Latest posts by Jay Dillon (see all)
- Which Social Media Platform Is Best For Your Business? (FB, Twitter, IG?) - February 8, 2016
- The Role of Social Media Manager in 2016 - February 1, 2016
- Why Placing Ads In Blogs Can Be A Negative - January 4, 2016
To quote Kim Goodwin from Designing for the Digital Age, “[buyer] personas are archetypes that describe the various goals and observed behaviour patterns among your potential users and customers.” Personas help all – Marketing, Sales, Product – internalise the ideal customer we’re trying to attract, and relate to our customers as real humans. Understanding your buyer persona is vital to driving content creation, product development, sales follow-up and just about anything relating to customer acquisition and retention. So how do you actually make one? The good news is they aren’t super difficult to put together. Below is a guide on how to best create and define the best buyer persona for your B2B Marketing Strategy.
When creating a buyer persona, you need to ask the right questions to the right people and present that info in a helpful way so your company can get to know your persona better. The considerations usually include demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, goals and challenges. A detailed buyer persona helps to determine the focus of your time by guiding product development and allowing for alignment across the organisation. This will attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and potential conversions for your business.
Note: Buyer personas are used to determine how you market your solutions and should be considered throughout the development and implementation of a B2B inbound marketing strategy.
STEP 1 – IDENTIFYING A BUYER PERSONA
You will probably need to define a new persona for each solution you sell, and then for each of the people that may be involved in the final decision to purchase your solution.
For example, if you run an inbound marketing agency, two of your target personas might be small business owners and marketing managers. Both business owners and marketing managers can be very different people that are interested in different things when they search for and purchase inbound marketing services. Meaning, it’s important to define a persona for each. If the inbound marketing agency were to start selling training courses, they’d need to develop new personas. One of the personas interested in purchasing such training could be marketing directors at large enterprises.
If you’re new to inbound marketing, start with one persona. Identify one type of person that buys one of your products or services. We usually recommend choosing the most senior decision marker involved in a buying decision.
STEP 2 – CREATING YOUR BUYER PERSONA
Once you decide on which persona you’re going to focus on and create, you need to think about the questions you need answered. To create a persona you’ll want to interview 1 or 2 members of your sales team and 2 or 3 customers to answer the following questions (remember, you can always tailor questions to fit your industry goals):
- Demographics: Gender? Marital status? Age? Education? Location?
- Role: What is their job title and what skills does their job require? Do other people report to them? Who do they report to? What industry does the company represent?
- Preferred Resources: What tools do they use to find solutions to problems they have? What are their favourite forms of social media? What organisations are they a part of? What do they subscribe to? What types of content do they prefer? What blogs do they read? Do they take part in forums?
- Goals: What are they trying to achieve at work? What are they trying to achieve personally? How are they working towards these goals?
- Buying Preferences: What are their online shopping habits? Do they prefer a consultative or transactional buying process? What makes for a great buying experience?
*The most effective way to extract this information is by issuing a questionnaire, then having a 30-minute call to clarify details.
STEP 3 – COMBINE INFORMATION AND CREATE CONTENT
Once you’ve carried out your interviews the next step is to combine all the information together to define a single persona. Try to create your persona with all the detail you can because the better developed your buyer personas are, the easier it will be to determine whether the content you produce as part of your inbound marketing strategy will really engage with the persona. So write up a full description and “create a life for them.” You want everyone in your company to be able to picture this persona in your head and that can’t happen if you’re vague.
Now that your buyer persona is created, it’s time to get to work and plan out the content you’re going to create to get them to research and purchase your solution based on all the information you know. Think of all those times you’ve bought presents for loved ones, wasn’t it easier when you knew their likes and dislikes?
A buyer persona is essentially a representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your current clientele. More importantly, a buyer persona is a crucial part of your Inbound Marketing Strategy. As long as marketing involves people, buyer personas will forever provide tremendous structure and insight for your company.