The growing complexities in B2B marketing have driven successful marketers to take a more detailed look at the characteristics of their prospects. Doing so gives marketing teams an understanding of who their prospects are, what they are looking for and how to reach them. Multiple characteristics can be used to fuel persona creation. Consider these questions when defining the B2B buyer personas for your marketing campaigns.
Who Are They?
Firmographic characteristics are used by B2B organizations in the same way that demographic characteristics are used by B2C organizations. Sample categories of firmographics used to create personas in B2B marketing include industry, company size and location. Although many categories can be used, choosing the characteristics that most accurately reflect the audience you are trying to reach should be focused on and utilized in the personas. Focusing on too many specifics can distract from your target personas, but with firmographic characteristics, essential information such as industry, company size and location are all key in forming your ideal audience.
Psychographic characteristics reflect the values, opinions and attitudes your audience holds. While psychographics is most often used in B2C marketing, it is still valuable information for B2B organizations to obtain as it gives greater insight into the values and interests of prospects. Understanding these qualities of your prospects and utilizing them to reach your audience can help to set your company apart from the competition.
To complete the formation of your well-rounded persona, it is important to understand certain behavioral habits in addition to firmographic and psychographic information. Many things can be collected but relevant and meaningful data can be insightful to marketing campaign objectives. What types of media do your prospects typically consume? When do your prospects interact with your email sends? Does your audience use LinkedIn the most compared to Twitter, Facebook or other social media channels? These are not the only questions to ask when determining common behavioral traits of your personas, but this is a good place to start when doing so. Answers to these questions and more can be valuable when informing marketing campaign efforts. For example, understanding what media type is preferred most by your audience, whether it be video, blog, infographic or other content types, having this information can direct your content creation efforts. If your audience interacts with your email sends in the morning more than in the afternoon, use this to drive future email marketing efforts. Knowing what social media channel is most popular can help your team determine what ads could be run.
What Are They Looking For?
Having an understanding of your persona’s pain points, a problem or point of concern that someone faces can better direct you to target your message to illustrate how your product or service addresses them. Addressing a prospective customer’s specific concern shows that you value them because you have taken the time to understand their needs.
Prospects can face a wide variety of pain points. Here are a few of the most common:
- Financial: Prospects are paying too much for their current solution and are looking for a more budget-friendly, yet still effective, solution.
- Process: The current solution may not be fully addressing what they are needing. They are looking for a solution that caters to all their pain points.
- Resources: There might not be enough internal resources available to complete projects and prospects are searching for a solution that will allow them to accomplish these tasks.
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Where Are They in the Buyer’s Journey?
The relationship that a persona has with your company is another way to segment an audience. Where a prospect is at in the buyer’s journey is the influential factor in what type of relationship that one has with your company. A prospect at the awareness stage of their journey will have a different relationship than one in the retention stage. For example, your tactics and messaging will differ when addressing these two people at opposite buyer journey stages. For the prospect in the awareness stage, you will need to educate the prospect on the benefits of your products or services, while your prospect in the retention stage will be addressed with offers of continual support and updates. Segmenting based on this can define what content should be distributed and when.
Understanding the various characteristics of each of your personas can lead to more effective and efficient marketing campaigns. Having background information on your personas can support appropriate content and messaging efforts to reach the correct audience.