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Empathy-Based Personas: Shifting Your View from Inside-Out to Outside-In

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Empathy-based personas are an incredibly powerful tool organizations can do to make their content -- as well as their programs, products, and services -- more effective. In this presentation, we cover what they are, the results they deliver, and how to create them.

Publicada em: Governo e ONGs
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Empathy-Based Personas: Shifting Your View from Inside-Out to Outside-In

  1. 1. [bt]Ç | Brand Therapy ÇEmpathy-Based Personas: Shifting Your View from Inside-out to Outside-in ISAE CEO Strategy Academy September 25, 2019 [bt]Ç Hilary Marsh President and Chief Strategist, Content Company, Inc. We help associations and other content-rich organizations surface their member value through effective content practices. Esteban González Founder and Lead Strategist, Brand Therapy An insights-driven strategy and ideas workshop devoted to creating healthy, sustainable brand relationships.
  2. 2. [bt]Ç Agenda Why personas? What are empathy-based personas? An empathy exercise How we create personas Benefits for associations [bt]Ç Why personas? 4
  3. 3. [bt]Ç What keeps association executives up at night? Ç Getting and losing members Ç An aging member base Ç Attracting and retaining new and younger professionals into the association Ç Trying to be relevant to each member based on their specific needs Ç Staying with or ahead of the technology curve, as more people expect a for-profit experience [bt]Ç The solutions to these issues all rely on understanding audiences better. That’s what personas are about.
  4. 4. [bt]Ç What are personas? 7 [bt]Ç Personas aren’t really new…
  5. 5. [bt]Ç “Personas are not real people, but they represent them throughout the design process. They are hypothetical archetypes of actual users. Although they are imaginary, they are defined with significant rigor and precision.” — The Inmates Are Running The Asylum, 1998Alan Cooper [bt]Ç Analysts love them. They’re now a hallmark of customer-centric thinking.
  6. 6. [bt]Ç They capture the totality of a person, all the details that make people relatable to us. [bt]Ç Personas aren’t: Ç Segments Ç Stereotypes Ç Average users Ç Roles
  7. 7. [bt]Ç Examples of how they look are all over the web. [bt]Ç 1. Name, age, gender, location, marital status 2. Education and socioeconomic class 3. Media habits, digital fluency, social media behavior 4. Goals, opinions, and attitudes toward the organization’s brand, products, etc. 5. Tasks, pain points, environmental factors
  8. 8. [bt]Ç But this isn’t really enough… Personas need to be much more than a collection of information about audiences. [bt]Ç[bt]Ç This is where empathy comes in…
  9. 9. [bt]Ç Empathy provides context for separating what’s meaningful from what’s just information, what’s signal from what’s noise. [bt]Ç In an era where everyone’s convinced all the answers come from the data…
  10. 10. [bt]Ç Data and analytics aren’t a magic bullet when it comes to engaging and retaining members.Information ≠ Insight [bt]Ç “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
  11. 11. [bt]Ç Empathy lets us balance analytical thinking with emotional intelligence and intuition. [bt]Ç “Empathy will be like literacy was in the 1300s. Without it, one will be marginalized and unable to function professionally.” Bill Drayton, founder of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs
  12. 12. [bt]Ç An empathy exercise 23 [bt]Ç A bit of advice…
  13. 13. [bt]Ç Think about their underlying needs. [bt]Ç Think about their story. What have they gone through to get here?
  14. 14. [bt]Ç What’s tripping them up, getting in their way? [bt]Ç What’s affirming them, giving them energy?
  15. 15. [bt]Ç Are they alone? Who else is in the equation? [bt]Ç Ok, let’s get started.
  16. 16. [bt]Ç How Brand Therapy creates personas 31 [bt]Ç
  17. 17. [bt]Ç Looking beyond the obvious… 33 What does research say about audiences, their behavior? What characteristics do they share, separates them? What media do they use? Where do they get info? What makes them tick as individuals, as people? How do they evaluate things, what drives choices? How do media and messages come to mean something to them? Most personas Empathy-based personas [bt]Ç Instead of just describing audiences and creating a profile like this…
  18. 18. [bt]Ç We can create detailed stories about real people we know and we can identify with. [bt]Ç Empathy improves personas Ç Creates a richer, more accessible picture of audiences Ç Makes assumptions about audiences explicit and sharable Ç Exposes hidden biases and problematic assumptions Ç Creates a greater connection with audiences as individuals Ç Stimulates creative ideas about being meaningful to audiences
  19. 19. [bt]Ç A wide range of uses… Ç Product development Ç Digital/social strategy Ç Brand strategy Ç Strategic planning Focused, Tactical Big Picture, Strategic Ç Web redesign Ç Digital/social campaign Ç Content strategy Ç Marketing campaigns [bt]Ç All personas begin from real data, like this… Ç Membership is predominantly male, 90% Ç Over half are between 45 and 65 years old Ç 97% are Caucasian Ç Less than a quarter are under 45 years old Ç Over four-fifths are married Ç Two-thirds do not have children in the home Ç Over half live in suburbs outside a major city Ç Almost two-thirds of members have worked in the field for over 20 years (18 is the avg.) Ç Most members are career agents who have worked primarily with a single company Ç Almost all do the bulk of their business with life, annuities, long term care, or disability Ç Over two-thirds generate from $150k to $1M Ç Three-quarters of members have 2 or less employees in their firms Ç Almost two-thirds of former members cite cost as the reason they left
  20. 20. [bt]Ç If possible, nothing beats observing audiences in their own habitats… [bt]Ç The closeness can reveal a lot about what’s important to them and how they see value…
  21. 21. [bt]Ç We look for insights in patterns… Demographics Web behavior Purchasing Social activity Emotional drivers behind preferences Connections Tastes Attitudes and values Observations… Empathy… [bt]Ç We create a persona model with dimensions that reflect the data, but also begin to feel more personal, less formal… When I finish or accomplish something, my first instinct is to… Look for another mountain to climb Sit back and enjoy the view The world is changing and evolving every day, and I’m… Optimistic and excited by it Skeptical and cautious because of it I seek out thought leadership for… New and interesting discoveries Ways to improve my game At times, I’m more likely to trust people because of… Their qualifications and credentials Our shared values and background I like belonging to organizations because of what… I personally gain from them Membership says about me When facing tough times, I often draw strength from… Conviction in my beliefs Remembering others depend on me Technology is woven throughout life, and my approach is… Old school, I print my emails I just tweeted an app for that
  22. 22. [bt]Ç Created Skeletons We create a number of skeletons, which we eventually narrow down to three or four… [bt]Ç In workshops, we ask… Ç Which ones keep us up at night? Ç Are they too stereotypical? Too out there? Ç Are any biases at work here? Ç Which seem the most true? Ç Do they reflect the research?
  23. 23. [bt]Ç Underlying everything is a fundamental question… Who are the most important people for addressing the specific issue at hand? Current audiences, ones we already know and try to serve New audiences, emerging ones we think may be important and [bt]Ç Once we’ve settled on a smaller set, the real fun begins…
  24. 24. [bt]Ç The key is collaboration. [bt]Ç Motivations — the reason or reasons audiences have for acting or behaving in a particular way; what fuels their the general desire or willingness of someone to do something Fears — audiences’ feelings of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone Frustrations — their feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of their inability to change or achieve; things that prevent their progress, success, or fulfillment of something Aspirations — audiences’ hope or ambition for achieving something; the object of their ambitions; their goals We brainstorm about things like their…
  25. 25. [bt]Ç Discussion can get a bit spirited, and this is good… [bt]Ç It indicates we’re connecting with the personas in an authentic and real way.
  26. 26. [bt]Ç When we’re done we have the raw material about four “real” people…. [bt]Ç …that we can turn into a tangible, usable tool.
  27. 27. [bt]Ç Why is this approach good for associations? 53 [bt]Ç It helps us see clearly the breadth of the audiences at play. 1.
  28. 28. [bt]Ç It helps us see where we’re strong and where we’re weak… Brenda Heidi Larry Beverly Ç Intense runner, 45 Ç A “true believer” Ç Competitive runner, 28, a transplant from NYC Ç Very focused on herself Ç A returning runner, 50 Ç Runs for fitness, to maintain his health Ç Casual fitness runner, 34 Ç Runs for fun, stay fit, to connect with friends On the radar Not really on the radar [bt]Ç It helps us tap into our own internal knowledge about how things really work. 2.
  29. 29. [bt]Ç Personas help us harness latent internal knowledge… Anthony Susan Allen Maggie Ç The Up-and-Comer Ç The Seasoned Pro Ç The Good-Guy Owner Ç The Support Pro Known anecdotally but never defined explicitly [bt]Ç We can better understand their needs and what they want from us… Ç I’m ambitious, assertive; not one to sit around Ç I want to have it all Ç I’m looking for opportunities to make a name for myself Ç I’m here to win Ç I’m a people person; I make dreams come true Ç I like that I know what I’m doing, but I still want to learn some new tricks Ç I’m mature, I’m not so frightened by this storm Ç I have to think about the bigger picture Ç I’m looking for help, not just tips, something more practical, how-tos Ç My community’s important to me; I want to improve it Ç I like my members and I want to them to succeed Ç I see myself as a conduit of information; I help the flow Ç I’m a professional, and I want to keep improving Ç Help me succeed; give me what I need to soar Ç Treat me like a go- getter; appreciate me Ç Give me a place where I can shine Ç Make me better, smarter Ç Give me the latest and greatest tips of the trade Ç Allow me to extend my reach, but in a way that works with my style, social and conversational Ç Help me and guide me as I grow my business Ç Give me a coherent and unified voice for our industry Ç Give me practical information like trends, policies, etc. that I can use today Ç Make my job easier Ç Help my members Ç Make it easier to find everything in one place Ç Save me time, make me more efficient, involve me more WhoIam…Whatactivatesme… Anthony Susan Allen Maggie
  30. 30. [bt]Ç It gives us the perspective to see things that should be obvious. 3. [bt]Ç Empathy helps us see opportunities we might overlook… Brenda Heidi Larry Beverly Ç Intense runner, 45 Ç Competitive runner, 28 Ç A returning runner, 50 Ç Casual fitness runner, 34 …by questioning unconscious biases
  31. 31. [bt]Ç It helps us see the connection we have (or could have) with important but elusive audiences. 61 4. [bt]Ç Associations often serve members with very different interests and priorities… Ken Nancy Sarah Henry Ç A 43-year-old academic originally from China; married with two kids Ç A 45-year-old product development researcher for a multinational ingredients firm; married with kids Ç A 30-year-old single compliance specialist new to industry Ç A 54-year-old sensory expert in food manufacturing; married with older kids
  32. 32. [bt]Ç[bt]Ç Helps us understand the members that will move the organization forward… [bt]Ç It creates a place where “constructive tensions” can build a path to consensus. 5.
  33. 33. [bt]Ç Some programs, like a website redesign, can be overwhelming, with many voices weighing in… [bt]Ç From confusion and conflict comes clarity and consensus… Community [the fleets] Passion Productivity & Utility Clarity [the Mac] [info] [member tools] [committees] [amenities] [belonging] [boating tools] [joining] [regattas] [good citizenship] [club news] [boating resources] [member resources] [the school] [events] [vibrancy] [racing]
  34. 34. [bt]Ç It helps an organization make better decisions about things that affect its members. 6. 67 [bt]Ç Boards and association leaders often face big questions… Ç Should the organization focus more on advocacy? Ç Should it own races? Ç Should it develop wellness programs for companies? Ç Should it do more outreach to smaller, local clubs? Ç How should its website be organized?
  35. 35. [bt]Ç Personas clearly express the brand’s value to members Ç CARA name implies a broad domain across runners’ needs Ç General sentiment that people want to feel more included in the organization Ç Too exclusive a focus on marathon training has a limiting effect Ç People highly value the oversight role, especially with racing Ç High acceptance that the scope should include larger health and wellness issues Ç People know CARA as the gold standard for training Ç Runners have lots of questions — injuries, diet, etc. — and need a knowledgeable resource they can turn to Ç Expectation of knowledge connecting running to the community, to Chicago Ç Speaks to character of authority: helpful, approachable, nurturing Ç Expertise implies being a champion of the pursuit at its highest level Ç A great deal of equity in non-profit status and unbiased voice Ç Alignment with commercial pursuits undercuts positive halo of neutrality Ç Independence and focus on runners’ needs creates clout with power players Ç Positioned to fill a void: lead an “engaged and influential citizenry” and advocate for the lakefront, youth fitness, safety, etc. Ç Expectation of stability and gravitas; a mature and buttoned up organization Ç A training program focus has encouraged seeing engagement as episodic: origin of the “leaky bucket” Ç Financial pressures favor a sustainable engagement model and product set Ç A clue in how longstanding members see value: “it’s a good thing to do” — speaks to a higher order of need Ç Embracing wellness expands relevance to non- event driven audiences Ç Promoting advocacy extends relevance to areas important to broader audiences An Umbrella An Expert A Leader A Pathway [bt]Ç Summing up 70
  36. 36. [bt]Ç Personas can give an organization a new sense of purpose [bt]Ç “The single tool that does the best job at spreading empathy throughout a business is the persona.” Peter Merholz, Harvard Business Review
  37. 37. [bt]Ç Empathy with the audience enhances how we work Ç Promotes better, more balanced, pictures of audiences Ç Taps into latent internal insights, overcomes silos and hierarchies Ç It helps us see the big picture more clearly Ç It makes new audiences more understandable Ç Creates collaboration, engagement, and energy Ç Provides a framework for making better, truer decisions [bt]Ç Empathy by itself is a personal experience… It becomes transformational when it happens in a group working together.
  38. 38. [bt]Ç Questions? [bt]Ç Thank you. Esteban González esteban@brandtherapy.us 914.414.7104 Chicago, IL Hilary Marsh hilary@contentcompany.biz @hilarymarsh 312.806.7854 Ç