Moz Persona-Building Presentation, ProductCamp 2013

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  • , a story of -- Empathy and authenticity-- Committed communication-- Authentic connection-- Considered analysis-- Hope and doubt-- Discovery and delight (hopefully!)
  • Inboud = earned interest Search, social, content strategy, brand and mentions, links
  • SaaS
  • ASK HOW MANY USE PERSONAS actively + how many hear Engineering using themBe sure we’re working from the same definition
  • Part 2 details:Validate: Structured interviews, Industry survey 2013, customer segmentation research, targeted product usage analysisIterate: Revise and add to proto-personas, solidify identities/detailsConstruct: Usable, organized persona set; Design work to make sharable, build persona wallPart 3 details: Make them available! Persona wall, wikiIncorporate into team workflow: user stories/epics, marketing strategy/campaigns, retention programsEncourage active feedback and collect in a “parking lot”Revisit quarterly
  • Know your people and your senior managementTook a page from other projects I had worked on in a -- Startup culture-- Bright people with a strong sense of personal responsibility-- A wealth of documented and tacit knowledge in every area, from help team to Engineering to product executivesWork groups: Moz Analytics flagship productMoz LocalData/APIWonk
  • Know your customers
  • Tela Andrews!
  • Andrew Dumont,Lisa WildwoodChristinaWodtke
  • Rolled sets of personas into decksSteve takes shape
  • Borrowed the master list from this book: refined it for what makes sense for usAltogether:
  • Moz Persona-Building Presentation, ProductCamp 2013

    1. 1. Going Lean with Persona-Building at Moz A case study on how to we’re making our persona set informative, believable, empathetic and usable
    2. 2. Why should you listen to this?  Hear a about Moz’s in-flight lean persona-building process –we’re in the middle of it  Get a feel for how leaner methods might work for you  Because I really value your insights  Let’s learn from each other!
    3. 3. First, a bit about Moz…
    4. 4. Who we are: Subscription-based inbound marketing analytics tools Mission: Help people do better marketing
    5. 5.  2008: SEOmoz founded (previously SEO consultancy)  2010: V1 product launched – SEO-focused tools  2012: funding + growth + local and Twitter analysis tool acquisitions  2013: rebrand + major updates to target broader customer set Today: ~22k customers ~300K community ~145 employees
    6. 6. Next, a quick review of personas…
    7. 7. What a persona is (and isn’t): An archetype description of an imaginary but very plausible user that personifies these traits – especially their behaviors, attributes, and goals. What it’s not: a real user or a generic user Source: Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love, pg. 106
    8. 8. Some examples Sources: Enough funds: http://uxmag.com/articles/personas-the-foundation-of-a-great-user-experience Dan: http://blog.green-gecko.net/personas-not-as-scary-as-you-think/; Saab: http://www.atlargeinc.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/persona1.jpg
    9. 9. Why personas are important Personas can and should help us: • Deepen empathy for and design effectively for the different types of users that make up our customer base • Describe to the company who the product is for, how they will use it, and why they will care • Rally teams around a common vision • Understand both markets that we are and are not targeting • Agree on prioritization!
    10. 10. How personas can be useful Engineering: – – Technical requirements to support the best customer experience outcomes Feature priority, design and depth Marketing: – – Merge with demographics, cohort, distribution channels, etc. to inform marketing user types/personas Deepen understanding of customer segments and needs for acquisition and retention efforts Product: – – – Product roadmap planning and prioritization User scenario definition and validation Customer segmentation and customer retention strategies Business planning: – Market positioning and strategy Help and Operations: – Inform support and account management efforts based on users’ needs All Mozzers: On-boarding and general customer empathy
    11. 11. How Moz went lean (or, thank you, Lean UX)
    12. 12. The process and timeline 1. Build prototype personas: 30 days – Build proto sketches using Lean UX principles – Identify overlaps across products – Update metrics and background data – Consistent format: names, faces, and brief stories – Outcome: Draft, usable personas 2. Validate, iterate, and construct final: 45 days – Outcome: Personas validated, revised 3. Share and foster adoption: Ongoing – Outcome: Richer knowledge of our customers by all Mozzers!
    13. 13. The team: inclusion, not exhaustion 1. Inner-circle product + planning allies/experts 2. Team – some classic feature team techniques: Core team: • Product/UX-dense • All areas represented • Engineering critical • Knowledgeable about customers • Interested! • Work groups by product/site: 4-5 Involved as needed: • Experts • Data Science Reviewers: Core team + execs + managers
    14. 14. Including your people is including your customers
    15. 15. A note about your legacy personas Informative for details, but not particularly useful as foundation Mr. Smithers Lindsey Naegle #4 Target (10% Effort) #3 Target (12% Effort) Vital Stats Experience: Advanced to Expert Budget: $100 - $500 per user/month Pricing Model: Monthly membership/Annual % of current user base: 26% Geo Breakdown: 60% US, 30% UK, 10% other Number of domains: 20 - 200 Corporate SEO Leader/ Fortune 500 Apu Power Consultant at Big Agency Title: Account Manager #1 Target (40% Effort) Key Differentials: •Power user •Super knowledgeable at SEO •SEO investment: > 50% Real Life: Jon Myers - MediaVest Chris Boggs - Rosetta Brian Lewis – EngineReady Stephan Spencer – Covario Andrew Girdwood – BigMouthMedia Todd Friesen - PositionTech Fat Tony #2 Target (30% Effort) In House Marketer Titles: SEO specialist, web dev, web graphic designer Key Differentials: •Power user, has to show results to others •SEO investment: > 30% media, conversation rate optimization, web dev, writing/blogging Spend Time On: On page optimization, content creation, keyword research, link building SEO Tactics: GGWMT issues, competitive keyword analysis, analyze most-linked, analyze backlinks, XML sitemaps, blogging Key Differentials: •Understands nuts & bolts of internet marketing •LowQuote: on time & resources “I need to juggle many clients •SEO  improvement.” and  show investment: < 30% Real Life: Wil Reynolds - Thinkseer Dave Snyder - Search & Social Chris Winfield - 10e20 Thomas Schmitz - Portent Interactive Marty Weintraub - AimClear Michael Gray - Wolf-Howl David Mihm – DavidMihm.com 15 Vital Stats Responsibilities: SEO, Analytics, Social Media, Conversion Rate Optimization, Web Design Spend Time On: On site optimization, Content creation, analytics, reporting, link building SEO Tactics: GGWMT issues, Competitive KW Analysis, Analyze Most Linked, Analyze Backlinks, Blogging SEO Quote: “I Experience: Beginner to Intermediate eat,  drink,  and  breath  SEO” •SEO evangelist at the company Quote: Budget: juggle many•SEO investment: > 50% $50-100/month “I need to clients and  show  serious  results!!” Real Life: SEOmoz Pricing Model: Freemium, subscriptionStats SEOmoz Breakdown: Not geo specific GeoStats Number of domains: 1 % of Survey: 4.5% (± 1%) % of Paid Subscribers: 4% Cancellations: 3% Competitors: Raven SEO, SEObook, SEM Rush, Covario Alex Schultz - Facebook Vincent Wehren - Microsoft Tony Adam - Myspace Chris Allen - Expedia Pauline Orr - IBM % of Survey: 12.5% (± 1%) % of Paid Subscribers: 12% Cancellations: 4% Competitors: SearchClu, Conductor, Build In House Tools Vital Stats Experience: Intermediate to Expert Budget: $50 - 200 per user/month Pricing Model: Monthly membership/annual % of current user base: 26% Geo Breakdown: 60% US, 30% UK, 10% other Number of domains: 3-100 over time Titles: Marketing manager, SEO specialist, Responsibilities: SEO, analytics, web design, social SEO analyst, content manager Independent consultant/small agency Responsibilities: SEO, Analytics, Social Media, Director of SEO, Marketing Director Titles: PPC, Conversion rate optimization, writing/blogging, managing Spend Time On: On- Page optimization, link building, analytics/data collection, keyword research, content SEO Tactics: GGWMT Issues, Competitive keyword Key Differentials: analysis, analyze backlinks, analyze top linked to pages, employed conversion tracking •Super knowledgeable at SEO Vital Stats Experience: Advanced to Expert Budget: $500-2k/month Pricing Model: Annual membership Geo Breakdown: Big cities Number of domains: 1 or 2 SEOmoz Stats Real Life: % of Survey: 15-25% Kristen Acker – VP Marketing at Zillow % of Paid Subscribers: ~ 22% Cancellations: ~ 9% Kirsten Hornby – VP Marketing at NileGuide Competitors: Raven SEO, SEObook, SEM Rush, Covario Lauren Vaccarello – Senior SEM Manager at Salesforce Melissa Peterson – Editor at Foodista Laurel Moudy – Director of Sales/Marketing at OneHub Responsibilities: SEO, Analytics, Social Media, Conversion Rate Optimization, Web Design Spend Time On: On site optimization, Content creation, analytics, reporting, link building SEO Tactics: GGWMT issues, Competitive KW Analysis, Analyze Most Linked, Analyze Backlinks, Blogging SEO Quote: “I know SEO matters, I just wish I had more time” SEOmoz Stats % of Survey: 28% (± 1%) % of Paid Subscribers: ~26% Cancellations: 10% Competitors: Raven, Majestic, HubSpot
    16. 16. Phase 1: Build (Usable) Prototype Personas
    17. 17. Goal outcome: Lean UX proto-persona sketches 17 Sources: http://custdevday.com/pages/content/lean-ux/ and http://coschedule.com/blog/lean-ux-user-personas/
    18. 18. Testing the process in flight • Smaller, team that included Product vet • Process-savvy • Open! • Clear ideas on customer segments documented on paper
    19. 19. First thoughts on paper The hidden talents of a biz-dev guy!
    20. 20. Tweak the process: more collaboration, up front This is where things got FUN: “Oh, man, I know that guy!” “We see this all the time in our phone conversations with buyers” “These people really are looking for a secret sauce”
    21. 21. A side note about empathy and redemption Don’t get too clinical! Rich, FUN, frank discussions, but couldn’t help dissect and stereotype Lots of review and feedback brought inadvertent biases to light 5+ editorial scans for language alone Source: Christina Wodtke’s essay in The Essential Persona Lifecycle: Your Guide to Building and Using Personas
    22. 22. Love them all!
    23. 23. CxO: Steve (Local) DEMOGRAPHICS Cross-over: API founder-visionary Steve, Moz Analytics Steve Details: Buyer This is API persona founder/visionary Steve Could be at: large agency Examples: Founder/entrepreneur Age: 35-45 White male? (Female examples?) Probably in tech in some form ~15 years Bachelor’s degree Extremely comfortable with technology Tweak the process more: we have a template! Tools need to support employees’ workflow Business is always cash-flow positive, and he’s laser-focused on keeping it that way Needs: Prospecting/RFP tool for large clients (to pick up Macy’s, REI, Home Depot) Automate repetitive, unskilled work PAIN POINTS / NEEDS BEHAVIORS
    24. 24. Leader Steve (Analytics) Agency founder 25-34 (older: male; younger: balance) Education: all -- High-school prodigy -- College drop-out -- College/network Details: More buyer (Notes – can’t read??) Could be in: Agency 3-20: trenches; 21-XX: More buy decision -- entry point or decision, but not both similar personas separately Defined -- something about delegated decision for each site/product DEMOGRAPHICS Needs: ~12 sessions with -- A single tool -- Justify inbound effort -- Good reporting -- Educate in all inbound channels -- Participate in all channels -- Actual value right away -- Pain points: too many tools, diff vendors Values: -- Dreamer/creator -- Independence -- Empowering others PAIN POINTS / NEEDS notes/feedback ongoing Connects/forwards Agile: try everything Figures out value prop/niche/clients Savvy > ongoing Less savvy > projects are seasonal Expert in one channel Answers email at 2 a.m. Bootstrapped Takes risks, fixes things Empowers others BEHAVIORS
    25. 25. Merging and identifying cross-over
    26. 26. SME Evangelist Steve Agency founder “quote” Overview • Analytics + OSE: secondary • Local: secondary • Data: NA Job/role: SEO turned founder of a mediumsized agency Could also be found in mid-size to large agency, perhaps mid-size to large in-house brand Purchase influence: user, influencer, buyer Goals Motivations and values: Innovation + new ideas, and moving the industry forward; knowledge sharing; efficiency; spreading the word; staying connected; disruptive technologies/insights Needs: Automation, more time to dig deep and think creatively; reports that allow him to analyze quickly; high-quality results and effective tools for teammates who are also creative and self-motivated Abilities, skills, and knowledge Marketing domain knowledge: Expert Technical knowledge: Advanced to expert Behaviors:. Steve is a respected thought leader and SME in his industry, is highly collaborative, and shares information via his blog and networking. He speaks at conferences to generate leads for the agency and to build his own network. Steve’s passionate about his work, and digs deep into analyses whenever he can (but not as much as he’d like). He’s a hacker at heart, a tool-a-holic, and a risk taker, and loves playing with new and novel approaches to crunching data and metrics. For his team, he’s focused on empowering, finding efficient processes, and figuring out the value prop or niche for a service/tool/solution. A consistent format for sketch documents Activities: 3-5, chiefly work-related; TBD from customer interviews and/or industry survey e.g., researches new directions and solutions for getting unique data for clients More roles like this: strategic senior leader of many stripes (VP/director of XYZ); senior architect; senior consultant; visionary/thought leader Personal details Defining characteristics are charisma and deep domain knowledge Education could be any level Data sources and sources for assumptions: Source for attributes: The Essential Persona Lifecycle: Your Guide to Building and Using Personas
    27. 27. Visualizing with a persona map Social-Inbound Connector Melissa Marketing manager SME/Evangelist Ben Senior consultant Moz Analytics Grey-Hat Frank SEO All-Business Joe Biz dev Leader Steve Agency founder Data-Driven Dimitri Inbound marketer/SEO Moz Data Engineer Oliver Developer Get-Things-Done Kayleigh Marketing generalist Eduardo Storyteller Susan Inbound mktr/SEO Office manager Indie Ian Independent consultant Moz Local Decision-maker Dan Senior executive Sabine Sr. technical architect Would-be apprentice Elizabeth Junior SEO Savvy Nala Small-biz owner Technical Sage 27 Jack-of-All-Trades Tech-averse Thomas Small-biz owner Black-hat Ivan SEO Accidental consultant Mackenzie Web designer Reseller Bob Salesperson
    28. 28. Another view: product-specific Social-Inbound Connector Melissa Marketing manager SME/Evangelist Ben Senior consultant Get-Things-Done Kayleigh Moz Analytics Grey-Hat Frank SEO Moz Data Engineer Oliver Developer Eduardo Office manager Storyteller Susan Inbound mktr/SEO Would-be apprentice Elizabeth Indie Ian Independent consultant Leader Steve Agency founder All-Business Joe Biz dev Jack-of-All-Trades Marketing generalist Data-Driven Dimitri Inbound marketer/SEO Moz Local Junior SEO Savvy Nala Small-biz owner Black-hat Ivan SEO Accidental consultant Decision-maker Dan Senior executive Mackenzie Web designer Technical Sage Sabine Sr. technical architect 28 Tech-averse Thomas Small-biz owner Reseller Bob Salesperson
    29. 29. What’s next? 1. Validate, iterate, and construct final: 30-ish days, then ongoing – – – – Validate: Structured interviews, Industry survey 2013, customer segmentation research, targeted product usage analysis Iterate: Revise and add to proto-personas, solidify identities/details Construct: Usable, organized persona set; Design work to make sharable, build persona wall Outcome: Personas validated, revised 2. Share and foster adoption: Ongoing – – – – – Make them available! Persona wall, wiki Incorporate into team workflow: user stories/epics, marketing strategy/campaigns, retention programs Encourage active feedback and collect in a “parking lot” Revisit quarterly Outcome: Richer knowledge of our customers by all Mozzers!
    30. 30. Takeaways so far…
    31. 31. Get clear on your goals Ours: A shared language and framework … for prioritizing across teams and empathizing with our customers. A current picture of current and potential new customers ...to account for our growing customer base, evolving business strategy, new markets, and expanding product line. A learning experience … so that Mozzers can learn, share buy-in, and feel connected to the same goals and outcomes.
    32. 32. Get clear on requirements for your process Ours: • Lean! • Collaborative  • Believable :/ • Usable <3 • Current # • Fun
    33. 33. Process points to consider • What’s the cost/benefit story – Time – Data and methods available/needed – Resources $ – Who should be involved • How do we get buy-in? Adoption? • How do we keep these things current?
    34. 34. What will they look like? Not this… Apu #1 Target (40% Effort) In House Marketer Titles: Marketing manager, SEO specialist, SEO analyst, content manager Key Differentials: •Understands nuts & bolts of internet marketing •Low on time & resources •SEO investment: < 30% Real Life: Kristen Acker – VP Marketing at Zillow Kirsten Hornby – VP Marketing at NileGuide Lauren Vaccarello – Senior SEM Manager at Salesforce Melissa Peterson – Editor at Foodista Laurel Moudy – Director of Sales/Marketing at OneHub Vital Stats Not this… (but Mailchimp, you are amazing) Experience: Beginner to Intermediate Budget: $50-100/month Pricing Model: Freemium, subscription Geo Breakdown: Not geo specific Number of domains: 1 Responsibilities: SEO, Analytics, Social Media, Conversion Rate Optimization, Web Design Spend Time On: On site optimization, Content creation, analytics, reporting, link building SEO Tactics: GGWMT issues, Competitive KW Analysis, Analyze Most Linked, Analyze Backlinks, Blogging SEO Quote: “I know SEO matters, I just wish I had more time” SEOmoz Stats % of Survey: 28% (± 1%) % of Paid Subscribers: ~26% Cancellations: 10% Competitors: Raven, Majestic, HubSpot What would YOU do? Source: http://blog.mailchimp.com/new-mailchimp-user-persona-research/
    35. 35. Thank you, and please discuss!
    36. 36. References Books: The Inmates are Running the Asylum Lean UX The User Is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the Web The Essential Persona Lifecycle: Your Guide to Building and Using Personas Contact info: Karen Semyan, karen@moz.com w: moz.com t: @Moz f: www.facebook.com/moz

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