Taking Your User Personas to The Next Level

May 19, 2017
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Damon Clark

You’ve done the work of convincing your leadership team that it’s time to buy into inbound marketing. After finally getting the green light, you’ve invested your time carefully researching your clients and creating user personas. But now that you finally feel you’ve come up with the perfect descriptions of your target audience, your sales team just isn’t having it. What gives? Don’t they realize that you’re trying to help?

Personas are a big part of inbound marketing for a reason: they help your whole team to understand who they are talking to and how to best support them through the buyer’s journey. If you can get sales to understand and embrace your personas, your marketing efforts will be magnified. Look at HubSpot: their main persona, Marketing Mary, helps to ensure that their whole company understands their target customers and how to work with them. As a result, they have experienced huge growth since their conception in 2004.

How Can You Make Your Whole Company Understand Your User Personas?

The answer may lay in your favorite Netflix series.

Have you ever commented that a character from your favorite TV show reminds you of a friend or family member? There’s a reason for that: the creators of these shows are using personas to make their characters believable. So what does this mean for you? It means you can use these characters to develop your own personas! When you relate your company’s clients to a popular show, your team knows who they are and can understand them better. Not to mention it’s a huge time-saver. Why should you develop new personas when the television companies will do it for you?

Here at New Perspective, we decided to stick with what we know. In order to create new personas, we decided to turn to one of our favorite shows: Modern Family. Here’s what we came up with.

Modernize your Marketing Strategy with Modern Family.

If you haven’t seen it, Modern Family follows the lives of Jay Pritchett and his family. Jay owns Pritchett’s Closets & Blinds, a closet and blind company which he runs with his daughter Claire Dunphy. Their company designs luxury bespoke closets, employs around 50 – 250 employees, and competes fiercely against their main rivals: Closets, Closets, Closets.

Of course, these personas meant nothing to our agency if they didn’t relate to any of our current customers in Westborough, MA. After further investigation, we came up with some interesting parallels between some of our home services clients and the Modern Family crew:

  1. Closets, Closets, Closets experienced a decline in growth; they found that the reason is because a competitor adopted a digital marketing approach. It’s probably time they did a website redesign.
  2. They have had bad re-design experiences in the past. The last one took too long, went over budget, and the site quickly became outdated.
  3. The owner does not want to invest in the redesign process again, is confused by digital marketing, and is no longer engaged.
  4. The CEO is more aware that a stronger digital strategy can be beneficial and wants to help the owner see that it is important. They are always looking for ways to improve efficiency and drive growth.

While not every Massachusetts-based company we work with has the exact same experiences, these factors are common enough that we decided to use them as a baseline. And– as we drew a comparison to Modern Family– we decided to call our Owner persona “Jay” and our CEO persona “Claire.”

ClaireDunphy-persona-v2.jpg

via abc.go.com

Using this information, we established that Claire is looking for resources to support her request for a new website and larger marketing budget. However, she needs to present a strong business case to the skeptical owner. He believes their marketing budget should be spent on trade shows, which have gotten them this far. After building out campaigns for these personas, we produced content we thought Claire could use to help her plead her case. This will help Claire to approach her boss with a solution, and with data points to back up her request.

By using characters we knew, we could build stronger stories and better understand these characters motivations. Now, when our sales team is speaking to “Jay,” they remember his challenges and know which support materials the marketing team has produced that will be helpful to him. This allows them to help him throughout his buyer’s journey.

Alternatively, if they are speaking to “Claire,” they can quickly build rapport by relating her challenges to our existing clients. They can also share some best practices and resources, including blogs and e-books. A website health check might even help Claire produce a strong business case to Jay.

Remember, you don’t need to start from scratch to come up with personas. Look towards material you’re already consuming and find characters who look like your clients. Don’t be afraid to embrace the classics like the Simpsons or go wild with superheros. Whatever the case, linking a persona to a familiar character will help build stronger awareness, understanding, and support internally. If you think your website could use a free website health check, feel free to reach out to us here at New Perspective.

free website health check

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