Many portfolio marketers must prioritize on a daily basis what tasks will (or will not) get done. Choice is hard, but in a world of limited resources, choice is required.
Personas – and, more specifically, persona definition – fall directly in the path of that choosing. Many of our clients understand the need to be audience-centric and are making strides toward accomplishing it. What gets in the way of this transition is that many portfolio marketers believe that there are just too many personas to create content for, and that they’ll either end up with some generic, high-level persona or default back to an easier conversation about products that cannot drive impactful content.
One thing that makes choosing priorities hard is that it requires some measured risk – you might make the wrong choice or not the best choice. In any case, choices need to be defensible. The exercise of prioritizing personas drives organizational alignment, improves content relevance and puts the focus on the audience. Although many product marketers intuitively understand these concepts, we work with clients every day who feel the need to support all personas – even if that means that most personas are supported sub-optimally.
The SiriusDecisions Persona Prioritization Tool is a decision support tool designed to help you rank personas relative to one another against a defined set of criteria. More importantly, using the tool effectively requires a series of inputs, as well as alignment, interlock and assessments. All of these components are consistent and methodical, thus taking some of the risk out of making choices about which personas to prioritize.
At this year’s SiriusDecisions Summit, we presented a session on prioritizing personas and offered a multi-step plan to help organizations gather the information they need to make informed, consistent choices about which personas fit best within their product, marketing and sales processes.
This prioritization approach encompasses the following steps:
Prioritized choices need to be defensible, and portfolio marketers can improve their chances of success and alignment when using a consistent approach to make those choices. Make sure to align with product and sales colleagues to take the risk out of choosing.
Christina McKeon is the Service Director of Portfolio Marketing at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 20 years of experience in product and solution marketing, sales enablement, demand generation and social media. Follow Christina on Twitter at @ChristinaMcKeon.