Personas are about helping an organization make sense of the audience so it can make more audience-focused decisions. The goal is more than just usability, it’s about want-to-use-ability. By facilitating deeper, more empathetic connection between an organization and its audiences, you can convert the organization’s raw data into insights about what really drives audiences.
To be transformative, personas must evoke a sense of empathy with the audience. That happens only when the organization itself creates the personas, as well as identifying those audience journeys from awareness through to loyalty and advocacy.
Empathy-based personas help the people creating and managing the organization’s offerings understand that those offerings exist in the audience’s context and for the audience’s needs and goals.
The approach of leading employees through the persona creation process is a wonderful silo-buster, bringing internal people together who often have not had the opportunity to collaborate before. When organizations choose to validate the personas through focus groups, they always prove to be on the mark.
This session will show IAs how to harness empathy as a strategic tool for making the leap from insight to action. It will include case studies and an interactive exercise, so you can come away with an understanding of the process and a framework they can use going forward.
Key takeaways from the session:
• How to leverage internal knowledge/emotional intelligence to take the data you have to a higher level
• How to foster a culture of empathy throughout your organization that creates a deep, shared knowledge of your audiences, breaks down silos, and develops a lasting framework for strategic thought
• How to use this shared sense of your audiences to break down silos, create valuable prioritization frameworks, and foster a culture centered around your most important audiences
About the speakers
Esteban Gonzalez <firstname.lastname@example.org> is chief strategist and planner of Brand Therapy, an insights-driven strategy and ideas workshop devoted to helping companies create unique, healthy, and sustainable relationships with their audiences. Esteban is a thought leader on issues of how consumers connect with brand experiences, expert at developing valuable and actionable insights about audiences, their motivations, needs, and decision processes. His specialty is in using these insights to produce creative, compelling digital and offline experiences. He has led award-winning design assignments for associations as well as other brands such as Kimberly-Clark, CVS, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Adobe, Hologic, United Airlines, Kraft, Samsung, and HP.
Hilary Marsh is president and chief strategist of Content Company, a content and digital strategy consultancy. She helps associations, nonprofit organizations, and corporations get better results from their content by improving their practices for content creation, governance, management, and promotions. Content Company’s clients include the American Bar Association, American Medical Association, Estee Lauder, Endocrine Society, Institute of Food Technologists, Intuit, and Walgreens.
Hilary has been a leading content strategy practitioner, mentor, and professor since 1999. She developed and taught the first graduate-level content strategy courses for Kent State University. She has been published, quoted, and her work cited in major industry publications including Content Strategy for the Web, Content Strategy at Work, and reports from Prophet/Altimeter. She is a frequent speaker at content strategy, digital, and association conferences, including the IA Summit/IA Conference.