"[bt] | Brand Therapy
Personas and Empathy
Content Strategy Meetup Group
September 25, 2013
[bt]
Section Separator
Hi and thanks for coming…
2
[bt]
Introduction…
3
We’re Esteban and Kate…
Esteban González
Founder and Lead Strategist with Brand
Therapy.
We are an i...
[bt]
Section Separator
Customers are king, right?
4
[bt]
sdfs
5
Every company wants to
be seen as “customer-
centric”
[bt]
Most of the time,
though, this is how
companies see their
customers…
[bt]
I ♥ 2
spend
6
[bt]
Personas have been a tool
sdfs
Personas have been a
valuable tool for
developing a richer,
more human picture of
the...
[bt]
sdfs
8
But we live in the time
of “big data”
Qualitative, intuitive
tools like personas risk
being seen as not
serio...
[bt]
dfs
9
“Not everything that can
be counted counts,
and not everything that
counts can be counted.”
[bt]
[bt]
We like to say…
Information
≠
Insight
10
[bt]
[bt]
They’re missing the point…
asdadsa
11
We think personas are
about more than putting
a human face on
increasingly mor...
[bt]
Even more…
12
We think that personas provide a qualitatively different
benefit for companies — one that is becoming
...
[bt]
The brand strategy
How do personas do all this?
13
[bt]
14
They harness empathy…
[bt]
[bt]
sdfs
15
Empathy provides context.
This is the most valuable tool
for differentiating what is truly
meaningful and wh...
[bt]
16
[bt]
[bt]
And when we think about our own goals…
17
They also allow us to
see ourselves and how
we work differently
1.  More l...
[bt]
18
This is what this evening is about…
How empathy makes personas more — not just as
richer pictures of customers, b...
[bt]
The brand strategy
Our approach to personas…
19
[bt]
adad
20
We still start with the
same facts, but we focus
on entertaining a
different kind of
connection with them…
[bt]
dsf
21
[bt]
22
[bt]
sdf
23
[bt]
[bt]
24
[bt]
[bt]
sdfs
25
The key is how we
process all the bits of
information we know…
[bt]
Draw on our own empathy
We begin to see patterns
in the data…
  Historically, most CARA members are women
  Almost...
[bt]
Data reveals a path to the emotions at play…
Demographics
Web transactions
Retail purchases
Social behavior
Emotiona...
[bt]
Persona Model
28
We break down the
traditional ways of
looking at consumers
by describing people in
more human terms...
[bt]
We created a Model
A Persona
Model
Data 
My first reaction to challenges that cross my path is to…
Look for new opt...
[bt]
sdf
30
[bt]
[bt]
adfa
31
1.  True to the data
2.  Trigger a personal connection
3.  Give emotional details beyond
their short stories...
[bt]
How it works example
32
[bt]
[bt]
33
Empathy is a personal
experience…
It becomes
transformational when it
happens in a group
working together.
[bt]
fsds
34
[bt]
[bt]
The brand strategy
A hands-on exercise:
an abbreviated version of this…
35
[bt]
About people…
36
[bt]
[bt]
37
[bt]
  Almost two-thirds of members are female; most members live in
Chicago, with a few coming from the suburbs
  Abou...
[bt]
39
The social aspect of an organization is…
For people looking for something Fun with birds of a feather
In general,...
[bt]
Skeleton A
40
Female, 27, single, Logan Sq. From
St. Louis, went to Notre Dame.
Prospective member, digital agency.
...
[bt]
Skeleton B
41
Male, 36, married, Wheaton. From
Philadelphia, went to UCSB.
Practitioner, corporate side.
I studied j...
[bt]
Skeleton C
42
Female, 42, divorced, Andersonville.
From Virginia, NYU grad.
Practitioner, interactive agency.
I star...
[bt]
Some questions…
43
Which skeleton rings most true? Why?
Are there any details you would adjust?
[bt]
The brand strategy
OK, what’s next?
44
[bt]
asdfasd
45
[bt]
[bt]
Needs — circumstances in which something is necessary; a requirement
Motivations — the reason or reasons one has for...
[bt]
The Results
[bt]
47
[bt]
The brand strategy
So, continuing with our exercise…
48
[bt]
49
1.  Split into three groups
2.  Each group brainstorm
on one of three aspects
of the persona
3.  Come back and re...
[bt]
adsads
50
[bt]
[bt]
Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity
sdfs
51
[bt]
See you back here in a few minutes…
52
[bt]
The brand strategy
OK, so what happened?
53
[bt]
54
What did you uncover about meetup members?
[bt]
ytfyf
55
[bt]
[bt]
56
Did you notice anything about how the people
in your group interacted?
[bt]
sdfsf
57
[bt]
[bt]
The brand strategy
How the story winds up…
58
[bt]
If we were building
complete personas,
we would give each
one a face…
[bt]
59
[bt]
sdf
60
[bt]
[bt]
sdf
61
[bt]
[bt]
62
[bt]
[bt]
63
Be a springboard to richer customer journeys…
“I’ve been a
runner forever
and all my
friends know
me as a
runner....
[bt]
Give insight into deeper issues facing a brand…
64
Tension between being
“grassroots” and
“buttoned up”
Separation o...
[bt]
The brand strategy
To sum up…
65
[bt]
Four strategies for harnessing empathy to build better personas…
66
Absorb data and
look for patterns
Make research
...
[bt][bt]
67
Raising the game
In the end, for us,
empathy is a powerful
tool for…
[bt]
[bt]
Thank You
[bt] | Brand Therapy
Esteban González
esteban@brandtherapy.us
914.414.7104
Chicago, IL
68
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Empathy-Based Personas: Gaining a Deeper Understanding of Your Audience (Presented to Chicago Content Strategists)

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Information is not the same as insight, so while organizations have an increasing amount of data about their audiences, they don’t always know how to make sense of it – what belongs, what’s actionable, and what will really help them meet their evolving challenges.

Personas are a well-known tool for providing context, but they’ve usually been based on common denominators and averages. As content strategists, we understand that crafting compelling experiences requires us to have a deeper understanding of audiences than numbers alone will offer.

At this hands-on workshop, we will learn how to develop another approach to creating audience personas. This approach complements data with an empathetic framework that produces a more human connection with a deeper understanding of customers’ wants and needs.

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Empathy-Based Personas: Gaining a Deeper Understanding of Your Audience (Presented to Chicago Content Strategists)

  1. 1. "[bt] | Brand Therapy Personas and Empathy Content Strategy Meetup Group September 25, 2013
  2. 2. [bt] Section Separator Hi and thanks for coming… 2
  3. 3. [bt] Introduction… 3 We’re Esteban and Kate… Esteban González Founder and Lead Strategist with Brand Therapy. We are an insights, strategy and ideas boutique devoted to creating healthy, sustainable brand relationships.
  4. 4. [bt] Section Separator Customers are king, right? 4
  5. 5. [bt] sdfs 5 Every company wants to be seen as “customer- centric”
  6. 6. [bt] Most of the time, though, this is how companies see their customers… [bt] I ♥ 2 spend 6
  7. 7. [bt] Personas have been a tool sdfs Personas have been a valuable tool for developing a richer, more human picture of the customer 7
  8. 8. [bt] sdfs 8 But we live in the time of “big data” Qualitative, intuitive tools like personas risk being seen as not serious enough… [bt]
  9. 9. [bt] dfs 9 “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” [bt]
  10. 10. [bt] We like to say… Information ≠ Insight 10 [bt]
  11. 11. [bt] They’re missing the point… asdadsa 11 We think personas are about more than putting a human face on increasingly more data…
  12. 12. [bt] Even more… 12 We think that personas provide a qualitatively different benefit for companies — one that is becoming increasingly important precisely because we have so much more information…
  13. 13. [bt] The brand strategy How do personas do all this? 13
  14. 14. [bt] 14 They harness empathy… [bt]
  15. 15. [bt] sdfs 15 Empathy provides context. This is the most valuable tool for differentiating what is truly meaningful and what is really spurious…
  16. 16. [bt] 16 [bt]
  17. 17. [bt] And when we think about our own goals… 17 They also allow us to see ourselves and how we work differently 1.  More like a team 2.  More human 3.  More in concert and complementary 4.  Less like silos
  18. 18. [bt] 18 This is what this evening is about… How empathy makes personas more — not just as richer pictures of customers, but as richer frameworks for the strategic process.
  19. 19. [bt] The brand strategy Our approach to personas… 19
  20. 20. [bt] adad 20 We still start with the same facts, but we focus on entertaining a different kind of connection with them…
  21. 21. [bt] dsf 21
  22. 22. [bt] 22
  23. 23. [bt] sdf 23 [bt]
  24. 24. [bt] 24 [bt]
  25. 25. [bt] sdfs 25 The key is how we process all the bits of information we know…
  26. 26. [bt] Draw on our own empathy We begin to see patterns in the data…   Historically, most CARA members are women   Almost half of members are between 30 and 45 years of age   Members most often cite they like the camaraderie and friendships, taking care of the lakefront, and personal motivation   Frequent needs identified in surveys and our focus groups: better programs for a broader range of runners, from beginners to elites   Most people identify “runner advocacy” as a key CARA activity, few, though, know what this is   Marathon training accounts for only a quarter of members at any given time, but over half of members will participate in a program   They are successful people: over 2/3 have incomes over $75k; 2/5 earn over $100k   Just over half (54%) live in Chicago, and just under half (44%) live in the suburbs; members want more programs outside the city/north side   Newer members made up the largest group of respondents to the 2011 membership survey   Member running styles range; most report they run between 11 and 20 miles a week 26
  27. 27. [bt] Data reveals a path to the emotions at play… Demographics Web transactions Retail purchases Social behavior Emotional drivers behind preferences, connections, tastes, attitudes and values Things we can measure Things that matter for empathy 27
  28. 28. [bt] Persona Model 28 We break down the traditional ways of looking at consumers by describing people in more human terms… 1.  Their ideas about status 2.  The things they trust 3.  Their comfort zones 4.  Their affinities for things 5.  How they act in groups
  29. 29. [bt] We created a Model A Persona Model Data  My first reaction to challenges that cross my path is to… Look for new options ahead Second-guess my previous decisions When I walk to work or one of my favorite places, I… Stick to the way I know Try a new way each time I find groups like CARA attractive for their… Fun, friendships, and camaraderie Expertise, resources, and benefits I set personal and professional goals for myself… To stay motivated, inspired To keep me ahead of others When I think of volunteering, it’s more about… A responsibility to give back A personal choice to give back Working in groups, professionally or with friends, I tend to… Get along to go along Be the squeaky wheel My interests and passions are… About mastering new things About sanity and balance 29 [bt]
  30. 30. [bt] sdf 30 [bt]
  31. 31. [bt] adfa 31 1.  True to the data 2.  Trigger a personal connection 3.  Give emotional details beyond their short stories 4.  Allow for subtle differences in attitudes They provoke…
  32. 32. [bt] How it works example 32 [bt]
  33. 33. [bt] 33 Empathy is a personal experience… It becomes transformational when it happens in a group working together.
  34. 34. [bt] fsds 34 [bt]
  35. 35. [bt] The brand strategy A hands-on exercise: an abbreviated version of this… 35
  36. 36. [bt] About people… 36 [bt]
  37. 37. [bt] 37
  38. 38. [bt]   Almost two-thirds of members are female; most members live in Chicago, with a few coming from the suburbs   About two-thirds seem to have joined in the last two years, which might correspond to an increased importance in the industry   Over half of members have attended a meetup; half of those reported they’ve attended an event this year   Only 40% of members have given information about their professional situation; of those, almost all are practitioners   Of practitioners, a third each identified themselves as working for agencies or companies We noticed a few things… 38
  39. 39. [bt] 39 The social aspect of an organization is… For people looking for something Fun with birds of a feather In general, I approach decisions based on… Thorough objective research Educated “gut” feelings For a professional organization, I’m mostly interested in… Networking and meeting people Access to expert POVs When I read about our business, I do it mainly for… Curiosity, to develop an edge Fear of not keeping up We created a model that hints at some personality traits that might fill in areas not covered by research
  40. 40. [bt] Skeleton A 40 Female, 27, single, Logan Sq. From St. Louis, went to Notre Dame. Prospective member, digital agency. I’ve been a project manager for about five years now. I love process and figuring out how to keep all the dishes spinning the way they're supposed to. Lately, though, I’ve been feeling like I should do more with my English/psych background. I’m not a writer but I love how people absorb info. Content, maybe? The social aspect of an organization is… For people looking for something Fun with birds of a feather In general, I approach decisions based on… Thorough objective research Educated “gut” feelings For a professional organization, I’m mostly interested in… Networking and meeting people Access to expert POVs When I read about our business, I do it mainly for… Curiosity, to develop an edge Fear of not keeping up
  41. 41. [bt] Skeleton B 41 Male, 36, married, Wheaton. From Philadelphia, went to UCSB. Practitioner, corporate side. I studied journalism for undergrad, and after working in publishing, did grad work in library science. I manage web content for a large manufacturer of a industrial goods, all the supporting materials. My wife says I found the true calling for my OCD, so now I can leave her closet alone. And the kitchen. The social aspect of an organization is… For people looking for something Fun with birds of a feather In general, I approach decisions based on… Thorough objective research Educated “gut” feelings For a professional organization, I’m mostly interested in… Networking and meeting people Access to expert POVs When I read about our business, I do it mainly for… Curiosity, to develop an edge Fear of not keeping up
  42. 42. [bt] Skeleton C 42 Female, 42, divorced, Andersonville. From Virginia, NYU grad. Practitioner, interactive agency. I started as a copywriter for a big agency. Switched to interactive and lived through the bubble. Expanded my horizons, luckily, as content has become more a focus for clients. I came to Chicago with my ex, but love it here. Great place for kids and I like the quality of life. The social aspect of an organization is… For people looking for something Fun with birds of a feather In general, I approach decisions based on… Thorough objective research Educated “gut” feelings For a professional organization, I’m mostly interested in… Networking and meeting people Access to expert POVs When I read about our business, I do it mainly for… Curiosity, to develop an edge Fear of not keeping up
  43. 43. [bt] Some questions… 43 Which skeleton rings most true? Why? Are there any details you would adjust?
  44. 44. [bt] The brand strategy OK, what’s next? 44
  45. 45. [bt] asdfasd 45 [bt]
  46. 46. [bt] Needs — circumstances in which something is necessary; a requirement Motivations — the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way; the general desire or willingness of someone to do something Aspirations — a hope or ambition of achieving something; the object of such an ambition; a goal Fears — a feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone Frustrations — the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve; the prevention of the progress, success, or fulfillment of something We brainstorm about… 46
  47. 47. [bt] The Results [bt] 47
  48. 48. [bt] The brand strategy So, continuing with our exercise… 48
  49. 49. [bt] 49 1.  Split into three groups 2.  Each group brainstorm on one of three aspects of the persona 3.  Come back and report 4.  Time: 20 min [bt]
  50. 50. [bt] adsads 50 [bt]
  51. 51. [bt] Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity sdfs 51
  52. 52. [bt] See you back here in a few minutes… 52
  53. 53. [bt] The brand strategy OK, so what happened? 53
  54. 54. [bt] 54 What did you uncover about meetup members?
  55. 55. [bt] ytfyf 55 [bt]
  56. 56. [bt] 56 Did you notice anything about how the people in your group interacted?
  57. 57. [bt] sdfsf 57 [bt]
  58. 58. [bt] The brand strategy How the story winds up… 58
  59. 59. [bt] If we were building complete personas, we would give each one a face… [bt] 59
  60. 60. [bt] sdf 60 [bt]
  61. 61. [bt] sdf 61 [bt]
  62. 62. [bt] 62 [bt]
  63. 63. [bt] 63 Be a springboard to richer customer journeys… “I’ve been a runner forever and all my friends know me as a runner. I’m out there on the lake year ‘round. Just like a crazy person…” “I need to see CARA is about running as a life choice, and I need it to be a buttoned-up leader affecting greater change. I get excited by the Roads Scholars, runner diversity, etc. …” “I learned about CARA a long time ago. It had quite a reputation and was a big part of running history in Chicago…” “I need to see there’s something for every person and a path for growth. From just enjoying running more to making running better for everyone…” I can run on my own. I need CARA to have matured like I have: there are serious issues impacting Chicagoans’ running life. CARA should tackle those…” “I became more involved when I needed more challenge: my PRs, races, training for the marathon — and I loved how they were a watchdog for the lakefront…” “I needed the excitement of being part of a kind of movement, and I was a true believer. I needed that sense of mission…” PROLOGUE WINBACK EARLY ENGAGEMENT CONTINUITYENROLLMENT ATTRITIONINTRODUCTION
  64. 64. [bt] Give insight into deeper issues facing a brand… 64 Tension between being “grassroots” and “buttoned up” Separation of running as an action and running as a way of life The advantage of being unbiased is underleveraged A low profile in a running landscape dominated by big players Everything’s transaction- based, “what do I get?” all about the benefits Relationships are centered on activities with an expiration date
  65. 65. [bt] The brand strategy To sum up… 65
  66. 66. [bt] Four strategies for harnessing empathy to build better personas… 66 Absorb data and look for patterns Make research user-friendly Collaborate, provoke and conspire Dive into what’s available. Get your hands dirty with guerrilla research. Take what you know and turn it sideways. Find dimensions that make human sense. With human truths, everyone can contribute. Be ready for the baggage to surface. Start with stories that ring true Derail data-think. Empathy comes from people seeing things in familiar terms.
  67. 67. [bt][bt] 67 Raising the game In the end, for us, empathy is a powerful tool for… [bt]
  68. 68. [bt] Thank You [bt] | Brand Therapy Esteban González esteban@brandtherapy.us 914.414.7104 Chicago, IL 68

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