Most B2B marketers know that it’s quintessentially important to invest time, resources, and energy into creating in-depth B2B buyer personas for each of the decision-makers they are intending on targeting. Or do they? A recent study found that 50% of B2B brands admitted they don't have buyer personas in place[i].
This is a frankly harrowing statistic and one which should shock B2B marketers to their core. The fact is, without comprehensive personas on decision-makers, how is it possible to target their pain points, understand their needs, or offer them a suitable solution? The answer is, it’s not. Without B2B buyer personas in place, marketers are ultimately swinging in the dark and hoping to hit something.
Keeping the customer in mind
The primary purpose of buyer personas is for businesses to get to know their target audience. The result of this knowledge is that they can begin to empathise with the buyer and build a relationship with them upon which a sale can be made. Now, remove the personas from this equation and all that’s left is an organisation (with very little idea about their client) either sending irrelevant content, or worst still… product-focused content. Either way, the end result will be the same – little engagement from buyers and no long-term purchasing relationship.
Closing the sales and marketing divide
Not only do personas allow a business to contact prospects with relevant messaging, they also remove the divide between sales and marketing teams. These two factions have been at war since business began, with sales saying that marketing don’t create enough good leads, and marketing saying that sales don’t close enough of the leads the do provide. So, by enabling these two teams to work together and by making them determine what is a ‘good’ lead and how best to close it, not only is any animosity removed, but the focus of the business is placed back on the buyer and their needs.
The phrase customer-focused sounds rather corporate and stuffy, but in this instance it’s fitting. In today’s modern world, people are more jaded than ever with the use of advertisements and ‘salesy’ material. The fact is, with buyers completing more than 60% of the sales cycle themselves, they are simply looking to partner with a business that understands them, their pain points, and their objectives. By using B2B buyer personas to inform this approach and ensure that marketing is completely customer-focused, the results are likely to speak for themselves.