Prediction and Persona Marketing

2008/11/23

A Persona mask represents behaviours and may be worn or removed by someone as needed.  We use the idea of a Persona to illuminate stories, processes and probabilities to serve people behind the Persona.  I have trained marketers, accountants and executives in the art of Persona Marketing and to employ Persona Behaviour analysis techniques quickly and effectively.  Two of the most powerful tools that help us understand Persona Behaviour are the Story Lens and Storyboard Maps. 

Stories are at the core of a Persona mask and the Story Lens  is the set represented by stories, processes, software, brands and KPIs or measures–stories on the left and numbers on the right, 

Storyboards allow us to map, understand and communicate stories across the Story Lens quickly and simply.  Numbers and coordinates are at the core of any map which is much more than a series of lines or a maze to be traversed. 

The art of prediction, highly valued by marketers, accountants and bookmakers, starts with understanding what has happened to  determine which activities may repeat (processes), whether the same tools (cars, software…) might be used again and the core drivers of previous activities.  A critical component in successfully preparing for the future is the use of measures such as time, dollars, distance and others to add context to past behaviours and to probabilistically determine when and under which circumstances they might reoccur.  Scenarios lift the art of preparing for future success to new heights and should be studied carefully once Personae and their relationship to stories and numbers become familiar.

A Persona mask combined with a Story Lens–stories, processes, software, brands and KPI’s or numbers, link vastly different perspectives required by marketers, accountants and executives.  This is done by associating stories and numbers common to the different perspectives to infer probabalistic behaviours.

What is probabilistic behaviour?

Since a Persona is a mask worn by a person, understanding future Persona Behaviour allows us align our future products and services to the people behind the mask.  Since we can never know exactly how behaviours will occur in the future we use Scenarios to determine a range of behaviours and to get a sense of the probability that some behaviours might occur in the future.  If this seems a little strange consider the profession of Finance and how accountants forecast.  A financial forecast is made to plan where a business is going and determine measures of success. 

What is behind all those numbers carefully constructed by accountants in plans of one, two or more years? Stories, pure and simple.  Accountants convert stories to numbers and place them in a structure called a chart of accounts.   Then accountants manipulate numbers for the rest of the year in a way that separates them from the stories that were at their core.  Indeed accountants ‘map’ out the future of the business with numbers rather than stories.

Our practice is to blend stories, numbers, maps and storyboards to avoid the common trap that marketers and accounts fall into as they manipulate numbers and stories independently of each other.  This ‘split’ causes stories and numbers that started at the same place to get out of sync with each other.

Stories and numbers continue to be aligned to Personae or the business gets out of harmony with customers and suppliers.  The lack of harmony is a dis-ease which typically results in something breaking.

More about the link between numbers and stories may be found at https://personati.wordpress.com

Cheers,

Nick www.scenario2.com

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