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Moz Personas: What, Why, and How

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How Moz is building personas with lean principles, keeping them relevant and authentic, and using them to create a shared understanding and empathy for our customers and community.

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Moz Personas: What, Why, and How

  1. 1. Personas at Moz: What, How, and Why June 2014 Karen Semyan, director of product planning and strategy 6/26/2014 1
  2. 2. 3 What you’re going to hear about today: • One (Moz’s) approach to building personas • Designing for adoption and relevance • How we’re using personas today • Q&A
  3. 3. First, a bit about Moz… Who we are: Subscription-based inbound marketing analytics Mission: Help people do better marketing ~21k customers ~300K community ~130 employees
  4. 4. Now…you  Name? Interests and why here? Experience with personas?
  5. 5. Picture one day in your organization, when…
  6. 6. When we all have a deeper shared understanding of our target customers, this all becomes much easier … and more fun and rewarding. That’s where personas can help.
  7. 7. First, a quick review… Persona: An archetype* description of an imaginary but very plausible user that personifies key traits – especially their behaviors, attributes, and goals. *Oh, and what it’s not: one actual customer, a generic customer, or a customer segment. Inspired: How to Create Products Customer Love, pg. 106
  8. 8. Why personas? They help us to….
  9. 9. Personas help us to…. 1. Agree on prioritization
  10. 10. Personas help us to…. 1. Agree on prioritization 2. Distinguish customer’s needs from your own
  11. 11. Personas help us to…. 1. Agree on prioritization 2. Distinguish customer’s needs from your own 3. Deeper understanding of user needs and how to solve for each
  12. 12. Personas help us to…. 1. Agree on prioritization 2. Distinguish customer’s needs from your own 3. Deeper understanding of user needs and how to solve for each 4. Understand both target markets and non-target markets
  13. 13. Personas help us to…. 1. Agree on prioritization 2. Distinguish customer’s needs from your own 3. Deeper understanding of user needs and how to solve for each 4. Understand both target markets and non-target markets 5. Rally teams around a common vision
  14. 14. Personas enable us to…. 1. Agree on prioritization 2. Distinguish customer’s needs from your own 3. Deeper understanding of user needs and how to solve for each 4. Understand both target markets and non-target markets 5. Rally teams around a common vision Describe to the company who the product is for, how they will use it, and why they will care.
  15. 15. Moz’s Approach to Building Personas
  16. 16. Goals for Moz personas Current and relevant: Create a new set of personas that account for our growing customer base, evolving business strategy, new markets, and expanding product line. Adaptive and usable, adopted across teams: Build functional, clear personas that become a shared tool and language for talking about the customer across teams. Foster learning: Take a journey together that allows us to learn, share buy-in, and have better outcomes!
  17. 17. The basic process 1. Build prototype personas using lean principles – Outcome: Draft, usable personas 2. Validate with data, iterate, and design – Outcome: Personas validated, revised 3. Share and foster adoption -- Outcome: Richer knowledge of our customers by all Mozzers!
  18. 18. The team Inclusion, not exhaustion • Some classic feature team techniques • Core team: – Product/UX-dense – All customer-focused teams represented – Engineering critical – Customer expertise/SMEs – Interested! • Reviewers: Core team + execs + managers • Sponsor: Chief product officer
  19. 19. Part 1: Build prototype personas
  20. 20. Part 1: What do we already know? Name & Basic Info Behaviors Needs & GoalsProfile / Demographic Information Using information gathered from: - User interviews - Conversation at conferences - Emails - Community Members - All the folk knowledge!
  21. 21. Part 1: What do we already know? Name & Basic Info Behaviors Needs & GoalsProfile / Demographic Information Thank you, Lean UX!
  22. 22. Teams for three different products Notes became sketches became drafts
  23. 23. Leader Steve (Analytics) Agency founder PAIN POINTS / NEEDS BEHAVIORS DEMOGRAPHICS Needs: -- 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 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 -- something about delegated decision 25-34 (older: male; younger: balance) Education: all -- High-school prodigy -- College drop-out -- College/network 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 Defined similar personas separately for each site/product ~12 sessions with notes/feedback ongoing Multiple rounds of review, editing, and refinement
  24. 24. SME Evangelist Steve Agency founder “quote” 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. Personal details Defining characteristics are charisma and deep domain knowledge Education could be any level Overview • Analytics + OSE: secondary • Local: secondary • Data: NA Job/role: SEO turned founder of a medium- sized agency Could also be found in mid-size to large agency, perhaps mid-size to large in-house brand Purchase influence: user, influencer, buyer 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 Data sources and sources for assumptions: Created a consistent format for sketch documents Source for attributes: The Essential Persona Lifecycle: Your Guide to Building and Using Personas
  25. 25. Identify cross-over
  26. 26. Moz Local Moz Data Moz Analytics 31 All-Business Joe Biz dev Engineer Oliver Developer Technical Sage Sabine Sr. technical architect Grey-Hat Frank SEO Data-Driven Dimitri Inbound marketer/SEO Storyteller Susan Inbound mktr/SEO Leader Steve Agency founder Social-Inbound Connector Melissa Marketing manager Get-Things-Done Kayleigh Marketing generalist Indie Ian Independent consultant Jack-of-All-Trades Eduardo Office manager Would-be apprentice Elizabeth Junior SEO Accidental consultant Mackenzie Web designer Savvy Nala Small-biz owner Tech-averse Thomas Small-biz owner Decision-maker Dan Senior executive Black-hat Ivan SEO Reseller Bob Salesperson SME/Evangelist Ben Senior consultant A first persona map
  27. 27. Part 2: Behavioral Analysis
  28. 28. Part 2: Behavioral Analysis “The most effective behavioral models are distilled from interview and observation data of real users into an archetypal description of how a particular type of person behaves and what their goals are” – Alan Cooper • 20 customer interviews: – Various company types – Varying years of experience – Multiple recruitment methods • Bucket, plot, & cluster!
  29. 29. Part 2: Behavioral Analysis What are the behaviors that are important to Moz?
  30. 30. Part 2: Behavioral Analysis Cluster interviews based on behavioral observations
  31. 31. Part 2: MORE (quantitative) data
  32. 32. Part 2: MORE (quantitative) data Based on the information we know about these clusters, can we segment the: • Industry Survey? • Pricing Value Survey?
  33. 33. Part 2: MORE (quantitative) data Based on the information we know about these clusters, can we segment the: • Industry Survey? • Pricing Value Survey?
  34. 34. Part 2: MORE (quantitative) data Based on the information we know about these clusters, can we segment the: • Industry Survey? • Pricing & Values Survey?
  35. 35. Part 2: MORE (quantitative) data Based on the information we know about these clusters, can we segment the: • Industry Survey? • Pricing & Values Survey?
  36. 36. 41 Data-Driven Dimitri Inbound marketer/SEO SME Evangelist Steve Senior inbound leader Social-Inbound Connector Melissa Marketing manager Pragmatic Kayleigh Marketing generalist Independent Ian Independent consultant Jack-of-All-Trades Eduardo Office manager Would-be Apprentice Elizabeth Junior SEO Accidental Consultant Mackenzie Web designer Savvy Nala Small-biz owner Tech-Averse Thomas Small-biz owner Decision-Maker Dan Senior executiveBlack-Hat Ivan SEO Reseller Bob Salesperson Grey-Hat Frank SEO Moz Analytics OSE Moz Local Current targets: green (primary) orange (secondary) Understand customer landscape
  37. 37. Core attributes Marketing domain knowledge : Intermediate to Advanced Beginner Expert Strategic vs. tactical: Tactical Strategic Motivations and values: Solve problems with elegant, unique quantitative insights/data to help my team get the job done. Evangelize SEO/inbound with clients and co-workers Job/role • Field: SEO, Inbound Marketing, Marketing • Level: Manager, Director, Strategist Purchase influence: User, with substantial buying influence Data-driven Dimitri Advanced inbound marketer/SEO Why Dimitri uses Moz: Appreciates the company culture and community, wants to help himself and his employees get solid data, and needs to report to clients and company. “I want the deepest and most accurate data to dig for insights and trends; then I'll use my own unique approach to get down to the most meaningful story and recommendations for my client/business.” Client/Site profile: About 45% are in-house marketers: • 2-5 sites for a single company, • a mix of brick-and-mortar and virtual, mostly larger companies with a team of marketers • Budget: $3,000 to greater than $10,000 a month for marketing tools and software 30-45% work at an agency: • 10-15 clients for medium-large businesses, • mix of brick-and-mortar and virtual • Budget: $500-$3,000 monthly budget for marketing tools and software
  38. 38. Designing for Adoption and Relevance 6/26/2014 43
  39. 39. From our art director, Derric Wise: Color: Each customer we have is part of our brand, if not the brand itself. The Moz brand is represented by the blue that is in each poster. Branding: All get a individual branding that we can memorize and recognize at a glance… a unique visual cue. Unique props and tools: All refer to loosely to behavior and personality, and each persona has one representative them.
  40. 40. Stay objective and be friends with your personas Rich, FUN, frank discussions, but couldn’t help dissect and stereotype Lots of review and feedback brought inadvertent biases to light 5+ editorial reviews for language alone Your personas are your friends
  41. 41. How We’re Using Personas Today 6/26/2014 48
  42. 42. IA/Nav Updates
  43. 43. IA/Nav updates: detail
  44. 44. Rankings Research
  45. 45. Vision and Quarterly Planning • Help e-team validate a solid vision for the company • Quarterly planning for the company
  46. 46. Pricing strategy: How can we provide better value?
  47. 47. And in the coming months… • Apply to our daily work: – Adventure teams to use for feature prioritization and planning – Product Management and Design to better understand user needs and goals – Engineers to inform decisions on how features are built – Testers to design test cases – Pricing reflects persona needs – Marketers target efforts to segments – Help Team to cater to customer needs – New employees are on-boarded with personas
  48. 48. 55 In summary, we’ve covered: • One (Moz’s) approach to building personas • Designing for adoption and relevance • How we’re using personas today Questions?
  49. 49. Fin

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