The world is changing so rapidly that old principles no longer hold. Priorities are shifting. Marketers must adapt the messaging, seek new market insights, and build engagement with buyers and customers. As marketers, we need to better understand what our customer’s needs are right now. A buyer persona provides the solution.
Existing knowledge is not enough
The transformation in marketing and sales is driven by the fact that our customers are currently not stable. The pandemic & subsequent crisis brought many changes.
Often we create marketing plans based on historical data or past knowledge and adjust a quarterly or annual schedule accordingly. At SPOTONVISION, we see this especially now in buyer persona research that we conduct for clients. From the many buyer persona interviews, it is clear that the (Corona) crisis has created different concerns and priorities. The world has turned upside down for many companies.
Buyer persona guru Adele Revella explains in the interview “Yes, You Do Need New Personas Now” that existing knowledge and insights about the market and target audience are not sufficient to develop content that influences buying decisions right now:
“Because we cannot expect the economic climate to be stable in the short term, we will have to make frequent adjustments to our messaging, content and tactics with our sales and marketing. Only in this way can we connect to the priorities and concerns of our customers.”Adele Revella, former CEO at Buyer Persona Institute
What does that mean for you as a marketer?
1. Review your buyer persona/journey
To get the right insights on changes, you need to engage with buyers and customers and validate your buyer personas. Through qualitative interviews, you get a better understanding and what’s going on and what challenges they have now. And nine times out of ten, these are different than before. An agile project is an accelerated buyer persona project, where you gather the right insights in a few short ‘sprints’, so you can immediately adjust your content plan accordingly.
2. Different segmentation
Marketers need to take a closer look at what they do for which industry. Some industries are doing well, some are not. There is a need to be smart in your response to that. The best way to look at segmentation is from the buyers’ questions or challenges. This can go across an industry! Don’t be too fixated on an industry, but focus on the questions and challenges a buyer or customer has. If these are similar, that will determine your segment.
3. Buying group focus
Currently, everyone is hesitant when it comes to spending money, clients are freezing their budgets and focusing on core tasks. More focus on the person in control of the budget (economic buyer) can help you gain an advantage over your competition. Decisions are now even better assessed and multiple stakeholders are important. Capitalise on that!
4. From content marketing to sales and buyer enablement
Sales teams are struggling, the number of customers is shrinking and budgets are distributed differently. This means Marketing can add value more than ever by helping with the right content that helps Sales sell and helps the buyer buy.
In short, stay connected to your customer’s world; when it changes, you have to change with it. Engage with your buyers and customers, and validate your existing buyer personas. Chances are some things have changed. New insights will give you input for content. And, if your sales colleagues and customers are helped by anything, it’s by suitable content that helps immediately. So get to work!
Need help? At SPOTONVISION, we have a lot of experience in doing the research and helping you with your initial content and campaign strategy based on the persona insights. Happy to help!