Tag Archives: buyer persona

I almost succumbed

I’m working on a couple enewsletters today. One goes to an increasing percentage of our congregation. Since the first of the year, we’ve been sending it weekly. It will eventually replace the mailed biweekly version. The other goes to our leaders. It hasn’t gone out for several months. (I got distracted.)

Today I decided that I needed to send out an edition of the leadership enewsletter.  It’s on my todo list. I have information about a seminar for everyone in that role. I have a PDF of the information. I started thinking about how to attached the PDF, how to cut and paste, how to upload it so that our people could download it.

I started thinking, in short, about the technical aspects of delivery.  But then I realized that I had completely forgotten about the implications of an article I had read not an hour before.

John Jantsch talked today about narrowly defining your ideal customer. He wrote about identifying the people you are trying to reach. He talked about finding a picture of a representative of that group. And then, he said, think carefully about them, as people rather than as a demographic.

  • What brings them joy?
  • What are they worried about?
  • What challenges do they face?
  • What do they hope to gain from us?

There are more questions, but they take us deep into thinking about the people we are trying to serve, to help, to invite, to involve.

Somehow, in the middle of my figuring out how to upload the brochure, John’s questions came back to me. As I think about our leaders, what are the challenges they are facing and how will this seminar help? As I think about their joys, and I think about asking them to spend a Saturday away from their families, a day in between their full-time jobs and their very active church involvement, do I know enough about the seminar to know that it will help increase that joy? That it will be worth the investment? As I think about their worries, about what is keeping them awake at night–people the manage, companies they work for, unemployed people they are helping–do I know enough about the seminar to be able to say, “This will help you!”

So I stopped. I sent an email back to the seminar team saying, “tell me more.”

I may not get an enewsletter out to our leaders today. And that’s okay. As much as I want to put a checkmark next to “publish the enewsletter” on my list, I think the “build and equip people to serve” item is more important.

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For more information on MailChimp, the enewsletter provider we use, click here. Powered by MailChimp

While you thaw out, help me think.

Time to clear some stuff out of my “Did I ever tell you” folder in my brain:

1. I’m doing a daily 300 word post about following Jesus at 300wordsaday.com. As of today, it’s also available at 300wordsaday.mobi.  (Just trying to stretch a bit. Let me know  you think about the mobile version).

2. I talked about deliberate practice a couple weeks ago. I’ll keep coming back to it. (In fact, I’m doing a presentation about it to non-profit executive directors next week).

I realized today that one of the key things for creative brains to work on  is actually following particular ideas through to completion. I mean, some of us generate ideas constantly. We let other people do them. But what if we picked one a day and followed up, figuring out how to do that one idea?

3. I had some great comments this week on my first real book review post. Makes me think that in the future, I’ll not worry so much about how I got the book and worry more about how to let you know what I thought.

4. I wrote over at smallbizsurvival this week about what not to do as a business when there are always problems with your work. (“There is always something”). Probably applies to individuals as well.

5. David Meerman Scott has a link to an incredibly funny and thought-provoking calendar for 2009. It forces us to think about audience.

6. Speaking of audience, I’m thinking very hard about an idea I found in Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR: buyer personas. I know that I’m not about buyers in the sense of products. However, I realized this week that building our church’s website around information that  particular people are looking for might be a good idea. For example, we will have parents of about 200 kids wondering about game schedules for basketball for the next 8 weeks. What if we made it easy to find that information? I mean, really easy?

Have a great weekend. I hope the weather warms where you are, that the power comes back on if it’s off, that you have to to read, write, think, not think, rest, work, and play some time.

not everyone likes coffee

I was raised well by my Swedish family. I always offer coffee. (and then take some myself, thank you very much).

Some people like tea. My offer of coffee is misguided. Some people are opposed to caffeine. My offer of coffee is an affront. Some people aren’t thirsty. My offer of coffee is irrelevant. Some people like coffee, but not the way I make it. My offer of coffee forces them to be polite.

I could, of course, only talk with people who like coffee the way I make it. I could (implicitly) demand that they conform to my tastes if they are going to talk with me. But that would be come tedious after awhile.

I thought of this today when someone said that a group of people didn’t understand something that I had written. I realized that how I write here, where you choose to drink the coffee, where an audience gathers because they have acquired a taste for the way I brew ideas, will be different than how I write elsewhere, on behalf of others. When I am writing on behalf of my organization, I have to remember that the audience isn’t my audience, it is the organization’s audience.

That audience is part of a microculture that has formed in this organization over the past century. While I’ve been forming elsewhere for half that time, I’ve only been here for a year. And while I can use my voice and perspective, there is an edge in my personal writing that is not part of the organization’s persona.

I read today about buyer personas in a case study of rightnow.com. The post talks about identifying clear profiles of the buyers you are seeking. Once you have this picture, you structure your communication strategy, a website, for example, to answer the questions that this buyer has. the company is an IT company, but the application became clear for me.

On my blog, I always offer coffee. But what if I help our church think about our people. There is a group of people in our church who are parents of young children. They really don’t care much about coffee. They pretty much want to know what time and where and how long the children’s events are. They want to be able to find that information quickly and really don’t care about my odd photos and clever wording.

There is a group of people in our church who are committed to learning and want to know where the learning opportunities are and whether we have anything online and what we have offline.

There is a group of people in our church who want to serve other people. They need to know when and where and how and who.

And as I think about those buyer personas, I realize that we haven’t been thinking that way. I realize that if we did, we could help them very well and could be much clearer in our website and all of our communication. And that’s a good thing.

I think I’ll get some more coffee and work on that. Can I get you some?

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That ringing sound? It’s my virtual Red Kettle.  But it’s okay to give at the office.