Personas; pairing people with property

By Laura Parker / Focus , Marketing / 30th July 2019

Personas have taken over the way we do things here at Focus; High-flying Holly and Incentive-led Isaac have been popping up all over the place. So, what do they bring to Focus, and more importantly, how do they benefit our clients?

Gone are the days of blanket marketing campaigns across a radius with the same ‘coming soon’ message. With high competition in the new build sector and an ever-increasing price point, now, more than ever, marketers need to target their spend, creative approach, and message to ensure the best ROI. It’s time to pair people with property.

What are personas?

All our processes begin with personas; researched and created by Focus on Media. The purpose of this exercise is to truly understand our target market and be led by their habits and preferences in our creative and strategy.

"we need to understand everything about the potential buyer"

To get under the skin of the people living in an area, we research and analyse the social-economic background to decipher who the buyer might be. We then look at where they’re likely to be coming from, so we can target our marketing in those areas, increasing the ROI and avoiding any unnecessary spend on irrelevant demographics.

“We need to understand everything about the potential buyer; the street, how many kids they’ve got, how much they earn, what they do at the weekend, what hurdles do they face, and what their aspirations are. Then we can paint a picture that’s going to be appealing to them.” – James Mercer

Once these personas are defined, we make them the currency our of marketing, helping us determine where to effectively reach and engage with likely buyers and ultimately build a brand that will match (or hopefully exceed) their expectations.

"we like to be involved on a project as early as possible to allow personas to dictate from the beginning"

“Being involved in the land purchase exercise means we can use the intelligence from the persona profiles to help identify where the marketing suite needs to sit, capturing the attention of the right target audience passing by.” – James Mercer

This method has allowed us to truly hone in on what our clients’ brands should look like, what they should say and stand for, and how they should advertise. Below is an example of a visual landscape of one of our personas, used to visualise what appeals to that target audience.


personas inspired mood board

Are personas worth the hype?

This new approach has shaken up the way we, and our clients, think about property marketing. It means that we are correctly positioning campaigns and ensuring they transcend beyond the tastes of the marketing teams we pitch to and instead connect with the relevant target audience(s) and those that matter most, customers!

Perfect examples of personas working for our clients is Rochester Riverside and Barking Riverside. These two developments were both based around different personas and therefore needed completely different approaches.

personas inspired the work at Barking Riverside & Rochester Riverside, seen here in the Barking Riverside posters and Rochester Riverside newspaper ad


At Barking Riverside, our personas helped us establish buyer profiles allowing us to understand the challenges and threats we needed to overcome at such an early stage in the development’s long lifespan. With that intel, we were able to create our simple, yet intriguing promotional campaign which enticed onlookers with the vision and magnitude of the project and its future. As momentum grew, we then used the aspirations of those target audiences to leverage the benefits of the homebuying enablers, London Help to Buy and Shared Ownership, to give them a genuine reason to engage.


"our personas helped determine a brand that would sit perfectly"

At Rochester Riverside, our personas helped determine a brand that would sit perfectly for those seeking a lifestyle that provides a great work-life balance, strong community and a place to either start out or grow further.

Marketing it as a ‘brand new riverside destination’ we were able to profile different target audiences that we knew would be looking at this development for commuter purposes, healthy outdoor lifestyles and those looking to settle long-term into a place which mixes a visibly historic past with a prosperous new chapter.

personas inspired the colourful creative at barking riverside as seen by the branding concepts

This tactic certainly proved its worth at Barking Riverside as it’s the best development for lead generation in L&Q history. Our pre-launch activity generated 1,212 goal completions in the first month and in the 10 days prior to launch on 6th October, approximately 1,000 leads were being added to the database on a daily basis. This resulted in 9 reservations on launch weekend, split between Shared Ownership and London Help to Buy plots, which the client was very happy with.

"the best development for lead generation in L&Q history"

Rochester Riverside was equally successful. When tasked with drumming up over 1,000 registrations for the preview event that was being held on Saturday 8th September, we surpassed this target way before the deadline, with 1,009 credible prospects achieved by 13th August. The marketing activity saw the preview event generate 22 sales ahead of the main launch.


Specifying a target audience certainly isn’t revolutionary, but the technology used by Focus on Media to provide an in-depth persona profile is a game-changer. This new intelligence means more informed marketing and better results. Don’t believe us? Check out our work to see personas in action.

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Laura Parker

Written by

Laura Parker

Laura is our Marketing Manager at Focus. She is busy taking Focus' content strategy to the next level and spreading the word about our bustling agency. When she's not attached to Instagram, you'll find her following cute dogs around and playing rugby.