Personas: More than Just Marketing Swag
The value of creating personas to better understand and therefore better communicate with audiences is becoming known and accepted by marketers across all industries. The value of being able to put yourself in the shoes of your audience is especially important to those that write marketing content. We’ve come to understand that personas help us customize the constituent experience in terms of what we say and how we say it. We grasp the low-hanging fruit such as being able to write engaging subject lines and choosing creative images that stir our audiences. One could reasonably think that personas belong in the marketing toolbox along with the rest of the cool marketing swag.
Frankly, if you don’t have a big picture view of the benefits of personas, one could argue that it’s not worth the time and effort it takes to create them. You need a greater return on the investment. You understand the value for the marketing department, but what else are personas good for? Good question. Personas are so much more than just marketing swag!
Let’s for a moment think about the various touch points that your constituents have with your organization. If all the functional areas of your organization could experience things through the eyes of your audience would that perspective be enlightening? Would it spur innovation, enhancements or improvements? Would it identify pain points or risks, and quicken the resolve?
Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, is known for placing an empty chair at the conference room table and announcing that the chair was occupied by “the most important person in the room,” the customer.
Keeping the audience front and center, always in the line of site, is the big picture view and value of developing personas. Associations and nonprofits are well known for being mission driven and strive to put their constituents at the center of what they do. Personas are the tool for bringing a unified organizational understanding of your audience to life. They can help all functional departments plan better, problem solve better and serve better.
So invite your “audience” to the next technology roadmap session. Bring your “audience” to the next marketing strategy session. Take your “audience” with you to your next event planning session. Whatever you do, please don’t leave your “audience” in the marketing toolbox. There is so much more they can do for you!
For more information on getting started with persona development, check out our getting started guide.