The Role of Personas in Political Marketing in Canada
Many political party strategists draw on Big Data to target specific groups of voters. This predominantly quantitative approach is useful for mobilising support, yet there are alternatives that help bring these voter segments to life. Pioneered in Australia (1996) and perfected in Canada (2006 to 2008), the use of personas in political marketing and communications holds several notable advantages. By personifying the segments – using names like “Phil and Jenny” or “Dougie” – strategists foster both internal cohesion and external consistency around their messaging. The technique is also useful for policy development. Grounded in an extensive review of campaigns and in-depth interviews, this article analyses the use of personas by the Conservative Party of Canada, pointing to the strengths and shortcomings of the approach.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Jared Wesley, Mitchell Pawluk
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