Flashpoints: Triggering Action

Gayle Ronan | Dec 10, 2015

Going through the exercise of creating personas is not new. We all do it to gain insight into what motivates our target. But, it’s what is done afterwards that can make the real difference in how well we apply our understanding to our messaging.

More Than an Insight

For instance, in working on a lead generation campaign for a federation of credit counselors, it was determined one of the key target markets for debt counseling is working mothers. But through the discovery process, three very different personas emerged:

  • The married woman, who needs to consider her partner’s feelings while speaking up and seizing the initiative to seek help
  • The never-married mother, who is overwhelmed by her financial and family circumstances
  • The divorced, separated or widowed woman, who feels unprepared and possibly even a little resentful of her changed status

While all are working moms, each travels a different emotional path before they reach the same flashpoint: Debt counseling will provide needed relief and answers that will improve my family’s life.

The articulation of that flashpoint results in the insight that money issues leave people feeling powerless and alone. When they are forced to face reality, they seek immediate help.

But to improve the chances of delivering each target to her moment of decision and action, we built our messaging to:

  1. Appeal not just to the commonalities of the targeted audience but to the specific emotional and rational needs of each persona.
  2. Use high-engagement, targeted media to attract attention and compel each audience segment to take action.
  3. Create a clear path of action for solving the problem—both the financial and the emotional.



In writing about the need to pursue such microtargeting, Google’s Sridhar Ramaswamy provides this stat: 69% of online consumers agree that the quality, timing or relevance of a company’s message influences their perception of a brand.1

When you only have a moment to ignite interest in your brand and convey what it can do for your prospects, you need to make it count. We believe that is done with versioned messaging intended to speak to an audience of one—to how their immediate needs will be solved and their underlying emotions addressed.

For more information on how our media and creative strategies can work together to tip the scales toward favorable results for you, download our checklist and then contact Steve Schmieder at 312-327-5120 or



[1] Sridhar Ramaswamy, “How Micro-Moments Are Changing the Rules,”, posted April 2015, retrieved Aug. 26, 2015.


Gayle Ronan

Gayle has over 25 years of financial services marketing, research, and writing experience to craft compelling content for the digital age.

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