Storytelling and Developing Personas

Episode 57

EP. 57:

Storytelling and Developing Personas

Allison featuring Joseph Lapin

with Joseph Lapin

As the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Circa Interactive, Joseph Lapin has created a career around his core passions: storytelling, strategy, marketing, education, and consumer behavior. His journey started after he earned his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a freelance journalist and wrote for publications like the LA Times, LA Weekly, Slate, and many more. Joseph brought those storytelling skills to Circa Interactive, where he helped build a digital marketing company focused on creating marketing strategies and brand campaigns for top-tier higher education institutions. Circa Interactive has made the Inc. 5000 list three years in a row, and Joseph is proud of how much they’ve grown in a short time. As Joseph builds his career as an advertising professional, he still works on his craft as an author and essayist.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why speaking directly to faculty is the key to better understanding your audience and developing your personas
  • Why clear personas can be powerful resources to help you better focus your marketing efforts and bring your story to the right audience
  • How the “hero’s journey” from literature can also apply to your higher ed institution’s marketing and storytelling efforts
  • How building personas can help you speak to people on a fundamental, psychological level that connects to them emotionally and can help you develop categories of audiences
  • How often your personas need to be updated and refreshed, and how to evolve your multiple personas alongside your programs, CRM and job titles
  • Why Cambridge Analytica, despite their awful history and past controversies, provide a powerful example of how to use persona-based marketing
  • Why accurate analytics are crucial for identifying what is and isn’t working and how you can evolve your methods and better reach your audience
  • Why it is important to go beyond demographic data and identify what your target audience cares about and other psychographic information
  • Why the coming shift to online-only education isn’t the major issue it may seem to be, and why the bigger hurdle is demonstrating the value of higher education going forward
  • Why, in spite of all the turmoil, chaos and difficulties in our world today, it is important to maintain and share hope

Additional Resources




Joseph Lapin

Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Circa Interactive