Each buyer is unique. However, we do not always have the opportunity and the resources to approach each buyer individually. So, we listen to the buyers and we try to find common denominators so we can tailor our marketing message. The crazy thing is that we have been marketing for years without a solid idea about our buyer, particularly in business-to-business.
Maybe it’s because 10 years ago we had less marketing opportunities or tools. We did not have email marketing yet, there were no marketing automation systems, let alone social media.
Where to start?
There is no avoiding it any longer, we want to achieve good results with our marketing efforts and so we need to create an insight into our buyer. You do this by regularly keeping in touch with potential buyers and customers and by following them online. This is not only a role for sales and account managers, but also for marketers. Because how else can you make quality content if you do not understand what your audience is looking for?
A buyer persona is a detailed profile of an exemplary buyer that represents a real target group. Read more about buyer personas. The persona is like a guide for marketing and communication to accurately tune the message to your audience. It also helps you make better decisions about how to invest your money, how to promote your content and what channels to use.
Getting a feel of the buyer starts with the buyer
It all begins with listening to the buyer. Look for the ‘5 Rings of Insight: Priorities, success factors, barriers, the buying process and decision criteria. To retrieve relevant information use readily available tools like Google Alerts, Twitter and LinkedIn. Live interviews, however, are indispensable. Talk structuredly and get a clear and deep understanding of the buyer.
2. Analyse and cluster
After you’ve collected the information, you look for patterns and similarities in the behaviour of buyers. Make clusters so you can base your profiles on them.
3. Select and create
Make a vivid story of personas, including photo, name, attributes, challenges and goals. Try to map the ‘digital body language’. Is your buyer only online? Or not? Does he use a smartphone or not? Ensure your sales colleagues recognize the profile. And regularly test this.
Introduce your personas in the internal organization. Everyone must understand who the buyer is and what you focus on in marketing and communication. Working with personas is a dynamic process, you have to maintain, enrich and change them as new information about your buyer comes along.
Want to read more?