Recently we made a number of connections between what marketers know and use and what change managers might consider adding to their portfolio of practices.

Three Lessons Change Professionals Can Learn from Marketers | Three More Lessons Change Professionals Can Learn from Marketers

Read on to see our last three lessons.

7. Develop “Customer Personas”

Marketers, especially digital marketers, create “buyer personas” to provide structure and insight for their organizations. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of an ideal customer based on market research and real data about existing customers that helps marketers determine where to focus their time, guide product development, and allow for alignment across the organization.

This practice may provide a new perspective for change managers. Creating well-researched “customer personas” as part of your change management approach (for employees and other stakeholders) may be one way to ensure that any activities and messaging land most effectively on targeted audiences.

When creating your change customer persona(s), consider including relevant organizational demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. These narratives should illustrate the change customer’s journey through the entire lifecycle of the change process, and include those environmental factors and events outside the change initiative, but still part of our customers’ daily work lives. The more detailed you are, the better. They will explain the prevailing needs, behaviors, and motivations that should inform messaging and strategies. Personas are an effective way to ensure that you’ve thought through the components and context needed by each stakeholder group at a given time in their change journey.

Engaging representatives of impacted audiences in developing their own narratives will go far in furthering both stakeholder involvement and employee engagement. Once customer personas have been completed, they are reusable for other initiatives as a baseline to work from Due Diligence in a Change Management Project. Again the marketing experts can help with how to develop these narratives.

8. Create the Best Possible Experience for Stakeholders

What is a new way of looking at a change process that can help us envision ways to improve the entire journey experience for our customers or in terms of change management, our stakeholders? UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) are terms and concepts frequently used by digital marketers and stem from the early practices of Human Interface Design (HID) back in the days when client-server computing transitioned to the web. Nowadays, UX refers to the customer’s total journey into and through a website measured by usability, ease of use, and customer satisfaction. UI refers to the look and feel of a website as well as the technology used to deliver the customer experience. Both UX and UI combine to deliver the total customer experience and immediately reflect the organization’s and/or product’s brand.

Change managers want the “best project experience” for an organization’s workforce before, during, and after a change initiative – addressing specific audience’s needs in the context of the change process as a total customer experience. As a change management professional, how might this perspective affect your change management strategy and implementation plan? Many change initiatives develop a “project brand” and build a website as a means of communication and distribution of information. That effort can be enhanced by considering both UX and UI during the process of design, build, and maintenance of the project website.

9. Pay Attention to SEO, Analytics and Project Critics

When trying to empathize with the people going through a change in an organization, change managers should invest heavily in understanding their needs, behaviors and motivations. Not just the wholesale implications of the change, but also where these events fit within the context of people’s personal or professional lives.

Much like marketers, some of this information can come from qualitative analysis, to really understand what would drive an optimal experience for them. We see the marketing hype about SEO, marketing analytics, and site rankings all over the web and they are basically measuring site usage, time spent in certain sections of a web site, Google ranking, and email open and conversion rates. In change management, change managers should consider the following to conduct a meaningful analysis:

  • First, you need to identify and evaluate employee concerns prior to change initiatives. Quite simply, know what’s going on before you try to solve the issue and before spending an ounce of time on developing the approach.
  • Second, measure, test, and measure again. You can ask people before, during and after a change whether they trusted the information, if they felt satisfied with the process, and how they would have or have actually reported their experience to others. This data along with the actual evidence of whether behavior changed provides a more comprehensive snapshot of a project’s performance. But, don’t forget your project website! If there are analytical measurement tools available within your organization, you may be able to work with Marketing or Information Technology functions to enable it on the company’s intranet. By connecting qualitative and quantitative data, you should be able to make some correlations between the messaging, which content topics are getting the most “clicks” or internal viewing, and how these relate to your stakeholders’ experience of the project lifecycle.
  • Third, there are a number of applications that can facilitate this process with survey tools and dashboards already designed for change initiatives or able to be adapted for that purpose. Links to some of these applications are listed below. (lists leading applications)

What else can change management professionals learn from the best practices of successful marketers? Here’s our CTA or Call To Action for you: we welcome your comments and feedback about any of our marketer “lessons.”