People hate research. As a result, marketers, business owners, hell, even bloggers, hate creating their buyer personas. If you don’t properly develop your B2B buyer personas, then your entire marketing strategy could be off track. Just to be clear though, let’s go over what a buyer persona is first.
What Is a Buyer Persona?
“A marketing buyer persona is a detailed profile of a person who could represent a large percentage of your potential customer audience. These are used to humanize the customer and help them understand how to reach out on a personal level.” via What is a Marketing Buyer Persona?
Why does this matter? When you personalize and target your content, you generate better quality leads for your business. Despite years of saying otherwise, website owners now realize that traffic numbers aren’t the metric of success. For years, the goal was to get as much traffic as possible. Now, at the risk of sounding trite, we realize that it’s “quality over quantity”. Better to have 1,000 site visitors that could go in your pipeline than 1 million who will never spend a dime.
When you work with businesses, you typically have to create two personas with two different types of demographics. Initially, you have an organization profile that you create, which answers a lot of the questions above. Secondly, you’ll need to create a persona(s) for the person within that organization that you’d like to typically connect with.
In my case, I prefer to connect with CEO’s/Presidents or Chief Marketing Officers. These are usually the people who have the power to say yes and no. Don’t waste time talking to people who only have the power to say no. I understand both personas, because there are some key differences between the CEO and the CMO. One difference would be in the way you speak to them. The organization has its goals, but communicating in the language of your persona helps you connect with your prospect.
How to Build a B2B Buyer Persona
According to Risefuel.com, these are the top questions to ask in order to build a strong B2B buyer persona:
1. What Are Your Customers Personal Demographics?
You’ll find this to be the easiest information to gather as you prepare your persona. You’ll want to collect as much of this information as you can. Yes, it’s pretty low hanging fruit, but don’t underestimate its value.
2. In What Industries Do Your Customers Work? Who Do They Serve?
When you target business, you must know the industries they serve in. Will your services or products help them achieve business success? You’ll be able to communicate your value more effectively. Additionally, knowing the industries will help you answer question 5.
3. What is the Size of Their Company?
The answer to this question will shape how you market your solution. Are you targeting an ambitious take-on-the-world startup? Or a time-tested family owned business? The size of the company also relates to question four. How you ask? It relates because the larger the company, the longer the decision-making process usually is. This figures into how long this prospective customer hangs out in your pipeline.
4. What Job Titles Do They Hold? Who Do They Typically Report To?
Are you talking to the CEO? Someone in the Sales department? Their job title may reveal their stake in the decision to buy your service or product. That job title may also reveal their role in the decision-making process. For example, as a professional content strategist and creator, if I’m speaking to the Chief Financial Officer of a small company, I know that the decision-making process shouldn’t take too long. I’m speaking with the person I would report to, and the CEO will likely take their input very seriously.
5. What Are Their Biggest Challenges?
Your product or service solves your prospective customer’s problem or fills a need. But so does someone else’s product or service. Your marketing needs to show your target audience why they should pick you over your competitors.
6. How Is Their Success Measured?
When you know how your prospects measure their success, you can speak to their ideal end goal. When you can intentionally create content that illustrates a prospects problem AND their successful outcome in their own language….. Wow, that is some effective marketing!
Signs Your Buyer Persona Isn’t Quite Right
As you publish content, you generate a significant volume of engagement and conversion data. If you’re thoughtful about this information, you’ll be able to pick up on signs that you aren’t meeting the needs of all possible audiences with your content, including:
- Regularly getting the same questions posed to customer service
- A high churn or low engagement with content (as measured by bounce rate and average time on page)
- Onboarding or survey results that aren’t in alignment with your buyer personas
- Evidence that new (sometimes unexpected) types of customers are finding value in your product or service
How much effort have you put into creating your buyer personas? What is the one part about developing buyer personas that you find most difficult? Let me know in the comments!