Persona-centric marketing helps organizations realize higher conversion rates and customer retention, but making the shift from product and service marketing to personas is not always easy. In this podcast, we explain what persona-centric marketing is, and how you can overcome the 6 common challenges faced by organizations who try to adopt persona-centric practices.
What is Persona-Centric Marketing? (3:01 – 4:48)
- Persona-centric marketing is focusing on meeting the needs of the prospect or customer at a personalized level based on the information found in a persona: demographics, psychographics and where they are in the customer journey.
- More clarity or focus in production of content or creative
- Higher conversion rates or close rates because the content is personalized for that prospect
- Higher customer retention because our personalized marketing makes audience members feel like they belong
- Segmenting our audience through personas means the data we get back out will also be segmented
6 Challenges Faced by Organizations Trying To Adopt Persona-Centric Practices (4:50 – 13:53)
1. No one is taking the reigns to make it happen
- Solution: Become the change agent, even if the shift to personas doesn’t extend beyond your department
- Back up your work by referencing thought leaders who are in support of this shift like Brian Solis, Joseph Jaffe, Kerry Bodine, Chip Bell and Adele Revella
2. There is no motivation or sense of urgency to get this going
- Solution: Paint two pictures of the organization: one that shows what is broken now, and one of how things could look in the Utopian future.
- The broken picture highlights key elements of the customer journey that would benefit from persona-centricity.
- Ex: Moments that create a poor customer experience
- The Utopian future shows how the customer experience would improve as a result of changes to the customer journey and how that translates into lower customer acquisition dollars, higher customer retention etc.
Charity Break – Alzheimer’s Foundation of America; – (13:54 – 14:51)
6 Challenges Faced by Organizations Trying To Adopt Persona-Centric Practices (Continued) (15:30 – 31:09)
3. The organization is siloed because of different business lines, or because of different parts of the customer journey
- Solution: Focus on communication. Make other groups in the organization aware of the work you’re doing and invite them to participate early and often.
4. We don’t have buy-in from the C-Suite
- Solution: Start with a briefing at the C-Suite level. Provide case studies from other thought leaders. Make the personas and customer journeys visual and easy to understand.
5. There is a gap in education, training or awareness
- Solution: Turn personas into a visual display for the entire team to see and make sure company-wide reporting includes references to the personas and customer journey. Also include references to education materials.
6. There are hurdles maintaining momentum
- Solution: Remember that persona-centric marketing can be phased in over time. It doesn’t need to be done all at once.
- Focus on transforming new content or creative with personas
- When time allows, refresh old or existing content in small chunks over time
Summary (31:10 – 33:30)
We hope you want to join us on our journey. Find us on IterativeMarketing.net, the hub for the methodology and community. Email us at [email protected], follow us on twitter at @iter8ive or join The Iterative Marketing Community LinkedIn group.
The Iterative Marketing Podcast is a production of Brilliant Metrics, a consultancy helping brands and agencies rid the world of marketing waste.
Producer: Heather Ohlman
Transcription: Emily Bechtel
Music: SeaStock Audio
Onward and upward!
Steve Robinson: Hello, Iterative Marketers! Welcome to the Iterative Marketing podcast, where each week, we give marketers and entrepreneurs actionable ideas, techniques and examples to improve your marketing results. If you want notes and links to the resources discussed on the show, sign up to get them emailed to you each week at iterativemarketing.net. There, you’ll also find the Iterative Marketing blog and our community LinkedIn group, where you can share ideas and ask questions of your fellow Iterative Marketers. Now, let’s dive into the show.
Hello everyone and welcome to the Iterative Marketing podcast. I am your host Steve Robinson and with me as always is the organized but not too organized, Elizabeth Earin. How are you doing, Elizabeth?
Elizabeth Earin: I am well, Steve. How are you?
Steve Robinson: I am doing pretty well, pretty well. We’re gearing up for summer here.
Elizabeth Earin: Any big plans?
Steve Robinson: Well, we’re trying to figure out, we plan to take a vacation this summer and we’re trying to decide between airplane or road trip, which is the lesser of two evils with three under the age of six.
Elizabeth Earin: Well, I think it depends on your family. I know some families are very good at flying and some families are very good at road trips. What’s your guys’ track record been?
Steve Robinson: I think it’s kinder to the rest of the people on the airplane for us to staying the car.
Elizabeth Earin: See, we love road trips. So, we look for every opportunity to go on road trips. Our son is, he’s got it down, he’s great at being in the car and looking out the window and finding trees and animals and so we look for every opportunity for a road trip.
Steve Robinson: Excellent. Yeah, I think in general we’re pretty good with road trips but I don’t know now that we’ve got an additional member of the family this year it’s going to be, could be a whole new game.
Elizabeth Earin: Well, I can’t wait to hear how it goes.
Steve Robinson: Will keep you informed. What are we actually talking about today?
Elizabeth Earin: So, today we’re talking about how to shift your organization from a big idea or product and service marketing to persona-centric marketing.
Steve Robinson: We’ll talk about why it’s necessary to make this move and we’ll also talk about a lot of the friction or issues or challenges that people encounter when they try to make this shift because it’s not necessarily an easy transition for a lot of organizations.
Elizabeth Earin: I think the reason we really wanted to focus on this for this episode is that when we’re working with clients and prospects to implement personas and customer journeys there’s always some sort of resistance that we hit and we and our clients have found a number of tactics that we’ve been able to use to overcome this friction to the benefit of the organization.
Steve Robinson: Yeah. So, we thought it would make sense to share some of those tactics with you today. So, if you’re in a position where you are trying to move what feels like a mountain that you’ve got some ways to turn it into a molehill, right?
Elizabeth Earin: Exactly but I think before we dive into sort of talking about how to overcome some of those obstacles I think we need to start at maybe defining what we’re talking about when we say persona-centric.
Steve Robinson: Yeah. When we say persona-centric we’re talking about focusing on meeting the needs of the prospect or the customer at a personalized level based on things that you would find in a persona, their demographics, their psychographics as well as where they are in their customer journey. So, it’s helping to make sure that you’re doing the right thing for the right person at the right time.
Elizabeth Earin: There’s a lot of benefits to doing this. First and foremost you have more clarity or more focus in the production of your content and creative because you know exactly who you’re talking to, you know exactly what interests them, what they’re looking for, the information they’re seeking out and you know what information they’re seeking out along each step of their buyer’s journey.
Steve Robinson: The other benefits are more tangible because you’re going to see better outcomes, you’re going to see higher conversion rates or close rates because the content is personalized to that customer or prospect, right? for who they are and where they are.
Elizabeth Earin: And that leads to something else that we start to see and that’s a higher customer attention due to those personalized materials that we are able to deliver because when we can speak to our audience in a way that shows that we know them they feel like they belong, they feel like we understand them because we do and it makes them want to stick around.
Steve Robinson: Then finally if you go through the process of segmenting your audience and putting them into particularly along persona lines then the data that you get back out is also segmented. So, if your actions are segmented your data that you get back is segmented which gives you an opportunity to learn things at a persona level where you’ll find that they’re often a little bit more clear because different personas react differently to different stimuli.
Elizabeth Earin: Exactly. So, what is sort of the problem that that we’re facing? Why do organizations have such a hard time implementing personas and customer journeys and the work that’s needed for persona-centric marketing?
Steve Robinson: Well, there’s lots of different reasons and I think what would be most effective is if we actually just loop through each of those individual reasons those challenges one at a time and then talk about the tactics that we found to support each one individually. The first one’s kind of obvious, it’s not having someone to really take the reigns and be that change agent or that champion within the organization to make this happen.
Elizabeth Earin: I think that’s a great point, Steve. When you look at it when you’re looking to make that shift to a persona-centric mindset that that’s not just one department that gets impacted, that’s the entire organization that has to take control of that and has to really help to push that through and supportive and so a lot of times it falls into that “it’s not my job” because it does overlap those unseen organizational lines.
Steve Robinson: Yeah and it can feel intimidating because along those same lines if it’s going to impact other departments then it may seem like it’s too large for your role within marketing and this is moving mountains here and my job is – my lanes are within the marketing department.
Elizabeth Earin: I think that leads to if you do try to step up and you do try to take control of this process or lead this process it can feel like even though you’ve gone through all this effort within your own department someone else in the organization is going to come in and sort of sabotage what it is the work that you’ve done.
Steve Robinson: Yeah, I mean we’ve all had that happen to our projects, right?
Elizabeth Earin: Umm-hmm
Steve Robinson: So, what are some of the solutions to this? How have our clients overcome this?
Elizabeth Earin: They’ve just done it and I know that sounds kind of a little like –
Steve Robinson: Nike-ish.
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah, not Nike-ish, that too but they’ve taken that leap of faith, they’ve taken that extra step and they’ve become the change agent and they’ve done so in a variety of different ways but I think the first hurdle they kind of get over is that they realize that in the worst case even if you start to implement this and it doesn’t go beyond your department at least you’ve implemented it within your own department and you can apply personas and customer journeys within the work that you’re doing and even if it ends there you’re still going to realize some really phenomenal benefits and not only that but you have a really great story to tell and hopefully as you tell that story and the company finds out about what it is you’ve been able to accomplish they think “hmm, this is interesting, this is something I want to look into” and you can find someone else within the organization that can help you spearhead that project.
Steve Robinson: And it might be that maybe you even only get to apply personas within your own work, your own domain, your own little slice of the marketing department and that’s okay too. It’s building up that expertise on your end, so you have that to carry with you into your career forward and you get to get the utility of it while you’re there. We’ll also talk about some things to make that hurdle of getting it outside of your own domain less of a challenge, we’ll talk a lot about those tactics as we work our way through the other impediments that come up throughout this episode. That said if you’re not a member of the senior leadership team one of the best things that you can do to help make this happen is make sure that somebody who is in a higher leadership role is your advocate, is your champion for enacting this change, ideally above the marketing department if not the CMO or VP of Marketing or whoever’s at the head of the table there.
Elizabeth Earin: And if you’re trying to convince someone at the head of the table you’re not alone you’ve got other people, other great industry voices that believe that this is a good idea that have the proof that this is a good idea. What are some of your favorite thought leaders?
Steve Robinson: If I had to go to a senior leader and say, hey, this is not my crackpot idea, we’ve got serious heavy hitters in the industry who are saying this, anybody from Forrester, you’ve got Brian Solis who came out of there, on the marketing side you’ve got Joseph Jaffe and more corporate customer experience type areas you’ve got people like Kerry Bodine, Chip Bell, you’ve got authors of books about persona-centric thinking like Adele Revella. There’s lots of thought leaders you can go to to go and pull case studies and validation that this is not your little pet project, this is the direction of the world.
Elizabeth Earin: We’re not just looking to thought leaders, another way that we can really help to become the change agent is to look to build a network of people in either our line of business or other line of businesses in similar roles that have the same marketing mentality that you do and working with them, keeping them informed of what you’re doing, asking them for help and input, sharing the results, sharing your momentum, this helps to sort of build up the case studies for why this is the right decision for your organization, and these people become your advocates and they become a great network for you to rely on when you hit one of those little road bumps of I’m not sure which way to go you already have this great group of people who are using this in their lives as well.
Steve Robinson: The key is to start small, focus on your area of work, build up some influence throughout the organization where you need it, where you need to get input in order to make this successful and keep the rest of the organization informed as you go because that’s going to demonstrate momentum within the company and it will help others come along for the ride. What’s our next big issue?
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah. So, the next one kind of, it ties in something I think that hits that all of us get run into occasionally with some project or another and that’s either there’s no motivation to get this going or there’s no sense of urgency to get it going.
Steve Robinson: Yeah. You see this at two levels, one if senior leadership doesn’t see a need for this either within marketing or outside of marketing then they’re not going to enact any change themselves in how they’re communicating or how they’re interacting with the rest of the department and that’s going to cause some serious impediments. So, you want to try and create that sense of motivation, that urgency within senior leadership, the same thing is true with the rest of the organization particularly those other touch points that are going to become key as you try to work within a persona-centric world and those come primarily in sales but also in customer service or any other customer facing role, those are the people that have the insights you need in order to be able to really nail your persona discovery process as well as those are the people that are going to contribute to creating that ideal customer journey moving forward and making sure that marketing isn’t sitting in a silo within that customer journey.
Elizabeth Earin: Now if this is the scenario, this is the obstacle that’s holding you back there’s sort of two solutions to how you can approach this. The first is to paint two pictures, what’s working or what’s happening now sort of the broken versus the utopian future what it could be and what the potential is in the future.
Steve Robinson: Yeah. That broken now picture serves to highlight some of the key elements the customer journey that would really benefit to a shift to persona-centricity. So, these are the instances where it’s either creating a poor customer experience because they’re getting something that’s totally not applicable to them or whether there’s huge opportunities to improve conversion and click through rate whatever it might be your positive outcomes because you’re showing the same stuff to everyone. The utopian future that the benefit is just exactly that, how can you quantify those changes, how can you say if we were to do this better, if we were to actually improve the outcomes here what would that look like as far as revenue goes and what does that look like across the organization too, you can break this out of the marketing department if you need to get advocates there as well. So, what does it look like for customer retention? What does this look like for improving close rates or positive outcomes there and what does even a 3% or 5% bump in either of those two metrics mean to the organization as far as money? And you’ll suddenly see, whoa! This could become a very profitable endeavor.
Elizabeth Earin: Exactly. I think that if that doesn’t help you overcome this obstacle or even along that way the other thing you really want to make sure that you’re doing is demonstrating a momentum and one of the ways that you do that is make sure that the work that you are doing is highly visible. You want to make sure that appropriate people are, it’s being shared with them that they know what’s going on, that they understand the results you’re getting, that they see where you’ve actually been able to show with hard metrics where you’ve seen improvements. People can’t argue with the data. So, if you’re sharing this with them even if they’re not onboard in the beginning they’re eventually going to come around.
Steve Robinson: Yeah and storytelling can be really helpful there. So, start out with what was the challenge or problem, how did we use persona-centric thinking to address this and what was the positive outcome. I think it’s a great time for us to take a quick break and go help some people, some real people not some personas. So, let’s go do that.
Elizabeth Earin: Before we continue I would like to take a quick moment to ask you Iterative Marketers a small but meaningful favor, and ask that you give a few dollars to a charity that’s important to one of our own. This week we are asking that you make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The AFA unites more than 2600 member organizations across the country who are dedicated to meeting the educational, emotional, and practical needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses and their caregivers and families. To find out how you can help please visit alzfnd.org or visit the link in the show notes. If you would like to submit your cause for consideration for our next podcast please visit iterativemarketing.net/podcast and click the share a cause button. We love sharing causes that are important to you.
Steve Robinson: And we are back. So, before the break we introduced what a persona-centric mindset was, why we’re talking about it today and why we’re sharing these tips and we also addressed two of those key blockages that can get in your way as you’re trying to implement persona-centric thinking within marketing or beyond and the two that we talked about we’re not having a change agent, the person to really take charge and lead this or not having champions within the organization to clear that path forward and we also talked about a lack of urgency or need and that can really help as far as that champions or just other stakeholders. Let’s talk about some other issues here and the one that I think we run into more often than not is the idea of a siloed organization. So, do you want to talk a little bit about how that can impact persona-centric thinking?
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah definitely and I think it’s important to note that this can happen in two different ways, it can either happen because you have different lines of business that are siloed from each other or you can have different parts of the customer journey that can be siloed from each other. Marketing and sales when there’s a clear distinct line and not open communication between the two is a really great example of when that happens. Once they become a customer and they get handed off to the customer care team and sales drops out of the picture that’s another great example of where you have that break in continuity and so these two different types of scenarios create these silos that contribute to this problem.
Steve Robinson: Yeah and ultimately at the end of the day this causes two problems, you have the problem that nobody can own the definition of who the customer is because does sales own that, does marketing own that, does customer service own that, does product design own that? Who owns this definition of who the customer is and the second is that how do you get the moving parts of that customer journey in sync so that you can make sure that from a marketing perspective you actually have an awareness of where people are in that customer journey and what you need to foster the best experience possible from a marketing standpoint as they move through. It’s really hard to do that if everybody is stuck with their blinders on in their little fiefdom.
Elizabeth Earin: That happens more often than I can say I want to say almost every situation. Even those organizations that are totally on board, this still comes up as an obstacle that we encounter because when you do start talking about who owns the process, we are all passionate about what we do and we don’t want someone to come in and tell us how to run our department or run our business and so it’s finding that common ground and personas and customer journeys can really help with finding that common ground but you have to get everyone on board and start doing the legwork before that can happen.
Steve Robinson: And the key here to overcome this is to focus on that communication, you want to – As you begin this project you want to make other groups within your organisation aware of the work that you’re doing and be open and invite them to participate early and often, right? If they decline at first bring them back in later or invite them back in later. As long as the door is open for them to participate they can’t come back later and say that this was done in a vacuum and I think that’s part of the key there. Flipside of that is don’t get mired down in governance either. So, in some organizations when you start to invite people cross functionally into a project that can open up a whole bunch of governance steps and now you have to create a task force and do this that and the other, see what you can do to avoid falling into that early because it can slow things down immeasurably and almost sometimes cause the whole thing to just stop.
Elizabeth Earin: And then once that groundwork is laid you want to create a cross-functional group that can meet to discuss this, to keep this going, to keep the momentum that you started going whether it’s a task force or a center of excellence you’re really looking for a group that can meet that’s represented by each of the departments that are involved or each of the business units that are involved who can meet regularly, review the documents, provide feedback and make these living documents that you can continue to build off of as you move forward and learn more about your audience and their journey.
Steve Robinson: Exactly. The key is to do that more formal stuff after you have something.
Elizabeth Earin: Yes.
Steve Robinson: Not before. This is kind of similar as well, you’ve got the silo stuff at the middle but then it’s important to have some buy-in from the C-suite because we’ve all been there, you work on a great marketing program, you think you have your T’s crossed and your I’s dotted and all of a sudden it gets in front of somebody in the C-suite and they have some idea, right? And the idea must become part of the program and you’re going, yeah, but I don’t have a persona for this, I don’t know where it fits in the customer journey, I don’t know where to go here and so you need to have that buy-in from the C-suite as early in the process as possible. Why is that a hard thing to do?
Elizabeth Earin: I think it’s a hard thing to do for a couple of different reasons and the first one being that especially if you’re working with an organization or for an organization that has multiple lines of business with customer crossover happening when you start talking about persona-centric thinking this really threatens the way that the business has been run for who knows how long and that change can be a little bit scary and so when you start talking about this new idea that sort of threatens the way that we’ve always done things that can get shot down pretty quick.
Steve Robinson: Your C-suite is generally the part of the organization that has the most experience, they’ve been doing this for a long time, they’re in that role because of the experience and expertise from a leadership standpoint and a strategic standpoint that they have, this is foreign material to them. So, it’s a hard change for them to make from a mindset standpoint, it’s not impossible though.
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah. We’re asking them to go from looking at this from a product service lens to looking at this from the human side from the persona side and that is a huge shift and it’s not just a shift in your mentality but it’s a shift in how you move forward in general and that affects processes and internal communication and there’s a wealth of ways that this influences and changes how you do business.
Steve Robinson: Yeah. So, the key, at least the keys that I found to overcoming this and our customers have found is start with a briefing, make sure they’re informed early but make sure that this information is at the C-suite level, that it’s at the executive level and not mired in marketing speak.
Elizabeth Earin: That’s a great point. I think this is a great time to bring those thought leaders in that you talked about earlier where case studies from some well-respected names in the industry, names that your C-suite has heard of or other industries or other organizations in similar industries or other industries, again that they’ve heard of, this is going to help lay the groundwork that you’re not trying to do something that is totally new and out there and that people have had success with this and not only have people had success but it’s people that they respect who had success with it.
Steve Robinson: Yeah and if you can pepper in a story from disrupter in your industry, somebody who threatens your organization from the very fabric of how you’re structured that can be really effective too because it lays that that Oh! this is the future, this is where they’re going, we need to make sure that we’re moving internally there as well.
Elizabeth Earin: Exactly.
Steve Robinson: When you do approach them about producing customer journeys or show them some customer journeys and some personas you want to limit the subset of these because even if within the marketing department you’ve identified 20 different personas that you’re going to develop and you’ve developed 10, show the executives three. They really only need to know the key players, you can mention that there are others but show them the key players, don’t give them too much to digest at once and then make sure that when you’re presenting materials the entire way through the process that they’re visual and that they can be understood in five minutes or less because if you start showing them your master customer journey document that contains who’s pulling which ropes where from sales to customer service to marketing and all of the key messages for each point in there and which media they’re interacting with and they’re going to – their eyes are going to glass over that’s too much. Dumb it down, make it simple, make it visual and pretty and you’ll make friends in the executive suite that will help you along the way.
Elizabeth Earin: If that condensed presentation this high-level view of it has someone from the C suite coming to you after the meeting and asking for the more detailed documents you’ve just found your champion, you found someone that can help you push this through. So, this can be a great opportunity.
Steve Robinson: The next key is to make sure that this is part of daily or ongoing communications with the executive team. So, if you’re in a position where you’re producing reports for the executive team or if your boss or someone else within the organization is the person who’s producing those reports for the executive team make sure that you are referring back to the personas and the customer journeys within your own reporting, make sure that it’s part of that narrative and that you don’t stray from that and then attach the actual personas and customer journeys to the very reports that you’re delivering to the executives so that they’re constantly seeing this, it’s in front of them. So, even if they don’t get it, even if they’re not thinking this way or communicating back to you in this way at least it’s perpetually in front of them.
Elizabeth Earin: Honestly I think this is one of the best things that you can possibly do. You start to change that internal vocabulary – excuse me – you start to change that internal vocabulary and even if again they’re not fully getting it they start using it, they’re having the subconscious buy-in before they even realize it, and by attaching those as at the end of the reports like you mentioned that’s great because you are going to have such an intimate knowledge of these people and their journeys but other players whether it’s the C-suite or other people within the organization they’re not going to and you want to make sure you have those resources available to them should they want to look into this a little bit further.
Steve Robinson: And then this has another benefit as well. If you get that C-suite ingrained or whoever it is that’s most dabbling their fingers into the marketing, whether that’s the president, the CEO, some VP of operations or the sales guy who’s is leading sales, a CRO or whatever, if you get them ingrained in this persona-centric thinking or at least understand it then when they come to you with their next big crazy idea that you look at and go, I don’t know how, yeah, uh-hmm, you can pull out your personas and your customer journeys and you can say, hey, I’d love to do this, can we talk through which persona this is targeting and where it fits in their customer journey. And out of that dialogue the next thing you know it either turns into something that’s actionable or it gets shelved for a future date.
Elizabeth Earin: This is a fantastic tool to be able to use. I can’t tell you how many times thinking back over the years I’ve sat in meetings that have ran way longer than they ever should have because we were arguing some marketing tactic or some advertising, piece of advertising or big promotional idea that someone wanted to run, someone in the C-suite wanted to run because it was their baby, it was their personal preference and this would have been that the tool, the conversation, the question to stop that in its tracks and get everyone back on track without looking like you’re being argumentative or not a team player. So, this is one of those hidden gems and just one more reason why persona-centric marketing is such a great tool for the organization.
Steve Robinson: Now you had mentioned earlier, Elizabeth, that even if you’ve got the C-suite on board that doesn’t mean the rest of the organization has any clue what the heck you’re talking about when you’re throwing out a Bill and his journey in the middle of some meeting, right?. So, how do you address that problem?
Elizabeth Earin: Yes. So, if the rest of the organization has no clue what you’re talking about, there’s no way that you’re going to be able to collaborate with them or take them along for this ride that you’re on as you’re trying to develop this new content, this new creative and these new experiences for these customers. So, one thing that you really want to look to is you want to find opportunities to visualize your personas and turn the persona that you have on paper into a visual display that the entire company can see. It can be posting them in high-traffic areas so that anyone coming and going has an idea who these people are. So, again to your point you start talking about Bill, the person next to you is not thinking is he the new guy that I haven’t met yet because if someone has asked me that before they’ve literally asked me is that a new person working at the company and it’s like no, we’re coming back to the personas. So, we want to make sure that everyone can see them on a regular basis and again this becomes part of the internal vocabulary.
Steve Robinson: And you want to do the same thing if you’re responsible or someone within your department is responsible for company-wide reports, tie those back to the personas wherever possible and attach them to the end of those reports as well, so that hopefully those cross-departmental meetings where you’re getting the marketing report it is persona-centric and it at least raises eyebrows or questions among other departments about what do you mean by personas and then hopefully that starts a very healthy dialogue.
Elizabeth Earin: Finally when we’re taking a look at some of the roadblocks to a successful persona-centric implementation, one of the things that we really have to be aware of is making sure that we are maintaining our momentum as we move forward.
Steve Robinson: Yeah. Every organization has tons of moving parts that are in motion right now and this is true within the marketing organization, this is true within the greater organization. In both cases you start talking about making a move to persona-centric thinking and they’re going to say well we can’t stop what we’re doing right now, right? It’s somewhat working. I mean it’s not like it’s all broken and if we just stop it then we will stop delivering and that’s no good.
Elizabeth Earin: The more you start to look at the world through the eyes of your personas the more opportunities you’re going to identify for personalization and for alignment with the customer journey and an improved customer experience and so, even though it’s easy to get held up with yes, but we have to keep going the extra work that’s going to be required is going to improve what it is that you’re already doing and while you can’t fix everything overnight you are going to start seeing some small benefits, it’s going to reinforce what it is that you’ve already put in place.
Steve Robinson: The key is to keep your head cool and make sure that you’re not trying to move a mountain, right? So, remember that something is working now, it’s not like you’re in need to get this implemented across all marketing activities today, something’s working right now and you can phase this in over time and it doesn’t need to be done all at once, all right now.
Elizabeth Earin: I think it helps too if you focus on the new, you’ve got so many new things going on, you have new creative, you have new content, you have new data that’s coming out and anything else sort of comes out of the work that you’ve done you want to make sure that you’re documenting this as you move forward and helping to really create that persona-centric picture.
Steve Robinson: So, you’re making sure that anything you’re doing new is persona-centric. Then the next step is to start slowly working backwards, biting off bit by bit, where can we introduce personalization, where can we go back and audit some of this content and make sure that it actually aligns with a persona and a customer journey and if not fix that and that can be done in small chunks over time, you don’t have to go through every single blog post on the blog and figure out who it was for and why we wrote it all at once, it’s not practical but can you go back and bite off a couple of them a month and make sure that they’re edited to conform to the target persona? Yeah, that’s doable.
Elizabeth Earin: And if you’re wondering where you should start because that can hold you up a little bit too that’s where the customer journey comes in, you don’t want to be necessarily spending your time updating content that isn’t a pivotal piece in the customer journey. So, look to your customer journey to really identify and prioritize those pieces that are going to have the biggest impact.
Steve Robinson: So, we managed to record another long one today, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Earin: We’re really good at this.
Steve Robinson: Really, listeners, we are working hard to try and keep these short and concise. Hopefully you feel like they’re just too value packed and it’s a good thing but let’s quickly sum up what we talked about today.
Elizabeth Earin: So, I think it’s important again just to summarize, when we’re talking about persona-centric it means that we’re not only focusing on customer needs but also differentiating them based on their psychographics, their demographics and where they are in that customer journey.
Steve Robinson: Then we went through six common challenges faced by those that are trying to enact this change in their marketing and where it tangentially touches other departments. We outlined solutions for each one of these, we’re not going to rehash all of them right this second but I encourage you if you haven’t already to go subscribe to the show notes because that’s where you have an opportunity to get the list of the six and we don’t have to rehash them here. I want to thank everybody for taking some time to join us today. We appreciate every moment you spend with us. If you haven’t already please pop out to iTunes and give us a review that helps others find our podcast and learn the same stuff that you’re learning. Until next week onward and upward.
Elizabeth Earin: If you haven’t already be sure to subscribe to the podcast on YouTube or your favorite podcast directory. If you want notes and links to resources discussed on the show sign up to get them emailed to you each week at iterativemarketing.net. There, you will also find the Iterative Marketing blog in our community LinkedIn group where you can share ideas and ask questions of your fellow Iterative Marketers. You can also follow us on Twitter, our username is @iter8ive or email us at [email protected]. The Iterative Marketing podcast is a production of Brilliant Metrics, a consultancy helping brands and agencies rid the world of marketing waste. Our producer is Heather Ohlman with transcription assistance from Emily Bechtel. Our music is by Seastock Audio music production and sound design. You can check them out at Seastockaudio.com. We will see you next week, until then onward and upward.
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