Developing B2B buyer personas is important for many reasons, including crafting targeted messages and personalizing marketing activities. But, before focusing on messaging and personalizing marketing efforts it is key to understand all the components that make up buyer personas, especially demographics. While demographic characteristics are not the only component of buyer personas, they are some of the foundational data points that form them, thus leaving it one of the most critical aspects. Having a thorough understanding of your target audience’s demographics can help guide many aspects of marketing, ultimately leading to marketing and business success.
Why Demographics Matter in B2B Buyer Personas
Many factors go into creating B2B buyer personas, such as psychographics, behavior, firmographics as well as demographics. Each factor is important and builds on the other to form a comprehensive, representative persona of an organization’s ideal audience. In this blog, we highlight a few different demographic data points and discuss how those play a part in creating buyer personas, which serve as a foundational component of crafting relevant messaging and impactful marketing activities.
Differences in Generational Attitudes
Age is a key demographic factor of B2B buyer personas. Each generation has different characteristics that influence how to most effectively reach them through marketing efforts. A person’s age also influences their buying power, values and shared characteristics with their peers. Oftentimes, those in a certain age range are put in different generational groups such as Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X or Baby Boomers. Determining which generation they fall in can help reveal some common pain points. While certain pain points might not be universal for the entire generation, they are useful for forming the overall buyer persona and determining key marketing activities to use.
Buyer Preferences and Gender Identities
Another demographic data point that can be considered is gender identity. Different gender identities have different attitudes which can influence how they receive different marketing activities, which impacts the organization’s decision upon what marketing efforts to utilize. When building your B2B buyer personas, look at how the gender identities in your ideal audience can use your product, solution or service in their work role or how it can impact their company overall. This adds even more detail to the buyer personas which is very helpful in marketing and messaging efforts in the future.
Education and Certification Distinctions
Level of education can also be a demographic characteristic to factor in when building B2B buyer personas. Education can give insight into the specializations of your target audience. If your target audience has many employees with master’s degrees or special industry certifications in certain areas, you will want to consider how they may react or consider advertisements. Including these characteristics in buyer personas can help guide in more personalized messages and content to potentially mention their specific certifications or something similar.
Job Title or Role and Responsibilities
Take notice of what job titles, roles and responsibilities someone has in a company. This is important for B2B buyer personas because it reveals almost everything about the ideal target audience from a job perspective. Knowing the roles of other individuals can also uncover the organizational structure a business has and often emphasize areas where they may lack support. For B2B companies, it is important to know the decision-makers in a company as those are most often the individuals that will decide what product will be purchased. It can be a waste of resources to target entry-level roles that do not have decision-making power. Specifying job roles and responsibilities in as much detail as possible within buyer personas helps narrow in on marketing and messaging that works.
Geographical Location and Accessibility
The geographical location of a company is another critical demographic characteristic. This drives the decisions on what types of marketing to use and where. For example, if a company provides onsite services, then being in a convenient location matters and it would be more strategic to focus marketing efforts on audiences in locations near an office versus on audiences in a location several hours away. But, our work environments are constantly shifting, with many organizations using hybrid and remote work, which challenges this B2B buyer persona component. While location remains important, it is essential to consider the way specific target audiences work, whether it be hybrid, in-person or remote, as this can influence marketing.
Taking the time to carefully consider and gather demographic data points when crafting B2B buyer personas can provide a greater return on investment as your messaging and marketing activities will better align with the values and pain points of your customer.
B2B buyer personas are a critical component of companies, influential in marketing activities and help personalize your marketing efforts. It’s important to get them right the first time to ensure you are spending the time, money and resources for the right audiences using the right marketing efforts.
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