Personification has been promoted by industry analyst Gartner since 1995 as an approach where improved relevance can be delivered by providing segment-based communications. This is distinct from 1:1 communications based on an individuals’ identity where permission hasn’t been gained. You can see this is closely related to personalization
In their article, the personification of digital marketing they define personification as:
“Enabling marketers to deliver targeted digital experiences to individuals based on their inferred membership in a characteristic customer segment rather than on their personal identity”.
They explain their reasoning as follows: “A key element here is the notion of a “persona” which we take to be a data-driven audience segment that has been irreversibly de-identified (in other words, all personally identifiable information removed) and can be dynamically activated in a digital campaign (advertising, email, or on-site). Personification bridges the gap between broad-reach branding efforts like content marketing and true 1-to-1 interactions, which should always be under control of the customer“.
Personification is a marketing trend which has featured on Gartner’s marketing hype cycles in recent years.