Do you really know who your potential customers are? assumptions can soemtimes lead to nowhere

paper-jam-symbol-icon-mdDuring a use-case development workshop I ran recently, we encountered a problem.
We were creating scenarios for three different website personas:

1. A young person with a need (prospect-influencer)
2. Mother of a young person with a need (prospect-decision maker)
3. Professional service giver (referral)

The first user was easy – young people use the web for pretty much everything, we assumed possible search terms they would use to get to our website, and it was clear what they would like to achieve once they got there. Information architecture and ideas for layouts simply flew out of our minds and into paper. Wonderful.

Next, Mother of young person with a problem.
We tried to follow the same path: what does Mum want to achieve? how did she even get here?

We used Google Adwords Keyword planning tool (useful!) to work out possible search terms, and were amazed at how few relevant searches were ever typed into Google. This was proving to be a problem, because this new business had no plans relating to how to acquire Mum’s custom… Mum could have a need, but how do we let her know that we are here with a solution?

Ima

A Mum (OK, my Mum)

With a lack of understanding around how to let Mum know our solution is here for her, the first stage in the customer-journey is completely unknown. The first point of contact with our Marketing message is missing. If we don’t know where she is or where we are, how can we tell what the next step is?

So, new small business needs to think about this again (I’m happy to help!), and in the meantime we can carry on with developing scenarios for the other two main personas. We’ll have a great website ready for these two first, and when Mum is ready to join – we’ll go through the process again!

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