My 14-year-old daughter Tzophia was starting 9th grade at the end of the summer. (Gulp!) Part of getting ready for high school was buying a laptop computer. The school said a Chromebook will work. My daughter, of course, wanted the more expensive, posh MacBook.
As we were searching on Amazon Prime day, it occurred to me that 2 of us were making a decision together, with very separate wants and needs. Tzophia had dreams about her ideal high school technology experience. And my goal was keeping it practical and within budget.
As a marketer or UX professional, what do you do if there’s more than one decision maker? What if you need to think about co-personas—when 2 or 3 people are involved in the decision-making process?
Co-personas and why they matter to you right now
Whether you’re a B2C, B2B, B2G or B2P marketer, the use of personas is going to up your game. But this actually reflects the typical purchase experience, since buying decisions are often made in tandem with another person. How do you adapt your customer personas to include 2 or even 3 decision makers?
Let’s look at a few examples:
- B2C (business to customer)
For smaller ticket items, there probably is one decision maker. Shoes, clothing, small consumer electronics and so on. I bought an Echo on Amazon Prime day because it was half the price, and I wanted one. I didn’t consult my husband. But on bigger ticket items, like the laptop for Tzophia, there were 2 or 3 people making the decision. How do you account for that in your journey mapping?
If your customer is also a patient, there is more to consider. Very often, when people are making critical decisions about their healthcare, they don’t make them alone. In fact, they typically consult friends, relatives and other doctors about how to move ahead with treatment.
- B2B, B2G, B2P (business to business, business to government, business to physician)
Employee > Manager > Buyer: Many people are involved in buying products or services of any substantial value. Who is the persona that’s most important to you? If you’re talking directly to an employee, also think about the questions the manager will ask, as well as how to sway the final decision maker. Think about each customer persona as commingled and not standing alone. You might even want to think about the folks in procurement and legal. What are the questions they’ll ask and how can you answer them for a smoother transition?
If you think you have more than 1 decision maker, then you need to create customer personas that commingle. This means mapping your customer personas’ journeys in tandem with their co-decision makers.
OH MY GOD, Ahava. You’re giving us something else to do? STOP.
I’m not saying do it today. But the next time you’re writing or creating for your audiences, stop and think about how many decision makers there are in your customers’ journeys. Add in more questions. You don’t need to start from scratch. Take the content you already have and rewrite it for the co-decision makers. Identify where they are getting their information and distribute your content there. It’s a small lift that can have a big impact.
And just so you’re not dying of suspense, we got Tzophia the Acer Chromebook. For motivation, we told her a MacBook was in her future if she got excellent grades next year (and she did).
Make good choices about your customer personas and their buying journeys.
When we created personas for Geisinger Health System as a part of their editorial toolkit. Its website and social media channels saw explosive growth. See our process and the full results in the case study.