You may have heard about the importance of buyer personas and the role they play in your inbound marketing process. Personas are a well-established marketing technique that will allow you to produce more target a]nd customer-focused communications. If you haven’t taken the time to develop and document your own buyer personas, now is the time to do it.
What is a Buyer Persona?
Before you create your B2B buyer personas, let’s set the stage. Simply put, a buyer persona is a detailed description of your target customer. A detailed buyer persona includes everything from demographic, psychographic and firmographic information. Firmographic information details the types of industries and organizations that would likely buy your product or service along with relevant business goals and challenges. Buyer personas are used to determine how you message and market your services and solutions to each target customer. They should be an integral part of the development and implementation process for your inbound marketing strategy.
Start by researching your customers. You need a clear picture of who you are talking to so that your message resonates. There are several ways to begin this research. Here are a few.
- Consult your sales team. A company’s sales team is always in close contact with clients. The sales team is going to be familiar with what the client may be looking for and what incentives (if any) help close the deals.
- Interview potential clients. Going straight to the source is the best way to understand your clients. Assessing their specific needs will help you promote your products and services in a better way. Consider an online survey followed up with a call to flesh out the details.
- Consider your customer support staff. Just like your sales team, your support team is regularly in touch with clients. You can learn about issues clients are facing and preferences for types of communication.
- Follow social media. Social platforms are great places to help you understand clients. Profiles can provide clues and information about who they are, interests, groups, connections, etc.
What you need for each persona
While you are gathering information on your target buyer personas, you are going to want answers to the following:
- Role: What is their specific job title? Who do they report to? Do they have unique job responsibilities?
- Company: How established is the company? How many employees do they have? What is their industry?
- Demographic: What is their gender, age, marital status, location, education?
- Goals: How do they define professional success? What are they trying to achieve personally?
- Challenges: What are their biggest challenges? How can they overcome these challenges?
- Buying Preferences: How do they like to buy? What a makes for a great buying experience?
- Preferred Resources: Where do they go when they are searching for solutions to a problem? What social media are they engaged in? What types of content do they prefer?
Pulling it all together
The last thing you want to do is to take all of your research and make your persona come alive. Humanizing your persona will make it easier to understand and relate to for everyone across your organization. With all of your buyer personas defined, you should now have a better idea of who, how, and where you should be marketing to achieve the greatest level of success. For example, the demographic information will help you target your persona more effectively, and the psychographic information will help you write more engaging content for each persona.
Keep in mind that your buyer personas will evolve and change. This is especially true when you are first creating personas. As you uncover more information about your customers and what motivates them, personas will be continually re-defined as needed.
Now it’s time to get to work. Creating inbound marketing strategies that are consistent with your identified buyer personas will ensure that marketing efforts are result-driven and address the bottom-line of the business. Best of luck!
Need help creating buyer personas for your target markets? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.