Personas and The “Broken Telephone” Game
We’ve all, at some point in our childhood, played the telephone game.You sit in a circle and whisper something in the ear of the person next to you, they do the same to the person next to them, and so on. By the time the message gets back to you it’s been misheard, misinterpreted, and misunderstood so many times, it sounds nothing like what you originally said.
Fast-forward to today and you see the same thing going on, but on a larger scale.
The issue is often that the only people in an organization that understand the consumer are those on the front line interacting with them directly. Trying to communicate with the rest of the organization, and getting them to understand who the consumer is, ends up being a horrifying game of telephone. Which leaves many of the members of your team violating one of the basic principles of business – know your audience!
They don’t know the pains causing these people to buy, or the motivation for their actions. Now you have the people and teams in your organization building, designing, and creating for people based solely on assumption. We all know that assumption is the mother of all “screw ups”.
No matter the business, industry, or size of the organization, every company services somebody. Whether you call them clients, users, customers, or patrons, the one thing that remains true is that they all have a need for what you are offering (otherwise they wouldn’t be your consumers).
Using personas gives everyone in your organization a better understanding of the customer. You can alleviate the issues that come from not knowing the customer. But keep in mind, just as your customers needs and motivations will change over time, the personas you create for them will have to be updated as well.
We built a great tool at PersonaBold.com to help you create, manage, and incorporate personas and audience information.