to fill in the survey. More responses equals better data quality!
Thanks for reading, and if you would like assistance building a persona based marketing campaign please do get in touch.

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