Getting to know your buyer personas or, target consumers, is very important in marketing. In any marketing activity, the first step is knowing who your target consumer is. This is called a buyer persona. Yet many marketers don’t use them. Some don’t even know what they are. Even if they did they don’t know how to create a buyer persona or what to do with it once created. Some think why even bother to create them?
First, let’s delve into why buyer personas are important.
Buyer Personas Are Important
When your marketing isn’t targeted you try to target anyone and everyone.
There is no one, in particular, you want to convey your message to. This may seem like the easiest route to follow. The problem with this is that you are not going to provide solutions that are tailor-made to meet their needs. Buyer personas help you figure out the exact needs of the people you want to sell to.
Once you have identified who your ideal customer is you can devise more effective marketing strategies that will actually sell to them.
It also minimizes advertising waste. Social media sites like Facebook allow you to create highly targeted ads. If you don’t know your target audience you won’t create an effective message that will entice people to buy. Therefore you will waste advertising dollars by creating ads with ineffective messages. You will try to target people who are not interested in buying what you have to offer.
When you know the demographics of the people who would actually buy your products or services your ads are sure to appear in front of them.
When a company called Skytapdecided to target their ads in their B2B marketing strategy they were twice as effective. They had created and implemented buyer personas which led to a 210% increase in their web traffic. Additionally, they also had 55% increase in organic search traffic.
If people see testimonials from others that they can relate to they are more credible because people trust their peers. Buyer personas are also needed when it comes to creating content. When you have your buyer personas you can create content that supports your customers needs and wants.
How to Create a Buyer Persona for B2B
Now that you know why you need a buyer persona the question is how to create one?
It isn’t just a matter of creating one it’s about creating it properly. Creating a persona for B2B is different than creating one for B2C. The B2C process for developing personas starts with demographics such as marital status and age. If you are creating a B2B avatar starting with demographics is a great place to start. When it comes to complex B2B products and solutions businesses shouldn’t focus too much on demographics.
When it comes to B2B, the reason why most marketers simply don’t use them is that they can be unusable in a complex sale situation. But it is possible to create an effective buyer persona that can be used in B2B. It is just a matter of knowing what details do apply and which ones do not. The details to focus on would be:
- Insights to work life,
- Obstacles your buyer’s face,
- What is important to them.
Details that don’t matter when it comes to B2B buyer personas would be details like where they live. Knowing if they live in an apartment, house, or condo isn’t going to be helpful. It is irrelevant. Other details such as if they have a pet or not is also not relevant.
For example, if you provide IT solutions how would knowing if they have a dog or not convince them to use your services? It wouldn’t at all.
Businesses are more likely to have higher sales when they use triggers such as fears and challenges. According to Buyer Insights Benchmark, 71% of companies who exceed revenue have documented personas. Marketers who use them have 73% higher conversions.
What are some other traits to consider when making a B2B buyer persona?
Other Traits to Consider
The first trait to consider when making a B2B buyer persona is the buying process. Once you have figured out which company or department would benefit from using your product or service the next step is figuring out who has the authority to make the purchase. There is no point in trying to sell to people who have no purchasing authority in the company. Ask yourself who has the most influence and purchasing power in the company.
Next would be to identify their fears and challenges. When developing your persona identify how you can help your customers. Questions to ask yourself would be:
- What scares them?
- What challenges does your product or service help eliminate?
- What important problem does your product solve for them?
- What are their goals?
To create an effective B2B buyer persona you need to understand not just where the company is trying to go but what are the goals of the person who has the authority to make purchases.
How does your product help them?
Sometimes the company culture isn’t aligned your buying cycle. One question to ask yourself does your product fit into their business culture? In a B2B setting, most people are going to be busy. You want to make sure that what you are offering actually solves their problem. There is no point trying to sell something to a company that loves the product or service they are already using. Your energy would be better spent in finding a company that hates the product they are currently using.
How to Get Information for B2B Buyer Personas
In order for buyer personas to become useful, the information gathered should come from the buyers themselves. One way to do this is through surveys. It is the least invasive way. It is also one of the easiest ways to get the information you need for your buyer persona straight from the source. You could send out an invitation to do a survey to all the people on your email list. Another way to get the information you need is just ask your sales team. You can ask them what works for them and what doesn’t.
The customer service department is another great source of information. Customer service representatives deal with customer complaints all the time. They tackle a variety of problems on a regular basis. You can survey them and ask them what customers are complaining about. Surveying them will help you to improve your products and solutions too. Another method that is a little more time consuming is interviewing your customers and prospects. Take about 10 customers and ask them the questions you need to be answered in order to create your buyer persona.
B2B buyer personas can also be incorporated in sales training kits, marketing documents and new hire training kits. B2B buyer personas can also be incorporated quickly into your business if you don’t focus on the wrong characteristics. Going beyond demographics for b2b buyer personas is important in order to make them effective. Are you using buyer personas in your marketing strategy? For more information on indentifying your target audience Click here to read our article will help you if you still have questions.