21st Century Customer Journeys are incredibly complicated and rarely, if ever, direct.
The new way of working means decision makers drop into (and out of) your brand ecosystem in unique and unexpected ways, so it’s vital to demonstrate a clear understanding of their needs from the first contact.
Within the lighting business the players or personas fall into one of four categories and operate in one of four arenas.
Lighting Business Personas – There are the responsible ones.
The ones who actually do the work. They are the ones who will complete the task; fulfil the objective or make the decision. So if it’s a simple project, this may be one person. But, in the more rarefied world of large-scale projects this could be several people.
In my world those responsible for actually doing the work are also the ones who are accountable for the work. Makes sense, doesn’t it? But, alas, this is not always the case and there can be those who are Accountable for the work but who aren’t actually doing it. These are the stakeholders, those who “own” the work. Moreover, they will hold the power to sign off (or not) the work that has been done…. when the objective has been reached or the task has been completed. If that can be easily surmised.
The accountability is what generates the power and the responsibilities. This is where the responsibilities are assigned across the structure for all related activities.
In an ideal world, success requires that there is only one person accountable, which means that “the buck stops here.” But in reality, it’s not always possible.
Whilst the responsible and accountable groups can (usually) be relatively compact and easy to understand those who need to be consulted can begin to add complexity to the project. Not only that but they will add a wider range of opinions, experiences and agendas…. And, whilst they are not responsible, neither can they be discounted or merely informed.
Lighting Business Personas – the expectation of consultation
…comes with an expectation of involvement. So, these are the personas in the lighting business, people or stakeholders who will need to give input before the work can be done and signed-off. In some cases, they feel the need to give input before the project has started. They are and expect to be, “in the loop” and are active participants. But the key here is to understand or to establish exactly “where the line is drawn” – who is involved and who is not. Specifically, when they are involved and when they are not and the level of response to that involvement.
Beyond these three groups, there are those that want to be and expect to be “Informed”. These people are stakeholders who need to be kept “in the picture.” So they need updates on progress or decisions, but they do not need to be formally consulted, nor do they contribute directly to the task or decision. But their expectations may be different.
Over and above these interest groups there are four specific job roles that will control the project.
The Lighting Designer Persona:
Developing personas to reflect the key players in the process can help to focus on their drivers and delivery criteria.
The Lighting Designer is primarily interested in visualising the scenario. Photometry data (the amount of light emitted) that works with CalcuLuX (a lighting design programme) is their primary concern. How can this be communicated clearly and easily? Image galleries and case studies can help to paint the picture and create the vision.
Lighting Designers tend to be visual thinkers, are social, action orientated and fast-paced. They can have a sense of urgency. Their criteria will be ease of use, but they can be loyal. Once they trust the product, they want to make the project happen.
“I’m looking for photometry data, but I want to download it – show me a gallery of what I can expect and the proof of your own expertise with case studies.”
The Electrical Consultant Persona:
The Electrical Consultant is interested in detailed specifications which can be used in technical submissions. Detailed case studies help to build the confidence that you and your products can deliver.
As ever -a persona is a snapshot, an idea. Electrical Consultants tend to be practical, down to earth, logical, and methodical. They love to plan and love the detail. But they can be risk averse even though they can still love the cool stuff. Their real focus is how can they mitigate project risk?
“I really want to see technical specifications and case studies, so I want to be able to download product details and be able to compare products. I may get in touch for part numbers, specification data, and to understand availability or to query technical capability.”
Lighting Business Personas – The Specifier:
The Specifier is looking to compare products easily. Specifically, they’re looking for products that match or beat the performance & legal requirements for the scenario. 90% of the time, they’re main focus will be price.
They’re logical, methodical, an information-seeker. Within the project they are The Gatekeeper with a focus on “Can we get this cheaper?”
“I want to be able to compare products, download product details and view technical specifications quickly and easily. If I get in touch, it will be to request pricing”
The Facilities Manager Persona:
For Facilities Managers lighting is just one thing they have to look after. It’s not their speciality. Case studies will help them identify products that could work, but they will need some help too. Price is a factor, but they have other considerations like MRO (maintenance, repair, operations) costs, service, and support too.
They will be practical, logical, capable and methodical – but they will actively seek help. Their main driver is how can we get this done?
“You can help me with free lighting design, a product overview and technical specifications. I may call to discuss the project, request additional support or to reaffirm decisions. I’m looking to identify the right products, to discuss price & availability, and review MRO costs”.