With the arrival of spring, the April AITP DC Chapter members gathered to here guest speaker Alianna J. Maren. Dr. Maren spoke at the chapter meeting on her experiences as a newly-launched social entrepreneur. Talking points from the presentation are included below.
Persona Targeting: The Secret to Matching Content to Clients
There is a special, subtle tactic that goes beyond these basics. This is the one tactic that will elevate you to "guru" status among the IT professionals who can help others set up their basic website/landing-page/opt-in/blog backbone. It is the power of mapping your client "personas" to the right communications and content, ensuring that their needs and interests are uniquely met.
Over two decades ago, the ideas of "personalization" and "one-to-one" marketing began to emerge. Then, Amazon became a forerunner, using neural networks to find and filter good matches for their clients. This led to the now-standard, "Customers who bought this item also bought ..."
Today, customers expect some degree of personalization. And nothing will turn away your "most valued" customers faster than the feeling that they're being treated like one of a "herd."
"Tribe" vs. "Herd" Mentality: How to Manage the Difference
The greatest client-connection wisdom these days combines the best of "tribe" thinking along with the technologist's and marketing guru's approach to "internet marketing." (http://www.copyblogger.com/two-tribes/)
Even the best of these, though, haven't quite made one of the most important and powerful connections possible. Tribes are not homogeneous.
Tribes contain many people, each with different needs, goals, motives, and foci-of-attention. BUT - we don't have to model each person. (And we can't. We're not Amazon, and we don't individually have that technology.)
What we DO HAVE are "personas."
In 1998, Alan Cooper rocked the programming/design world with his now famous (infamous) book, "The Inmates are Running the Asylum." He challenged us to think in user-centered design terms. (http://www.amazon.com/The-Inmates-Are-Running-Asylum/dp/0672326140/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363182420&sr=8-1&keywords=cooper+inmates+running+the+asylum). In particular, he introduced the notion of modeling detailed users (clients) who represented core groups of user (client)-types.
What successful program managers realized, long before this, was the importance of user-centered modeling - in fact, the role of specific "users" in Use Case Modeling (Jacobson, 1986, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_case).
As an entirely parallel line, over the past decade, more and more enterprises have put attention on modeling their internal knowledge bases as well as external content with enterprise taxonomies. For example, the U.S. Air Force has been conducting taxonomy projects for at least a decade, devising ways to do "concept searching" on their vast corpora of internal documents. (http://www.conceptsearching.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/casestudies/CS_usaf.pdf)
Bringing Together "Personas" and "Content": Managing Opt-In Lists and Word Press Blog Categories
Most of us have far smaller knowledge bases than that of the U.S. Air Force. However, entrepreneurs - quickly learning the ways of blogging - readily start building significant content. Also, unless they carefully manage their process from the onset, they also build multiple Opt-In lists.
Your goal? Bring a sense of order, discipline, structure, and process to these entrepreneurs - or even to solid, stable organizations, who are wrestling with the new processes for reaching their clients.
After listening to Dr. Maren's talk, you will be able to:
1) Help your clients identify their optimal sets of diverse clients, each with a distinct representative "persona," and an associated Opt-In list.
2) Identify the driving needs and interests of each client-set ("persona") that will bring them to YOUR (or YOUR CLIENT's) site, services, and products
3) Translate those needs into KEY CATEGORIES that you can use to organize and manage client's content (both static and blog)
4) Develop a MAPPING from client-sets ("personas") to content-sets ("categories")
5) Manage the overall process for loyalty-building, more accurate product/service positioning, and upsells.
In short, you'll be MASTER of a new set of methods that will directly impact your (or your client's) bottom line.
Few have these skills. But to learn more - prior to the presentation, to follow up on resources, or to be included in invitations to similar talks - join Dr. Maren's "tribe" on her own Opt-In list. Go to: www.aliannamaren.com, and "Opt-In."
More about our guest speaker:
Alianna J. Maren, Ph.D. (www.aliannamaren.com), is a Chemist, Business Entrepreneur, Dance Instructor, Life Coach, and recently self-published author of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey," which has eighteen 5-star Amazon reviews. As a newly-launched social entrepreneur, she's learned (via trial-and-error, the "hard way") about the vagaries of marketing in the evolving world of internet and social phenomena.
Previously, as Co-Founder and Chief Scientist for EagleForce Associates (later Viziant), which she left in 2008, she received three patents for artificial intelligence and brain-based inventions on knowledge discovery. She led their efforts to do a Knowledge Discovery Survey and later a Predictive Intelligence study for the DIA, and participated in various tasks developing Air Force taxonomy/ontology components. She was the group co-leader for the Knowledge Discovery group, tasked by NCES (Net-Centric Enterprise Services) 2nd Working Group; Mediation and Discovery (March, 2004), presenting key finding and recommendations to the Defense Community.
Prior to co-founding EagleForce/Viziant, Dr. Maren was Senior Scientist at Accurate Automation in Chattanooga, TN, where she led multiple Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants as Principal Investigator, with a total revenue of more than $4M. She was one of the initial scientists to bring neural networks to popular awareness, as senior author of the "Handbook of Neural Computing Applications" (Academic, 1991). She also received a patent on Sensor Fusion (a "critical defense technology") that was named "Patent of the Week" by the NY Times.
Her Ph.D. studies in theoretical physical chemistry (Arizona State University, studying with the renowned theoretician Sheng H. Lin (http://ualr.edu/chemistry/uploads/2007/07/chemical%20genealogy%20robert%20belford.pdf) gave her a strong foundation for many of her inventions, particularly in the realm of complex nonlinear systems.
A strong desire to "get products to people" drove Dr. Maren to leave the corporation she had co-founded. While waiting out a severe non-compete, she completed a manuscript that she'd begun some fourteen years earlier. What was intended as a two-to-three month project took 2 1/2 years, resulting in publication of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey" (Amazon: trade and Kindle editions available; http://www.amazon.com/Unveiling-The-Inner-Journey-Alaynya/dp/0982901305/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363185046&sr=8-1&keywords=unveiling%3A+the+inner+journey).
Internet marketing is a long way from theoretical physical chemistry. However, anyone who needs to connect "products to people" has to move beyond the ivory tower. Dr. Maren is most fortunate that knowledge gained while at EagleForce/Viziant have given her insights into how to leverage the marketing technologies useful today.
To read Dr. Maren's blogs:
Archetypes for personal and corporate breakthroughs (building on material from "Unveiling: The Inner Journey"): http://theunveilingjourney.blogspot.com.
Women's personal growth, using Oriental dance, energy rejuvenation methods, and related topics: http://alaynyastudio.com (Note: examples for categories and personas will be taken from this site.).
Science, technology, and business: http://aliannajmaren.blogspot.com.