Why B2B Companies Need to Create Buyer Personas
As you already know, a ‘Buyer Persona’ is much more than a one-dimensional profile of your potential customer. Buyer Personas incorporate an in-depth understanding of your consumer’s habits, criterias, behaviours, attitudes and concerns; all of which persuade your prospective customer to choose you over your competitor.
Although Buyer Personas are crucial in attracting your target audience they are also vital in understanding your consumer further. While you’ve probably been aware of the inbound marketing methodology for some time now, less than half (47%) of B2B marketers have still yet to adopt them according to the Content Marketing Institute (2017).
Although this lack of adoption could be down to limited time and resource constraints, for those who are simply reluctant to write personas and encourage their teams to use them, avoidance is no longer a viable solution for companies wishing to excel.
How Do Buyer Personas Help?
Although a buyer persona is a fictional, generalised representation of your ideal customer, personas enable your marketing, sales and customer service departments to establish their ideal profiles. Gaining an insight into your buyer personas is fundamental to content creation, product and service development, lead nurturing, sales and basically anything that involves acquiring new customers and retaining existing clients.
Simply explained, when you ask the right people the right questions and organise the information you collect accordingly, all business departments benefit from the increased knowledge and consumer understanding.
Creating buyer personas will also help you:
- Identify customers pain points, needs and wants so you can offer content, products and services to win their trust and business.
- Gain an understanding of your target customers buying journey, making it easier to organise your marketing efforts to suit each stage.
- Create content and develop new products and services based on your current customers and prospects requirements. This enables you to strengthen client relationships and build new ones.
- Identify where your customers spend their time online to determine how best to reach out, communicate and promote your message and distribute your content.
- Make sure everyone in the company is on the same wavelength about your marketing goals. Using buyer personas ensures consistency in all outgoing business communications, be it your website content, blogs, email or daily customer service.
- Divide and tailor your marketing efforts between each persona and the various persona subsets so that the most relevant content and offers reaches your audience.
- Segment your internal marketing to allocate time and resources prioritising your most valuable customers and prospects.
- Attract the right potential leads in the first instance by setting up lead scoring to prioritize your ideal customer. Buyer personas result in better quality leads that are more sales-ready, because you’re reaching the right people by leveraging on information they want. Consequently, personas make automated lead-nurturing more effective.
Want to learn more about attracting the right type of customer to your business? -> Inbound Marketing 101
Why Are Buyer Personas So Important For B2B Companies?
Buyer personas make it easier to tailor all areas of marketing, including content, product/service messaging and product/service development to cater to customer specific needs. For example, although you might know who your target buyer is, do you know what their pain points and interests are?
Through market research as well as the utilisation of existing organisational data you can create detailed buyer personas to gain an insight to your customer’s world, enabling you to figure out their needs and how you can cater for them.
However, it’s important to remember every business is different. While one or two personas might suffice for smaller companies, others will need to create up to twenty. However, if your new to Buyer Persona development, it’s better to start off with a few profiles and build on your increased knowledge as time goes on.
How to create B2B buyer personas:
There are multiple ways to approach buyer persona creation; market research, surveys and interviews with your ideal prospects and existing client base.
Here’s a brief overview of some methods to help build persona information:
- Take advantage of your sale team’s insights. What type of leads do they interact with the most? Can they make any generalisations on the most valuable or ‘best fit’ customers?
- Have a look through your CRM database to gain an understanding of how certain prospects found you online and what content they viewed.
- When building your website forms, include required fields that give you a deeper insight into each persona. Example, if personas vary based on their company role (decision making ability), ask each prospect what position they hold in the company (marketing manager, director etc.)
- Interview current customers and ideal prospects to learn what they like or dislike about your product/service.
If one thing’s for certain, buyer personas evolve with the nature of your products, services and market trends. Overtime, you’ll use the information you gather across all departments to enhance your persona strategy. Neverthless, a clearly defined buyer persona allows you to anticipate buyers, tailor content, adapt sales pitches and influence decision making throughout the customer journey.
The real question is why does your business not use B2B buyer personas? Or if you do, how can you make them better employing the above information.