In a training video for HubSpot, they make the claim that personas are the cornerstone of a media strategy. Developing personas need to take front seat in one’s strategy, even over technology.
I propose this model for using personas in Christian media missions.
Core elements to be seeker-centric
Notice that to be seeker-centric we need these three core elements:
- Insight: Deepen insight of the seeker’s spiritual journey
- Interaction: Technology will enhance interaction with the seeker while he is on his spiritual journey
- Improve: Over time you will learn and improve seeker’s experience via new information.
The outer ring is the interactive activities to accomplish the Insight, Interaction and Improvement:
- Capture useful seeker data
- Predict Seeker conversion journey (this is what we call Persona)
- Profile and segment seekers into low engagement (passive), mid level engagement (they begin to interact) and high (they are in the conversion process).
- Manage and optimize strategies - these are using existing media content that is in a searchable library that can be used when the counselor is conversing with the seeker.
- Engage the seekers at their level of preference- this is gauging our resources (personnel, time, media) so that we appropriately spend resources with people as they are ready. Though we are maturating seekers along their conversion pathways, we are letting them be in control. The axiom holds true here: “we don’t tell people what to think, but what to think about.”
- Measure and report is we are capturing information on seekers journey and moving some to the top of our list so that we have “just in time” intervention.” Also, though data, we will know what new media will need to be developed.
- Optimize media products- we will develop new media as needed. And new strategies will be informed by data.
- Learn and improve – we will get better at serving our seeker constituency.
Through each of these stages we are shaping personas, moving them from two-dimensional to three-dimensional. Personas are defined in many ways, but for our purposes they will represent seeker conversion pathways. For now, we could define no more than seven pathways, seven personas. Some will relate to religion (radical, Atheists, etc), others to personal (relational, depression, dreams/visions etc), still others could be social (political unrest, no jobs, etc).
One organization I am helping used this template in writing up their persona descriptions:
- Age range:
- Emotion & Religious Seeking (from modified Sogaard scale)
- Felt Needs
- Success Factors
- Perceived Barriers
- Decision Criteria
- Trusted Sources/Influences
- Used when doing a Google Search
They added a picture of a person who “fit” the persona.
This is a beginning of developing your personas.
An understanding of your audience plays a crucial role in your overall strategy. Read the next article for guidance on putting your strategy together.