Building personas
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Building personas

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In this presentation we explore what personas are, why we build them, the difference between user and buyer personas, and the different challenges in building personas for B2C versus B2B products. We ...

In this presentation we explore what personas are, why we build them, the difference between user and buyer personas, and the different challenges in building personas for B2C versus B2B products. We then take you through a real life example of how we used qualitative research techniques to build user personas for a consumer electronics product.

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  • In Jan 2010 we were ready to plan the next product and were ready to re-validate our hypotheses about buyers and users, with a goal of understanding their needs and wants at a deeper level to drive product and technical strategy for the next big thing. We entered into this program with an open mind, intentionally holding back on product information until we validated the user persona.In this specific instance, it is a consumer electronics product therefore with the exception of gift-giving, the buyer equals the user. We therefore focused on the user persona in this quest.
  • Sleeplessness and people who suffer from it is a potential market. When you look at top level stats it certainly looks big enough.
  • Why technology profile? We needed to know how to design the user experience so it will delight end users based on their expectations. We wanted to know what metaphors made the most sense to our target user persona (e.g. how would the primary user persona react to a smart phone app?)Why action attitude? This is because we were actively working on sleep improvement programs and wanted to understand how best to serve up this type of information to users. E.g. would they participate in a user forum about sleep? E.g. would they follow our blog? E.g. would they want their information sent to them via email?

Building personas Building personas Presentation Transcript

  • © 2014 ConceptSpring1 Building Personas Elaine Chen
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring2 Before we begin
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring3 2 classes of research • Discovery research, aka Problem Research • To understand who the buyers and users are • To understand the problem statement • To understand the context in which the product will be used • To understand use cases • Product research, aka Solution Research • To understand the usability and utility of the product • To help prioritize the feature set • To understand pricing elasticity • To understand customer satisfaction
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring4 What we’ll work on today • Discovery research, aka Problem Research • To understand who the buyers and users are • To understand the problem statement • To understand the context in which the product will be used • To understand use cases • Product research, aka Solution Research • To understand the usability and utility of the product • To help prioritize the feature set • To understand pricing elasticity • To understand customer satisfaction
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring5 Common methodologies Qualitative (<30 samples) • Contextural interview • Observation / shadowing • Immersion • Longitudinal diary study • Photo essay • Usability benchmark • Focus groups • … etc Quantitative (>1000 samples) • Surveys • General interest • Conjoint analysis • Pricing studies • Monadic • Multiple monadic • Van Westendorp • … etc • Customer satisfaction: NPS, P/M fit • Web testing • A/B split, Multivariate • Web analytics • … etc
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring6 What we’ll work on today Qualitative (<30 samples) • Contextural interview • Observation / shadowing • Immersion • Longitudinal diary study • Photo essay • Usability benchmark • Focus groups • … etc Quantitative (>1000 samples) • Surveys • General interest • Conjoint analysis • Pricing studies • Monadic • Multiple monadic • Van Westendorp • … etc • Customer satisfaction: NPS, P/M fit • Web testing • A/B split, Multivariate • Web analytics • … etc Personas
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring7 What is a persona?
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring8
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring9 Why make personas?
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring10 Your customers can be very different from you
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring11 User versus Buyer
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring12
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring13 For B2C, user = buyer (more or less)
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring14 Primary Persona: Build your offering to solve their problems Secondary Persona: Solve their problems if it also serves the primary persona Non Persona: State who you are not going to target B2C is straightforward – focus on the user
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring15
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring16 For B2B, user != buyer
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring17 User 1: Betsy Line worker User 2: Tom Technician Usage influencer: Bob: Supervisor (Betsy’s boss) Buyer: John Plant Manager Purchase Influencer: Mark Controller Purchase Influencer: Dave Process Engineer Purchase Influencer: Brian Owner B2B is complicated User 3: Dave Process Engineer
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring18 Sausage making
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring19 Get out of the building
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring20 B2C Example: Zeo persona research • Product has been on the market for 1.5 years • Doing well in early market, looking for mass adoption • Decided to redo persona research to validate early assumptions and to drive product strategy
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring21 Zeo’s market segment • Sleeplessness: #3 health complaint in U.S. • Hundreds of millions of people with sleep issues worldwide • Sleep loss can lead to diabetes, heart disease, depression • (apologies – market sizing data is proprietary to Zeo) US Adults 18-65 (194M) US Adults with sleep issues Sleep issues at least a few nights a week
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring22 Zeo’s beachhead: US adults with sleep issues
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring23 Entire market Target segment Early market Target Personas Objective: build user/buyer personas
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring24 Step 1: Develop the research protocol • Goals / objectives • Methodology • Recruitment questionnaire • Recruitment strategy • Paperwork / incentives (NDA? Photo/Video release form? Check?) • Equipment required (AV, laptop, etc) • Researchers name list and roles • Discussion guide
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring25 Step 2: Develop a hypothetical persona • Key attributes: • 18-65 Years Old, male or female • Household income: at least $XXk • Must have some issues with sleep (quality, quantity, falling / staying asleep) • Must express interest in learning more about and improving their sleep • Must NOT be a current Zeo owner • Must NOT be diagnosed with a sleep disorder • Research goals: validate “need is key” hypothesis; learn about technology orientation, action attitudes • This profile is intentionally broad because we wanted to challenge our assumptions on where the sweet spot lies
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring26 Step 3: Develop the recruitment questionnaire • What is your age, gender and profession? (terminate once age/gender quota has been filled for the matching segment) • What is your household income? (terminate if <$xxk) • Are you interested in learning more about your sleep? (terminate if not) • Are you currently encountering sleep problems? (terminate if not) • Are you currently under the care of a doctor for your sleep issues? (terminate if true) • How many nights in an average week are you encountering sleep issues? (select between 2-5) • Please describe the sleep issues you are currently encountering (check all that apply). (cannot fall asleep; multiple awakenings; cannot go back to sleep after awakening; snoring spouse; etc) • Do you currently share your bed? (partner, child, pet) If so: how many nights in an average week is your sleep affected by your bed partner(s)?
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring27 Step 4: Develop a discussion guide (read it then throw it out)• Welcome / ice breakers • Introductions / purpose of visit • Sleep - description • Tell me the story of sleep in this house. Who all sleeps here? Where do they sleep? • Tell me what happens in each 24h cycle for you as it applies to sleep. • Sleep locations: where are all the places you personally sleep in the course of a year? Travel? Second home? Etc • What does the word “Sleep” mean to you? • What is the gold standard for sleep? • House tour: can you show me all the places that you and your family members / housemates sleep in this house? • Sleep – problems, attitudes, perceptions – Tell me about your sleep problems (what, where, when, how long ago did it start) – What have you done so far to address your sleep problems? – What does the phrase “a good night’s sleep” mean to you? – What comes to mind if I mention “A bathroom scale for sleep”? • Technology profile – What cell phone do you use? What about laptops? Other electronics products? • Action attitude – When you need to learn about something, where do you go for information?
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring28 Step 5: Recruit subjects $150 Incentive
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring29 Step 6: Use open ended interview techniques to do the research
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring30 To record or not to record? (I do – pros outweigh cons)
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring31 Don’t talk about the product – this interview is about them, not you
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring32 Zeo story continued: Example interview Set up gear Warm up chat “Tell us the story of sleep in your house” House tour Discuss sleep problems Probe expect- ations Show product idea if and only if there’s if time left over and they ask
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring33 Step 7: Crunch the data
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring34 If things go well, convergence is rapid In 5interviews: subjects started self- organizing In 10interviews: Top persona hypotheses emerge In 20interviews: personas fully validated
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring35 Step 8: Find patterns, build personas Age PainLevel 20’s 30’s 40’s 50’s 60’s GoodsleeperBadsleeperPoorsleeper LowMediumHigh PriceTolerance Non persona - futures (XX million in the US) Persona 1 (Primary) (XX million in the US – HH income 63k+) Persona 2(Secondary) (XX million in the US – HH income 63k+)
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring36 Zeo’s Primary and Secondary Personas Frustrated Sleeper Affected Partner
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring37 Quotes What is “sleep”? • “Frustration.” – Ron • “I’d like to have more of it.” – Ron • “Lack of.” – Sally • “Picture of me hopefully sleeping.” – Mark Gold standard for sleep • “8 hours of uninterrupted sleep” – Beth • “Uninterrupted sleep – not waking up.” – Ron • “Sleeping from 11:30pm to 7:30am.” – Mark • “Uninterrupted…” (almost everyone) • “Through the night” • “Soundly” • “Seven (or six, or eight) hours, uninterrupted” • “In bed at __, sleep soundly through the night.” • “One I don’t remember.” • “Give me 4 straight and I’m good to go.” “Re” words • “Recuperation, recuperated” – Beth • “Refreshing, refreshed” – Ron • “Recharged” – Mark • “Recharging my batteries” – Dave C. • “Rejuvenate” • “Restoring” • “Restorative sleep” • “Regenerate”
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring38 Taking action
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring39 Refine Positioning Statement • For [target end user] • Who wants/needs [compelling reason to buy] • The [product name] is a [product category] • That provides [key benefit]. • Unlike [main competitor], • The [product name] [key differentiation] We evolved our product positioning statement to help us focus on solving the right problems for the right target users
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring40 Drive product strategy Persona understanding helped shape product strategy and marketing messaging Specific solutions for him Specific solutions for her, as long as those solutions also work for him
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring41 Drive new feature development Specific solutions were inspired based on the knowledge we built (these solutions were continuously tested in solution interviews)
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring42 Drive marketing messaging
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring43 2y later: new product for the non- persona
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring44 B2B is complicated • #1 Problem: Access. • If customer hasn’t bought yet: you risk derailing the sales process • If customer has already bought: they are biased • Can’t control agenda, meetings, whether you can take pictures or record, etc • Try to meet multiple people in the same role at each facility to maximize learnings
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring45 Photo credit: Google image searches Betsy Tom Bob John DaveBrian Mark Do the best you can with the access you have Dave
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring46 Building Personas - reprise • Primary, Secondary, Non-personas for B2C • Many more personas for B2B • Use qualitative techniques • Recruit carefully • Ask open ended questions • Be a good listener • Not a sales call – talk about them, not you • 20 interviews to a good persona • B2B is complicated – do what you can with what access you have
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring47 Get out of the building!
  • © 2014 ConceptSpring48 @chenelaine blog.conceptspring.com Thank you