White Horse Persona-Led Marketing Helps Clients with Online Acquisition and Retention

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Forrester Research cites woman-owned interactive agency as holding expertise in persona creation and persona research for online marketing strategy and design

One of the keys to successful online acquisition and retention efforts is a user-focused design process. Personas, or user profiles, based on direct study of target users, are an often-overlooked, but critical step in this process. White Horse, a privately held, woman-owned full-service interactive marketing firm, has been using personas for over seven years as the basis for everything from media profiling and planning to site development to e-newsletter programs. Recently Forrester Research cited White Horse alongside larger agencies such as R/GA and Sapient as an agency with extensive experience creating personas and performing persona research.

Over the years, White Horse has created personas for consumer brands, financial services, healthcare, retail, and technology clients. As noted in the report, White Horse creates personas for Web site design, business strategy, and marketing purposes.

"To be recognized by an important industry analyst validates the innovative work we've been doing for our clients since 2000," said Jennifer Modarelli-DeVoe, White Horse principal. "We've always been committed to creating quality online customer experiences, always focusing strategically on engaging the customer and meeting their needs to produce the desired results for our clients. We believe that persona-led marketing is the key to true end-to-end marketing."

White Horse uses personas to help focus and validate customers' key needs. Persona projects begin with stakeholder interviews and review of customer segmentation models and existing customer data. User experience professionals then identify key user types and directly interview or survey individuals to learn more about their goals, motivations, and behavior. From analysis of the qualitative research, we develop compelling narratives for representative real users that detail their lifestyle, action-triggering events, needs, thought processes, actions, and preferences.

The personas are then used to guide strategy, design, content, and technical development, resulting in a strategically focused product that can improve clients' lead generation or brand awareness.

Industry analysts are now recommending that client companies get more involved in using personas to improve their customers' experience with the company and its brand(s). White Horse can help companies use personas in a number of valuable ways, including building business cases, informing new product development and testing, and ensuring that marketing materials, including Web sites and SEM meet the target's needs and persuade them to take action.

White Horse has also been cited previously by Forrester as a leading interactive agency in its reports "The Power of Design Personas" and "Where to Find Help for Web Design Projects." Clients for whom it has created personas include KinderCare, DaVita, PacificSource Health Plans, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Impinj, and Wells Fargo.

About White Horse
Founded in 1980, White Horse is an award-winning, privately held, WBENC-certified woman-owned interactive agency with headquarters in Portland, Oregon. White Horse's client roster includes global, national, and regional clients, including Cisco Systems, Celestial Seasonings, KinderCare, Columbia Sportswear, Wells Fargo, Tektronix, and BlueCross BlueShield.

For more information, visit http://www.whitehorse.com or call 1-877-471-4200.

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Pam Kahl
White Horse
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