You’re probably used to sitting in countless meetings with various heads of department and members of the creative team as part of the campaign planning process. You and your team come up with an idea that can’t fail to captivate your prospects’ imaginations whilst addressing their pain points. But for some reason, the campaign figures just don’t inspire as they should have done; so why?
One of the reasons is that marketers tend to make assumptions about their market - what their pain points are, where they find industry information, etc. - without ever asking the people they want to engage with.
Creating buyer personas is the ideal way to get this information first hand.
Buyer personas shape strategies
B2B marketers tend to shy away from buyer personas for one of two reasons: a) they are resource intensive to begin with, b) they are not sure how to use them.
But using personas can increase your marketing performance in terms of lead generation and, most importantly, boost your ROI. They help retain focus on campaigns and the research stage can uncover surprising findings - some of which could turn your marketing strategy on its head as you uncover truths about your target audience that you had incorrectly assumed.
To create persona documents you need to gather information about each decision-maker group you want to target. Then:
• Create a list of questions and host them online
• Choose a small sample of your data group
• Email the survey to some of the data group and conduct telephone interviews with the rest
Once the information has been collected and recorded, segment it by decision-maker group before analysing. You want to find recurring trends or patterns for each decision-maker. Once you have, you’re ready to transpose the raw data to form persona documents. These should be a one, or two page, document that personifies the trends you identified. Make them relatable by giving them a picture and name, such as Mark the Marketing Manager. The personas should remain an essential tool throughout the campaign - use them to focus ideas and to inform decisions.
See it in action
If you’re still not convinced then download our case study with Míele Professional (a finalist in 2014’s B2B Marketing Awards for The Best Use of Content category) to find out how using buyer personas can increase your ROI by over 300%…