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B2B Buyer Personas – No More Guess Who

Posted by John Hatton on 23-Oct-2014 17:13:00

Does tailoring your marketing to a specific buyer sometimes feel like you’re playing a game of Guess Who?

The Milton Bradley board game might conjure memories of a simpler time for some. But for many marketers who hope to optimise conversion rates with targeted marketing, making guesses about their customer base isn’t so much fun, or nearly as productive.

If you’re one of the latter, don’t worry - you are not alone. According to a HubSpot survey, reaching the correct audience is the most common goal for inbound marketers this year.


Precision marketing with personas

A buyer persona helps you to engage your target audience with precision. Without them, randomly pushing out material and learning from the results is like knocking down the board games’ giant question marks one at a time. Eventually you’ll get it right, but by the time you do it could be too late – your competitors might have already found them.

It’s far cheaper and more productive to spend a little time and money at the start of a campaign to get a clear idea of who your audience is and how to target them effectively. There are plenty of blogs out there that talk about B2B, B2C, B2H, etc. The point is: whatever terminology you use and whoever you’re trying to connect with, there’s a person behind the job title. A good persona document will help you to engage with them.

37% of B2B marketers say that engaging their target audience is their biggest challengeB2B Marketing

The purchasing journey starts with a prospect trawling through their favourite media channels and stumbling across an intriguing blog post or infographic that addresses problems they encounter at work. They will then download a more in-depth piece of content such as a tip sheet, maybe even an ebook. Now they are deemed ‘sales ready’, at which point a member of the team will contact them to arrange a face-to-face meeting where they will put pen to paper and become a customer.

Well, in a marketer’s dreams anyway.

In reality, the process is far from simple. The B2B buying journey is often complex, drawn out, and involves many different decision-makers.

Get to know the person behind the job title

Selling has always been a social activity - from people roaming between towns bartering with goods to the door-to-door salesperson - just because the power has shifted from seller to consumer doesn’t mean it should be any different. 

These days though, if you want to make the dream purchasing journey a reality, you need to know who the prospect is - from their pain points at work to their favourite sport. You need to know what social media channels they use, how they consume news and industry information, what time they’re likely to leave the office. All of this information will inform your marketing material going forward and enable you to connect with the prospect in the most engaging way.

Digital rules supreme. To stand out in the crowded B2B marketing space you need to address every individual decision-maker’s pain points at their preferred source of information. Ultimately, to generate more revenue and improve ROI you need to stop guessing who your customer is.

To find out which questions to ask in your B2B buyer research...

See the infographic 'Are You Guessing Who Your B2B Buyers Are?'

Topics: B2B, B2B marketing, B2B Buyers, B2B Marketing Agency, Buyer Personas, B2B Buyer Personas