Here’s a secret many people don’t know: you don’t need to create personas to be user centred. User centred design is not about personas. In fact, personas really don’t matter. Creating personas should never be your goal — understanding users’ needs, goals and motivations should be your goal. In some ways, a set of beautifully formatted personas is just proof that you met with users, in the same way that a selfie with a celebrity proves you were at the same restaurant.
‘Earned media’ (the sharing of content) is a widely used marketing term but a misunderstood principle. It is possibly the best tool marketers have today, not because it provides free media but because it validates that the audience likes the message. It means your message is resonating. It’s working. Hallelujah! This is the real feedback that advertisers have been craving since the invention of TV ratings.