Earlier this year, I had a client who was trying to determine which was the most important of their nine personas (too many IMHO). Senior management thought it was one, Sales thought it was another, Marketing wanted another, and so on and so on. They also wanted to know what they should budget for marketing to reach these personas.
I use to the run the website and do online marketing for a Homeland Security magazine. Through an article, I became aware of a program run by the United States Food and Drug Administration to help farmers determine if their farms were targets for terrorism. The program is based upon a military practice called CARVER that is used to identify and prioritize targets.
After doing some quick online research, I came upon the Joint Special Operations Targeting and Mission Planning Procedure from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I began to modify the strategy that the Special Forces uses into a method that marketers can use to make better decisions around whom they should target and the best means to reach those targets.
Through some pretty in-depth research, I haven’t found anyone else who’s doing this, so, it’s the birth of CARVER Marketing.
Here are the basic foundational elements of CARVER Marketing as it applies to the identification and prioritization of marketing targets and digital marketing tactics:
- Recuperability (also Return-on-Investment)
I used CARVER Marketing to help the client I mentioned earlier rank their personas and provided the back-up data that was socialized throughout the organization to get everyone on the same page. So while personas are often used as a conflict resolution device, CARVER Marketing can provide additional support to keep programs moving along.
CARVER Marketing can remove some of the guesswork and “gut instinct” that litters a lot of marketing which is causing longer timelines and costing more money. Start from an educated position then “fire and adjust”.
I have written a white paper on applying CARVER Marketing to digital marketing tactics. I use this method to help figure out budgeting for marketing campaigns. If you would like a copy, send me a note. CARVER Marketing for Personas is coming along, you should see it in a few weeks.
(BTW: if you’re wondering why I’ve added some of the keyword tags to this post, you’ll see why in the upcoming posts…)