B2B Marketing blog

Buyer personas: the essential step to successful b2b-marketing campaigns

“The success of your marketing campaigns depends on your insights into the target group”, says Lianne Veldhuis, content marketer at Ultimo Software Solutions. Ultimo offers software solutions to support management processes. Two years ago, spotONvision collected buyer insights and created two buyer personas for Ultimo. Today Lianne works with the personas and the buyer journey insights on a daily basis. Do you want to know how customer insights lead to successful campaigns? Then read on.

Setting up and maintaining marketing campaigns is a team sport

To set up a campaign successfully it is important to include the online Marketing team and the Sales team from the start. Online marketers register the prospect’s online behaviour. For example the number of clicks and downloads. When a lead becomes of interest to Sales the data will be handed over to them.

“You notice that the Sales team is extremely happy when a lot of Marketing Qualified Leads convert, and that gives a great boost to our self-confidence!”

“Based on the online content consumption of leads we also see the results of the individual content items and we measure the engagement (e.g. No. of Likes) on our blogs. This way we can analyse which content works well for the target group and which content needs improvement.

To promote our content, we use of our own platforms, website, blog and social media. Besides this we use relevant external platforms to deliver the content to the targeted group. For example, advertorials, partner mailings and contribution on external websites/blogs. All these activities are meant to realise as many conversions as possible.”

The road from buyer persona to campaigning

“Together with spotONvision we created 2 buyer personas” Floris, a facility manager, and Ralph, a maintenance manager. The team at spotONvision also helped us by creating a content map. In this map we aim to match answers to the questions of the buyers by means of content ideas. This is our plan of action translating buyer journey insights into relevant content and insightful campaign ideas.

With new ideas from the content map we were able to plan about approximately two years ahead. To create new content, we always consult the buyer journey map; the questions that our buyer has in the buying process. Based on trends and discoveries of the moment, we choose a question that the buyer has which we can answer with our content at the time. We also look into what kind of content the buyer prefers. This differs per phase of the buyer journey. The profiles of Floris and Ralph and their buyer journey are foundational in our daily work.

With a buyer persona profile and mapped journey, you get a good idea of who the buyer is and for whom you are developing content. Sometimes I feel that I actually know Floris and Ralph in real life!”

Valuable outcomes of the buyer persona projects

“The outcomes of the buyer persona projects give you a grip to hold on to. At the start we became conscious of the fact that you need to empathise with your customer to create content that connects with their needs. Through the content map you gain insight into the questions a customer has during the various phases of the buying process and which content he would want to consume during each phase of the buyer journey.

Technological developments change rapidly, therefore we need to take this into account when we start creating a new e-book. A customer could consider this e-book as outdated in 6 months time.

For us at Ultimo it is vital that the (online) Marketing and Sales departments are not separated, so that we can act quickly in order to stay relevant”

Buyer personas for everyone

Buyer personas are not only relevant for the Marketing and Sales department. They are of great importance to everyone working at the company. Every employee has the opportunity to empathize with the customer who in the end pays their salary. To integrate the buyer personas into the entire organisation we placed big posters of our buyer personas in the main hall. This way everyone understands who we are focussing on; our customers and future customers.

True integration: relevance throughout the buyer journey

Integrating buyer personas into the organisation is vital to create successful marketing campaigns. Your buyer persona is not only your starting point but also a starting point for your colleagues. Only when all internal stakeholders truly understand their buyer personas they can relate to each other and create relevance throughout the complete buyer journey. This is an important success factor for all marketing campaigns.

Are you already working on creating buyer personas or would you like to start? Our toolkit provides a great starting point. Would you like to discuss the best way of making your marketing campaign a success? Call or mail.