Key Elements to Creating Personas

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Key Elements to Creating Personas

Why Personas?

Personas are a way of thinking differently about your target audience(s). Instead of only focusing on their age range, gender, income, etc., personas dig deeper into who the audience is. What challenges do they face day-to-day? Do they have a family? Are they climbing the corporate ladder? Do they often read industry news/blogs to stay relevant? When do they buy your product/service? Answering these questions and more bring to life the people you’re speaking to. You’ll feel like you really know them, resulting in strategic marketing that offers a solution to your customer because you’ll understand what they are looking for and where they are looking for it.

Creating personas for your marketing results in:

1. Targeted delivery and measurable results: Where is your customer? When and how are you offering them a solution? Thinking about your customer’s path to purchase will lead you to the most valuable place to speak to them. Maybe it’s POS or maybe it’s a Facebook ad. Either way, you’ll know the perfect place to reach them based on their habits. And, you’ll know if you’re successful by setting clear, measurable objectives.

2. In-depth customer knowledge: Typically, marketers pull out key demographic information about their audience. We’ve all seen it – women, ages 25-40, income of $60,000, head of household, 2 kids…etc. With personas, you’ll be able to picture exactly who you’re speaking to. See a couple of persona examples here.

3. Valuable leads: Because you know who you are speaking to, the best place to reach them and how you should position your product based on the customer’s needs, your marketing will generate meaningful leads and customers.


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3 Little Birds 4 Life

Ben Edmonson
Senior Art Director

3 Little Birds 4 Life

Chances are we all know somebody who has been diagnosed with or affected in some way by cancer. As sad as this may be, the support, comfort and care shown by friends, family and communities can be overwhelming.

Last summer when my wife’s co-worker was diagnosed with stomach cancer, I witnessed someone fighting for his life — but not doing it alone. Sadly, after battling for 10 months, he passed away, but it was over the course of those 10 months, that I saw a lot of people band together to show their support and help him in his fight. I never really knew him, but got a glimpse into his life, what he was passionate about and how many lives he has impacted. He made a difference — in addition to being a physical therapist, he was an assistant college soccer coach and coached a youth soccer team as well. I heard enough stories to know that he will truly be missed by family, friends and the community he touched. He had a large support group, but the organization that made me take notice for their support was 3 Little Birds 4 Life.

Chances are that you’ve heard the captivating and peaceful lyrics from Bob Marley’s “3 Little Birds” sometime in your life – “Don’t worry about a thing ‘cause every little thing gonna be all right.” This song was the very essence of Guy “Tyler” Gifford, brother of 3 Little Birds 4 Life founder, Ashley Swip. Tyler was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in early 2010. It first started as a mole on the back of his calf that did not get treated right away. He had the mole removed, but it unfortunately came back as melanoma. Tyler had a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan, and the results were that the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes in his groin. He had the lymph nodes removed and all was clear. Three months later, Tyler had another PET scan. The melanoma had spread to his liver, heart, spleen, and bones. It was only a short 3 months later that he passed away. It was only a total of nine months from learning about his melanoma to his death on November 2, 2010.

It was through all of the treatments, surgeries, and the final stages that Ashley realized that Tyler, at 28 years old, needed to have one more great day doing the things that he loved. So, while he was still able to walk, she talked to the St. Louis Cardinal organization and had the perfect day made for him. That was the last time Tyler was able to hang out all day and walk during this wonderful experience. It was 6 weeks later after his wish that he passed away.

In the endeavor to make Tyler’s wish come true, Ashley quickly realized that it was necessary for other families currently battling a cancer diagnosis to be able to experience a wish. Tyler was granted an experience of a lifetime with the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals – to sit in the press box, meet the announcers and go on the field before the game during batting practice. A few months after Tyler’s death, 3 Little Birds 4 Life was created in his honor.

Tyler had a unique way of making each and every person around him smile, laugh, and remember that everything would be all right, no matter what. When Tyler passed away, the words from “3 Little Birds” were placed on his prayer card, and through his life, his caring nature, loving heart, and this song, 3 Little Birds 4 Life came to be.

It is because of stories like Tyler’s and others that I am choosing to dedicate my time to this organization and I urge others to do the same. I will help celebrate #GLSTL25 by volunteering at least 25 hours of my time toward granting wishes for 3 Little Birds 4 Life.

Right now, they have a pressing need for Wish Designers. There are many Wish Recipients just waiting to be picked up by a designer. However, there are many other ways people can help support 3 Little Birds 4 Life. Check out to read more about donating, volunteering or their Workout 4 Wishes and Round Up 4 Me campaigns.

Why Target Audiences Don’t Work

Randy Micheletti
VP, Director of Brand Strategy

Why Target Audiences Don’t Work

As marketers, the common vernacular we use in marketing and advertising to designate the customer/prospect is “target audience.” It’s not a bad term and is well entrenched in marketing and media circles when defining who we are targeting with our advertising message.

However, most target audience profiles just scratch the surface. For example targeting women age 25-54, with children in the household, and a household income of $100,000 is a good start, but have we really painted a picture of what they look like, how they live, their responsibilities at work, likes/dislikes, etc.? Traditional demographics are usually clearly covered but when it comes to psychographics, not so much. And, the typical target market info doesn’t closely address information like industry, job function, geography, etc. which is all extremely important when reaching out to someone with your brand message.

These are people you’re talking to – not just numbers – they have personal lives that you’re trying to interrupt and they make decisions based on their lifestyle. So, get to know them as people – not innocuous age groups or genders. It’ll really make you understand them better – and your messaging/creative will be clearer, concise, targeted and, most importantly, well received.

Are you interested in finding out more about creating buyer personas to help with your strategic marketing messages? Download our Persona Whitepaper to understand why they are critical to your marketing efforts and how to create them. You will also find examples of Personas we have created for our clients.

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Example Personas to Improve Messaging

Tim Leon
President/Brand Strategist

Example Personas to Improve Messaging

Most marketers focus on traditional target audiences when creating advertising messages, which usually includes age range, gender, income, education level, etc. But, this information doesn’t outline who your target audience truly is. What happens day-to-day that impacts their job, what they buy and who they are as a person? Do they have kids? Are they taking care of their elderly parents? Maybe they are solely focused on climbing the corporate ladder. Whoever they may be, painting a picture of who the person is allows you as a marketer to gain some insight into how your product impacts your customers (and what messaging will impact them). That’s where crafting personas comes in.

At Geile/Leon, we develop personas for our own marketing efforts as well as for our clients. We find that it helps us to create more targeted messages, improve our creative approach and puts us in touch with our clients’ audience. Below are examples of a few of our own personas that we’ve created.

Healthcare_Personas Healthcare_Personas

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Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis

For Geile/Leon’s #GLSTL25 campaign, I’ve chosen to highlight the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

As someone who has been involved in one artistic endeavor or another throughout most of my life, I can appreciate the value that artistic programs provide. Whether it’s music, dance, theater, literature or fine art, both the creator and the audience benefit from what the arts contribute to our culture.

The Arts and Education Council is the only privately funded organization of it’s kind with reach that benefits the entire St. Louis greater metropolitan area. Since 1963, they have distributed more than $100 million dollars to nearly 70 arts and arts education organizations using only private donations. From the St. Louis Symphony to StudioSTL, A&E allows organizations large and small to continue enriching our area and our lives.

With that type of support, many local artistic organizations are allowed to give grants and scholarships or provide low-cost or free art programs. Children of all socioeconomic backgrounds can be exposed to something beneficial that they may not have otherwise had the opportunity to learn about.

A&E also provides low-cost performance and studio space to 17 non-profit art organizations at the Centene Center for the Arts and Education, located in the Grand Center cultural district.

“The Arts and Education Council enriches the vibrancy of the St. Louis community by investing in arts organizations and growing the base of local arts supporters.”

To help further their cause and keep artistic programs alive and vibrant in our communities, the Arts and Education council continues to need donations and volunteers. Any donation amount is greatly appreciated and any amount at $50 or above earns you an ARTS Card that opens the doors to special offers and discounts to performances and events throughout the year.

As for my part in #GLSTL25, I will be donating $25 to the Arts and Education Council, as well as attending as many artistic events as possible in support of our community.

Importance Of Personas in Shaping Targeted Messaging

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

Importance Of Personas in Shaping Targeted Messaging

Wikipedia defines personas as fictional characters created to represent the different buyer types within a targeted demographic. So, buyer personas are groups of ideal customers, defined by looking deeply into their lives, their thinking, their problems, and their challenges in life.

Once you create personas, you are no longer talking to a demographic age group. You are talking to people with very different lifestyles within that demographic. You get to know them as people versus an innocuous age group or gender. These insights give you important details to define what that customer cares most about, and what applies best to their lives and decision process. But also, they present opportunities for you to target your marketing and messaging to each specific persona. This makes you understand them, and your messaging will sound like you are talking directly to them. Plus, it is important to note that while you have a primary target audience, or even a secondary target audience, you may have 5-6 persona profiles within each of those audience segments. Building customer persona profiles provides valuable insight on your ideal customer.

Best of all, persona-profiling works for all size markets. Small business, or large company, personas allow marketers to create the right content that is most likely to influence a customer to take action and convert them from an interested party to a solid customer.

Are you interested in finding out more about creating personas to help with your strategic marketing messages? Download our Persona Whitepaper to understand why they are critical to your marketing efforts and how to create them. You will also find examples of Personas we have created for our clients.

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WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students)

Dan Diveley
VP of Business Development

WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students)

I recently volunteered for a day at Windsor Elementary, my daughter’s grade school, as part of the WATCH D.O.G.S. program.

WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) is a one-of-a-kind, school-based father involvement educational initiative of the National Center for Fathering. The program was developed to provide positive male role models for the students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important.

I’m not sure how much role model I was but I did learn a few things:

‘Down, lift, down, up, down’ is the correct way to write a capital M.

My first stop was a kindergarten class. I was assigned a boy, let’s call him Sam, to help him with the correct way to print this important letter. I was told Sam was a bright kid but didn’t have much of an attention span. He was so happy when he learned that I was going to help him. He pulled up a very small chair and told me to sit down. His first attempts looked more like scribbling. So I had him say the magic formula ‘down, lift, etc.’ and before too long, his M’s looked better than mine.

Recess has rules.

The next stop was recess monitor. The first graders had recess with the kindergarteners and my new buddy, Sam, was one of the kids. He immediately ran up to me to ask if I would play with him. There were many students on the monkey bars and Sam asked if I would lift him up – so I did. Well that’s when I learned about the recess rules. A teacher blew a very loud whistle and all the kids immediately froze in their place. Then the teacher, shouting in a voice that made me think of my Marine Corps boot camp days, said that only the upper classmen First Graders were privileged enough to use the monkey bars. I helped Sam off the bars and was glad I didn’t detention.

We aren’t born knowing how to use computers

My next class was the computer lab. The lesson for the day was how to type the letters “F” and “j”. I assisted the teacher by walking around the room to help the students position their hands correctly. This reminded me of my typing class, except this classroom didn’t have manual typewriters or carbon paper.

Milk cartons are hard to open.

Lunch was interesting. At first I didn’t know why the younger students would hold up their milk cartons when I walked by their tables. I soon learned that when little fingers tried to open their milk, much of the milk would end up on the table. I must have opened 40 cartons that day (and tied about 50 pairs of shoes).

Teachers are amazing time managers.

I was impressed with the teaching staff. Their days are planned down to the minute, and they move their classes around the campus with exacting precision. No child left behind!

And the best part…

… I got to spend time in my daughter’s classroom watching her learn important lessons in math that she will use the rest of her life.

In conclusion …

I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be a role model Dad for the day. I enjoyed helping the students and teachers. It was an exhausting day which made me appreciate the people who have dedicated their lives to educating our young.

More than 4,000 schools offer the Watch D.O.G.S. program. If interested, please contact your child’s school or visit

7 Key Components to Developing a Strategic Healthcare Marketing Plan

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

7 Key Components to Developing a Strategic Healthcare Marketing Plan

It’s that time of year again – planning for the year to come. This can be a daunting task, but it’s one of the most important things we can do as marketers to strategically grow our businesses. A plan is essential and will outline how you will attract patients, retain staff and communicate your brand in the most effective way.

Below are 6 key components to start a healthcare marketing plan. These are items that you should think about before you start your plan because they will help shape your objectives.

  1. Research: What are the market dynamics? What do current sales/benchmarks look like? Is there anything that will impact your 2015 plan?
  1. Competitive Analysis: What’s the competition offering/marketing? What are their successes and failures? What are missed opportunities for your organization? How are they positioning themselves?
  1. SWOT: We know…this brings you back to marketing 101, but it’s important. Think about your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Making an outline of the good, the bad and the ugly will help you anticipate any roadblocks.
  1. Target Market: Define a general segment/group of consumers that your healthcare organization plans to market its products/services to. This will give you a idea of who you’re trying to reach and will allow you to drill further down into your target personas (which will help shape your marketing messages). Target markets may include parents with young children, local physicians or elderly women.
  1. Product Description: What do you offer and why is it unique? Define and describe your “product” and why the market needs it.
  1. Assess: Look at what’s in place right now. What’s working? What isn’t? Could your website offer more valuable information? Is there anything that your consumers or partners have expressed that they wish they had from your organization?
  1. Budget: Develop a month-by-month schedule on what you plan to spend.

Once you’ve outlined these items, it’s time to start your plan! Having a strategic marketing plan in place driven by effective messaging will ensure your success in 2015. To help create your plan, use our Healthcare Marketing Assessment Planning Tool.

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