The divided persona: understand who you are selling to - Showtime Digital

The divided persona: understand who you are selling to

08 February 2019 Read 1431 times

Businesses today are developing deeper digital relationships with their customers on Social channels using an online ecosystem. Social networks completely permeate our lives, blurring the boundaries between our personal and professional lives.

In agency land, we are constantly driving the point that brands need to speak to the customer in the right voice at the right time. Why?

Cognitive Disonnance

TNS Quantitative Data surveyed people from social and professional networks to understand the distinction between the personas present on these networks. 

Be there for their reason, not yours

As with all conversations, you need to be able to connect with your listener by first understanding where their head is at and speak in their language.

Image 1 What users want

Image 1

This means you need to be aware of the context of why your viewers are there in the first place and what mindset they may be in. Image 1 shows how professionals want the content that will help improve their career, make better business decisions and recommend advice.

Over social, business that express brand personality through entertainment and customer interests to yield the best business outcomes and build strong, long lasting brand loyalty to maximise B2C and B2B marketing ROI.

In each case you start a dialogue by appealing to their emotional needs to deepen relationships and strengthen the impact of your message with relevant examples, analogies and imagery. Say less with more impact.

How people use social networks

At the core of why we engage on professional and personal networks are our differing needs and interests and the emotional drivers which fuel those. Just as people separate their professional lives from their personal social networks it’s important is to understand the emotional reasons for the difference (Image 2).

Image 2 Network Use

Image 2

People want to be entertained on personal networks and seek advice on professional networks. In some cases, businesses need to use both to help complement the other.

Divided persona dog

For example, IT professionals, like most of us, are challenging to get on the phone. They do however, appreciate being kept up-to-date on industry issues such as Cybersecurity. While they may be reticent to take a vendor’s phone call, they are 2x more likely to use Facebook than other professionals. 

So, this might be a good place to connect and start the conversation.

Case in point, here we see a post about a puppy getting saved. Nothing to do with work, or business in general, but 3,574 people liked it and 314 people shared it.   If professionals are on LinkedIn purely to be educated, could this be the reason for less engagement between advertisers and viewers? Absolutely.

Most people are much more reserved when their audience are employers and colleagues, concerned with the repercussions of an inappropriate comment.


Emotional divide

Have you noticed social networks suggesting you share past memories? People are engaging on social networks driven by entertainment and the sharing of memories. It's a place to connect with shared personal values inducing emotions of nostalgia, fun, and distraction.

Image 3

In contrast, professional networks such as LinkedIn are motivated by a sense of purpose, achievement, aspiration, and ambition.


The purpose for an online user on each network is different and because of this, their mindset adjusts to suit. The survey found that the greatest differentiator between mindsets is people spend time on a personal network but invest time on a professional one.

This mindset split between spending or investing time drives the consumer’s expectation and conversely, how brands should interact with them.

A previous post discussing the appropriateness of swearing on LinkedIn by self-titled Thought Leaders as entertainment value rather than an investment.

The importance of engaging in a dialogue (as opposed to a monologue) is growing greater and understanding what motivates your audience is how businesses accurately captures and engages with their buyers. Build your buyer persona today!