One Call Now is a messaging company which has developed a rather unique method of describing and analyzing various online customer personas by resorting to one of the most basic tenets of our culture. No, they didn’t head towards politics, the environment, current events, or anything else that would be overtly obvious. They boldly went where no one has gone before: Interpreting online consumer personas through the four main characters of Star Trek!

Assigning customer personas to each main Trek character

The company launched the appropriately named Spock Project to break down online purchaser personas according to four fundamental characteristics:

  1. Spontaneous – Captain Kirk
  2. Competitive – Mr. Spock
  3. Humanistic – Dr. McCoy
  4. Methodical – Scotty

The analysis plays off each character’s key tendencies

The online persona analysis attributed specific tendencies to each type: The competitive customer is primarily driven through deriving data which is fully quantifiable, such as which brand has the best value offering, or which choice can benefit them the most in a thoroughly tangible manner. The humanistic customer, however, is more motivated by case studies and testimonials which show what the effect is on the buyer once the purchase has been consummated.

The spontaneous Captain Kirk reacts well to big buttons

In order to derive results from their analysis the company created four landing pages, each designed to appeal to the particular characteristics of the customer persona types. For the spontaneous persona for example, they created a big bright green BUY NOW button. Whether this is a thinly veiled reference to Captain Kirk’s penchant for green skinned Orion Slave Girls or just a color choice meant to attract attention is a matter best left for a debate at the next Trek Convention.

A weakness of this analysis is the Scotty / Spock overlap

However, for the Scotty methodical type of customer persona, neither the testimonials or the big bold buttons work although they are somewhat closer to the Spock type of competitive persona. The Scottys are mainly motivated by powerful content and the ease of being able to compare features. Yes, the delineation in this model between the Scottys and the Spocks is as tenuous as Trek designer Michael Okuda’s definition of how the Heisenberg Compensators work (“very well, actually”). While in Trek no one would confuse Spock with Scotty, this model has them a bit too close for comfort. Maybe this crossover will take place in the next movie in the JJ Abrams-verse where in between the endless shots of really attractive people paradoxically running all the time (any reason why people have to run this much in an era where you can transport from one place to another in a second?) there will be a transporter accident to produce a Federation officer with pointy ears and a really bad Scottish accent.

The McCoys are more interested in cat videos than microcircuitry

Regardless of the apparent overlap between two of the online customer personas, there is ample validity in this type of analysis as the anthropomorphism of the archetypes into personality traits of characters which we are all familiar with can help everyone in your marketing department to readily grasp what elements appeal to which type of customer. Dr. Leonard (Bones) McCoy is always whining about some aspect of preserving humanity in such a technological age, so the best way to approach the humanists is not to provide them with a fly through of your computer silicon’s Hi-K metal gate lithographic microcircuitry but to concentrate on what the higher efficiency of your chip can do for their everyday computer usage, all the way from processing voice inputs in a faster and more effective manner to allowing them to view their favorite cat videos without stutters.

No matter whether your primary targeted customer persona turns out to be a Kirk, Spock, Scotty, or Bones, there are very clear and direct benefits in associating such well known characters to your email marketing campaign efforts. After all if these characters were able to survive from a mid-Sixties cheesy sci-fi TV show to become an indelible part of modern culture, they do have considerable marketing value!