Strong, detailed marketing personas can help you get an idea about your ideal buyer — what their main problems are and how they want to solve them. But too often, B2B marketers give a buyer persona a name, age and position in the company without really digging in to who these personalities are.
- What do they like to read at work?
- Where do they go for business inspiration?
- What do they worry about when it comes to their competitors?
- What unique challenges are they facing?
- And how does all of that change over time?
Overhaul your buyer personas with tips from the following articles that will help you go farther than just a name.
8 Reasons Buyer Personas Fail by Beth Negus Viveiros via Chief Marketer: “They’re too shallow. Sometimes they’re mistaken for a segmentation strategy. ‘IT directors’ is not a persona, said Katie Martell, cofounder and CMO of Cintell. ‘People are more than a title. There’s an individual behind those titles.’ … Often, buyer personas are created, and then put into a pdf, preserved in amber for all time. Effective buyer personas are a living breathing entity, that can change as the buyers themselves change.”
How B2B CMOs Can Achieve Customer-Centric Marketing with Buyer Personas by Tony Zambito via CustomerThink: “Make certain buyer research and buyer personas are goal-directed: Personas were founded on the principle of understanding the goals and the goal-directed behaviors of users and buyers. Business and academic research throughout the past few decades indicate that goals and goal-directed behaviors are the greatest influences on choices and decisions. Buyer research and buyer personas not built on this foundation will be no better than conventional buyer profiling and run the high risk of being simply meaningless. This is truer in B2B sales-driven cultures than in any other business-type cultures.”
Pay Attention to Me! by Elyse Dupre via Direct Marketing News: “No two customers are exactly the same. So, why should marketers speak to them with the same tone? When asked if they prefer to receive content with a professional or friendly tone, 66% of respondents opted for the professional content—a more than four-time increase compared to the 15% who selected friendly content. Similarly, when asked if they’d rather receive messages containing examples or advice, 70% selected the example-driven content, versus 10% who chose the advice-driven insight. Stoll says leveraging personas can help marketers determine the right tone for their audiences.”
Pigs Posing as Buyer Personas: Four Ways to Finger Fakes by Wayne Cerullo via MENG Online: “When you see a persona, it’s perfectly legitimate to ask how it was developed. In fact, you should. In our survey on the state of personas, we found that fully 38% of marketers admitted their personas were not created with any external persona research. Not surprisingly, these were also found to be the ones that failed to gain respect or bring new insights. Lots of personas were just developed around a pizza by a group of well-intentioned but poorly-informed marketing people in a room trying to check off another box. Politely thank them and move on. The best personas are the outcome of dedicated, in-depth, individual exploratory interviews conducted by experienced, unbiased interviewers who seek only to understand who your prospects are and how they make decisions.”
How Content Marketing is Changing Marketing-Sales Alignment by Fergal Glynn via Business.com: “One of the most effective practices that brings marketing and sales teams together is the creation of buyer personas. If you’re like most companies, your buyer personas are not fixed, static profiles, but they’re constantly changing as markets change and consumer demands shift. The pain points that exist today may be irrelevant to most prospects tomorrow. It’s the sales team that’s interfacing directly with prospects day in and day out, making sales an essential resource for marketing in the creation of buyer personas. Buyer personas, in turn, serve as the foundation for creating both marketing and sales content that addresses key pain points and objectives.”
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