• Time to Get Persona(l) With Your Buyers

    BtoB marketers know that strong marketing starts with understanding your target market very well. As such, we take great steps towards understanding our target markets.

    We perform market research to dissect our target market into different groups of companies that share similarities or buy alike (the fancy name for this is segmentation). We slice our markets into as many ways we can think of to create the ideal prospect. We want to understand size of company, location, verticals/industries, SIC code, and more. Armed with this data, we build savvier and better targeted go-to-market strategies.

    While all of this is good and well, it can miss out on perhaps one of the most important segmentations that a BtoB marketer can do… segmenting your buyers into individual groups of people within the target organizations. This segmentation at the buyer level is called personas (or buyer personas).

    Like corporate level segmentation which identifies like organizations so you can better market to them, segmentation at the buyer level (or personas) helps you identify like buyers (or group of buyers) who think, act, and respond similarly.

    Within BtoB circles, you may need to create a persona for your technology evaluator, your financial decision maker and the business unit (or functional) buyer that drives the purchase. There may be more. You need to understand each of these personas specific needs and what makes them tick. According to The Marketing High Ground, a complete persona would include the following information about the buyer:

    • Who they are (name/gender/age/education/title/responsibility/role in purchase/attitude/reputation)
    • Where they work (ideal company profile)
    • Why they are a good target for your product (values, fear, pet peeves, information sources)

    Your first question might be, “How do I get this information?” Of course, nothing beats good old fashioned research where you get on the phone with 10-20 such people in each group and learn what makes each buyer persona tick. Don’t worry about getting it perfect at first. Put down what you know. Interview the sales people. Talk to a few customers. Start somewhere. You can do full-fledged offline and electronic research later.

    The beauty of having personas is it ensures you are talking to specific buyers with the messages they care about using the communication mediums they prefer. Once you have buyer personas, you will find it drives your go-to-market strategy including positioning, content development, lead generation/nurturing campaigns, PR strategy and more.

    Ultimately, knowing your buyer personas will improve marketing results including more leads and more revenue… sounds like a great tradeoff for some upfront work to understand your buyers. It’s time to get persona(l) with your buyers.

    Sami Jajeh is the Owner and Principal of Arketi Group, an integrated marketing consultancy that helps business-to-business organizations generate revenue and accelerate growth through intelligent strategy, branding, marketing and public relations. To view all company blogs go to Arketi Group blog site.

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