The vast majority of B2B decision-makers have a wealth of marketing material to choose from when looking for solutions to pain points. This means that unlike in the past, purchasing power is well and truly with the customer rather than the seller.
86% of B2B marketers created more content this year than last – B2B Marketing
Most marketers now know that the most successful content is insightful. It proves to consumers that your company is a thought leader in the industry. Now though, being insightful isn’t enough.
The new question is: how do you produce personalised material that engages each decision-maker, and once you’ve done so, what channels should you use to distribute it?
Fortunately, buyer personas provide the answers to both of these questions.
Preparing buyer personas
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
The first step in creating buyer personas is to plan what information you need. Go beyond first-layer stuff like job title and responsibilities; the end result should be a representation of the decision-maker. It should be a character that your marketing and sales teams can relate to and use to focus marketing material. It’s important to find out what channels they use to stay up to date with industry innovations and when they prefer to do so.
Creating the documents
Once you’ve collected the data, it’s time to turn the statistics into personas. Start by segmenting the results by decision-maker. Then, during analysis, look out for trends and patterns - these will form the basis for a persona.
The finished document isn’t supposed to give an accurate portrayal of a real person, it’s an overview of your audience based on research. It should be a personable representation of that decision-maker group, so give each persona a picture and a name - for example, Mary the Marketing Manager.
Making the most of personas
Once you’ve completed the personas, don’t just send staff an email with the file location and hope that a few people remember to use them. Make the documents central to all sales and marketing efforts. For example, when you plan the campaign, refer to Mary the Marketing Manager in meetings, and encourage staff to think about the personas by asking questions like, ‘what would Mary read?’ You can even go a step further and place cardboard cut-outs around the office so that your teams can fully immerse themselves in the personas.
Over time, the information in the documents will inevitably change. Counter this by reviewing the data every six months. You don’t need to start from scratch but just keep an eye out on innovations in the industry that might change how people consume information etc.
To find out more on how you can create comprehensive buyer personas to help increase revenue…