Kill Your Users

One of the biggest sources of internal delays that arise in MarTech projects is confusion around terminology. At the start of your next MarTech initiative, you should dispense ruthlessly with one overloaded term: "users."

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I see the term user a lot in requirements documents and especially RFPs.  Already this year I've vetted or co-created about two-dozen RFPs for RSG subscribers, and it has reared its head in each. I understand the temptation...."user" is a useful shortcut, and sometimes you need to supply figures here for vendor licensing bids. The problem is that user turns real-life humans into the vaguest of abstractions, on par with the algorithms and workflows in system itself, as just one more actor to satisfy. 

That never made sense for flesh-and-blood customers and colleagues, and now with renewed emphasis on personalization, you need to get more specific.  Even leaving aside your personalization strategy, amid a rolling pandemic where you want to humanize as many digital encounters as possible, the term just doesn't cut it.

This is particularly the case when overhauling a platform or selecting new MarTech solutions. You want to enter any procurement with a clear list of actors and their roles in any system. Start by raising up the people who really matter by their specific role: prospects, customers, influencers, household members, campaign managers, customer service reps, salespeople, distributors, suppliers, developers, creative designers, authors, editors, data analysts, UX researchers, community managers, marcom strategists, asset managers, system administrators, data stewards, field support specialists — the available list is endless.

So of course you'll want to prioritize and structure your customer and management journeys to guide for your most important categories.  For any specific system you’re trying to procure, there’s a handful of personas that will matter a lot. Call them by name.

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