Wednesday, March 19, 2008

MarketingSherpa Weighs in on Using Personas to Lift Revenue

If you don't get to this content before March 26, signup for a MarketingSherpa trial to get this case study on Personas.

In this case study from H20+, Sherpa give us seven steps for creating and using Personas. I wanted to weigh in.

1. Start with what you know

The beauty of personas is that, by developing them, you are really just organizing what you already know about your customers and Web visitors.

2. Talk to people who interact with your customers

The case study calls out customer service reps, sales people and technical support reps as sources for knowledge that can be shaped into personas. Smaller companies will want to include founders, product managers and marketing managers.

3. Dig into your data

This is pretty intuitive, but don't let a lack of data keep you from developing a set of personas. It is better to market to a specific "wrong" visitor than it is to market to nobody.

4. Identify the holes

Often times, we don't know some of the key reasons that people take action. What information are you not considering?

5. Fill in the blanks

Surveys, focus groups and such are really only effective when you're trying to answer specific questions. You already know what you know. Use these tools to find out what you don't know.

6. Name your personas

I'd go a step further and say give them names that will invoke their personality and role. Some of the persona names I've developed include Naive Nick, Penny Planner, Larry Leftbrain, and Victor Visionary. I also attach a picture of them to each profile.

7. Refine Personas

When developing personas for Web marketing, I recommend updating personas with each analytics review -- typically once per month. The changes may not be significant, but if you realize you're missing a segment of your visitors, you can add new personas immediately. This is better than waiting a year.

I'll also add the following suggestion provided by Lynn Pausic from Expero, Inc. in her presentation to the Bootstrap Network in January:

8. Put your personas up on a Wiki

All too often the personas are shoved into a drawer or buried on someone's hard drive. Put them on a wiki where they can be easily accessed and updated by the entire staff.

Needless to say, you should be subscribe to MarketingSherpa's free best-of newsletter.

MarketingSherpa: How to Use Personas to Lift Revenue 500% in 7 Easy-to-Follow Steps

1 comment:

  1. I love #6. Personas are after all-personalized!


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