My Significant Persona


To give some background, a persona is a representation of behaviors and
goals of a certain target group. Brands of today are developing these
personas for all their products, as they're finding them imperative for the
understanding of their target customer and thus ensuring their products can
speak a language those customers understand.

While some of my clients call her "Theresa" and others call her "Sarah" ...
I call my digital persona Dalia.

Dalia is not a tech freak, she doesn't have an iPhone or an iPad, but she
lives, breathes and eats online.

Over the past 7 years, I've seen her spending - on average - two to three
hours a day on the Internet Googling, reading blogs, streaming videos and
music and connecting with friends and family.

While the center of her existence may be the kids (where I hopefully
belong!), her best friend is definitely and defiantly the Internet.

What else can make the new kid on the block in Oakville a resident expert,
and turn a novice into a pro.

5 days ago, some of you may have noticed that I tweeted heavily (through my
BB) about an internet connection problem we were facing at home. For some
reason, we suddenly lost access to 3 key websites: Facebook, Twitter and
YouTube for a few days.

I tried everything, from calling our ISP to calling the router company
numerous times trying to identify the problem, but nothing worked. Not to
get technical, but It seems that our IP phone decided to act as a firewall
and was creating non standard IPs that those 3 websites were rejecting.

Any-who, having lost the blood line to her digital universe, Dalia tried
very hard during the first two days to incentivise as well as intimidate me
into fixing it.

When nothing worked, on day 3 Dalia made this announcement: I have nothing
to do online. I no longer need the Internet.

After 12 years of living online, my mother of two, 30-40 Years old
significant other has narrowed down the "Internet" to 3 websites: Facebook,
Twitter & YouTube (plus Google of course!)

A very opinionated woman when it comes to her favorite brands, a skilled
DVR operator who waits 10 minutes after her favorite TV shows start to be
able to fast forward ads, a woman with a lot of pull on her 400 + Facebook
friends, 50+ neighbors, my "Theresa" had decided that if you - brands of
the world - want to reach her and she is not already searching for you,
then you have one of 3 options: Facebook, YouTube & Twitter.

She goes online to learn (Google), entertain herself (YouTube) and connect
with friends and people of interest (Facebook, Twitter).

And in all instances, she is after consumer facts. Whether she is looking
for a contractor to install a new granite counter top in our Kitchen, or
planning a summer camp for the kids, or weekend activities with friends or
a road trip to DC and deciding on stops we should make on the way, she only
has faith in reviews from those many strangers with experience you can
usually find online. Brand facts mean nothing to her.

So when you develop a website, and you have Dalia in mind as your HVC (High
Value Customer), who trust me has continuous access to my limited funds :)
remember to build it so you can: educate her, entertain her and allow her
to connect seamlessly with her friends.

If you don't, you will loose her - just like the Internet did a few days
ago, and all like minded mothers of this digital age. Who according to the
latest Forrester social technographics ladder account for more than 49% of
internet users.


A little about Duri-

Armed with a BA in Economics and a Masters in MIS
Ventured into the Dot Com field early in his career when he started up the first Online Ad Sales unit under Arabia.com in 1998. Arabia.com was the first Internet Media website in the Middle East created under a joint venture between Intel and HP. Became Arabia.com Sales & Marketing Director in 2002 based in Dubai.
*In 2003, Duri established the first Internet Media House in the MENA region, Net Advantage where he signed exclusive representation agreements with 70 leading portals from the region. By 2005, Net Ad owned the largest online advertising Media Network in the MENA region.
*In 2005 Duri started up his own Interactive Agency; IGENCY, offering clients turn-key digital marketing solutions handling clients like IBM, HSBC, Marriot, Air Arabia, Sony Ericsson.
*In 2005 Duri established the Arab Internet Standards Organization, which was a joint initiative between the British Standards Institute and Dubai Internet City for creating Internet Quality Standards for websites (ISO web certificates).
*In 2006 Mindshare, the WPP leading media agency, approached IGENCY with an acquisition deal, which was concluded in Jan 2007 where IGENCY became Mindshare Interaction, and Duri became the Managing Director of Mindshare Interaction.
*In Jan 2009, Duri moved with his wife and two kids to Toronto where he became the Director of Social Marketing for OgilvyOne Toronto