Great marketing is about making a strong connection with the customer. In the consumer space, that often means working on emotion, ambition, even worry or fear. In B2B marketing, the emphasis is very different.
While you still need to make that connection, effective B2B digital marketing services will focus on business solutions, value, and long-term outcomes rather than emotional impulses.
But in both the B2B and B2C spheres it’s vital to know who you’re marketing to. If you don’t know your target audience, you can’t reliably find the right buttons for your content to press, whether that’s on the emotional level or by making the hard-headed business case.
The Importance of the B2B Buyer Persona
The most effective way of defining your target audience is to develop one or more buyer personas for each of your product lines. Each persona will lay out the typical characteristics of an audience you can target, and you can use this to inform your marketing content. The personas should cover details including:
– The industry sector the target audience works in, for example technology manufacturers, software companies, engineering services, and so on. This will form the basis of the content you develop.
– The buyer’s role in their company, their level of decision-making power, and who if anyone they may report to.
– How does their role influence what they value in a product? For example, do they look for price, technical specifications, or level of support?
– Their typical educational level, along with their industry qualifications and areas of expertise. Will they most appreciate an overview of your product, or the full in-depth technical details?
– Their daily priorities and longer term goals, whether this is generating leads, improving company efficiency, or increasing bottom-line revenues.
– The typical challenges they face in their work, and how your products can work toward meeting them. Ideally, you should identify a solution which their current supplier isn’t offering.
In each case, focus on how the details of each persona can direct the approach taken by your content. And remember, in larger organizations, there may be several people involved in each buying decision, and a different persona for each role will likely produce the most effective results.
For example, the content aimed at the daily user of a product may need a very different slant to that aimed at the finance department which gives the final purchase approval.
Using Real-World Data in Persona Development
This process of buyer persona development shouldn’t rely on hypothetical ideas plucked from thin air, although by necessity there may be some creativity involved. To be truly effective, personas should be constructed from the reliable data you have to hand.
Look at your previous customers, particularly those with the highest value. What characteristics do they share? Which questions can you ask to build an accurate persona? For the clearest picture, use both hard sales information along with the insights of your sales team, if applicable. You may also want to use the services of an external marketing analyst to talk directly to some of your customers on your behalf. They can provide insights to better understand what things are important to them and why they choose to use your products or services.
How Buying Personas Bring Consistency
Putting these details together not only provides a starting point for the language and messaging used in your marketing, but it helps to keep a consistent approach throughout an organization. Everyone in your company from sales to support can work from the same angle, helping develop the trusted relationships on which B2B marketing is built.
Effective, Expert B2B Marketing
Creating an accurate buyer persona is key to B2B marketing success, but it can be a complex task. Our B2B digital marketing services team has the experience and expertise to help you through the process, combining our tried and tested approach with your unique sector knowledge to create personas which will work to advance your content marketing success. If this is an area you need to develop better contact us for help.
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