Discussions

Personas and voices...oh my!

Posted by Carol Vassar @vassarradio, Jan 18, 2018

Does anyone have any experience and/or success with creating personas and voices for your brand? We’ve been struggling with it and wanted to see if anyone had advice/best practices that we might be able to employ. TIA!

Carol

Can you be more specific, @vassarradio? What part of developing personas and voices are you struggling with?

REPLY

My team has developed personas ourselves, and we also hired an external vendor. Personally, I think the ones we did ourselves were just as good 🙂

This started when we were beginning to overhaul our patient-facing websites, so we wanted to think about the different patients who would be using our site. We began by thinking about what we knew about our hospital’s patients. I think marketing teams and service line admins sometimes get caught up thinking about the ideal patient — the 45-year-old insured middle-class female runner who needs knee surgery, for example. In reality, while we certainly want those patients to be able to easily use our website, we know many of our patients are older, traveling a long distance from a rural area, have multiple health conditions and may have internet connection issues or aren’t super tech savvy.

So we thought through that person, and also people using each of our key service lines, such as high-risk prenatal care, pediatrics, cancer and orthopedics. We talked through how they were accessing our website and what they’d need from it and the quality of their internet/phone connections.

We also asked our patient experience team to provide Press-Gainey survey comments from the last couple of months, which were interesting but didn’t prove to be as insightful as we thought they might be. Or maybe they were — we were surprised that most of the pain points seemed to be around customer service or care, not parking, wayfinding, online bill pay and other logistics.

The hardest part was keeping it to five personas.

Maybe we missed out on some major aspect of the process by doing it ourselves, but we found the process really helpful.

REPLY

Hi Carol. Specific to creating personas for your digital communication, see the attached PDF (yes, it’s large), which CDC recently updated. While CDC digital personas may be different from those for your channels, these may be informative. The agency as a whole identifies 4 “top” personas: HCPs, general health consumers, parents, and PHPs; this report also describes personas by the device they use to access CDC information: desktop/laptop and mobile. All based on data from products licensed to the agency as well as tools used for several years (the satisfaction survey embedded in web pages and Adobe Analytics [used instead of Google Analytics]). Good luck!

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@DanHinmon

Can you be more specific, @vassarradio? What part of developing personas and voices are you struggling with?

Jump to this post

We are struggling with how personas line up with organizational pillars. We also sometimes get caught in our own circle of trying to get others on the team to understand the concept of personas and how they relate to our overall marketing goals. We have one really well-developed persona, but I’m wondering how many others might have developed. If we go down this rabbit hole, we could have hundreds of personas, but that sorta defeats the purpose.

REPLY

I apologize, but I don’t see anything attached. Is there a link to this PDF?

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@vassarradio

I apologize, but I don’t see anything attached. Is there a link to this PDF?

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Apologies, Carol. When I originally uploaded, I failed to note the 5MB max. I’ve compressed the PDF and posted again. Hope it’s informative.

Shared files

CDCDigitalDataAudiencePersonas-compressed (CDCDigitalDataAudiencePersonas-compressed.pdf)

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@MeganRowe

My team has developed personas ourselves, and we also hired an external vendor. Personally, I think the ones we did ourselves were just as good 🙂

This started when we were beginning to overhaul our patient-facing websites, so we wanted to think about the different patients who would be using our site. We began by thinking about what we knew about our hospital’s patients. I think marketing teams and service line admins sometimes get caught up thinking about the ideal patient — the 45-year-old insured middle-class female runner who needs knee surgery, for example. In reality, while we certainly want those patients to be able to easily use our website, we know many of our patients are older, traveling a long distance from a rural area, have multiple health conditions and may have internet connection issues or aren’t super tech savvy.

So we thought through that person, and also people using each of our key service lines, such as high-risk prenatal care, pediatrics, cancer and orthopedics. We talked through how they were accessing our website and what they’d need from it and the quality of their internet/phone connections.

We also asked our patient experience team to provide Press-Gainey survey comments from the last couple of months, which were interesting but didn’t prove to be as insightful as we thought they might be. Or maybe they were — we were surprised that most of the pain points seemed to be around customer service or care, not parking, wayfinding, online bill pay and other logistics.

The hardest part was keeping it to five personas.

Maybe we missed out on some major aspect of the process by doing it ourselves, but we found the process really helpful.

Jump to this post

Great response! Which one has been your most successful persona?

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