ISR presented a traditional project in three stages. First, a qualitative phase where in-depth-interviews provided a “day in the life” perspective to begin capturing the actual language used by the target customers. The second phase used that language to develop a quantitative, web-based survey to determine how effective those terms are at representing target customers. Finally, another qualitative phase was conducted to gather direct feedback from target customers on how to fine-tune the language even further.
To ensure a sample that would be representative for a global CDMO, respondents were sourced from both North America and Europe, and from a wide range of company sizes. The participants were stratified to ensure there was a large enough sample for Large, Mid-size and Small companies, and by persona/geography. For instance, ensuring that there was a statistically significant sample of participants who fit into Persona Type A that also were from a small, North American organization.
The first phase of the project consisted of qualitative phone interviews with 15 respondents over four weeks. To understand respondents’ direct views on how they perceived their role, ISR asked them questions such as: how they would describe their responsibilities at a basic level, what their everyday challenges look like, what their successes look like, and how they interact with service providers. Instead of using this information to begin pressure testing the client’s initial personas, this phase was intended to gather language that other prospective customers would identify with.
During the four weeks that comprised the first phase, the second phase was already underway in the form of questionnaire design. The quantitative, web-based survey of 150 respondents was designed to fit participants into their predicted persona type, and at the end of the survey, participants were asked if they identified with the persona type they were coded as. If they disagreed, they were presented with the next best fit. Then, the respondent was presented with a segmented paragraph of roles and responsibilities associated with their persona and asked to click on the portions they agreed fit their position. Finally, the respondents were asked to fill in the holes of any language that was missed, worded improperly, or just typically described in a different manner from their viewpoint.
After the eight weeks of collecting responses through the web survey tool, analyzing the data, and producing a report, the third phase of the project commenced, consisting of 15 additional telephone interviews. During these three weeks, the refined personas were presented to the interviewees for pressure testing. The goal of this step was to ensure everything we learned in the first two stages resonated.