Why manufacturers need to create buyer personas
Manufacturers don’t need buyer persona’s…right? Wrong! With this lack of understanding, it’s not surprising that less than half 47% of B2B marketers have yet to adopt personas. to adopt personas.  While this reluctance might be down to limited time and resource constraints, for those who are simply unwilling to write personas and encourage their teams to use them, avoidance is no longer a viable solution for companies wishing to excel.
So, what is a buyer persona? To put it simply, A ‘Buyer Persona’ is a fictional, generalised representation of your ideal customer. Much more than a one-dimensional profile, 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.
Why are buyer personas important for Manufacturers?
Buyer personas make it easier to tailor all areas of marketing; content and product/service messaging to cater to customer specific needs. The insights gained fuel content creation, product and service development, lead nurturing, sales and basically anything that involves acquiring new customers and retaining existing clients.
Personas enable marketing, sales and customer service departments to establish their ideal buyer profiles. When you ask the right people the right questions and organise the information you collect accordingly, all business departments benefit from improved consumer understanding.
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. If you are new to Buyer Persona development, it’s better to start with a few profiles and build up over time.
Buyer personas will help Manufacturers…
- Recognise customers pain points, needs and wants to tailor content and improve product and service offering.
- Better organise marketing efforts to reflect each stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Strengthen existing business relationships and build new ones by creating content and developing new products and services based on customer requirements.
- Identify where your customers spend their time online to determine how best to reach out, communicate, distribute your content and promote your message.
- Ensure everyone in the company is aligned and striving towards the same marketing goals. Using buyer personas ensures consistency in all outgoing business communications, be it your website content, printed materials, trade shows, blogs, email or daily customer service.
- Divide and tailor your marketing efforts between each persona so that the most relevant content and messaging reaches your audience.
- Better allocate marketing resources to prioritise your most valuable customers and prospects.
- Set up lead scoring to prioritise your ideal customer. By reaching the right people with relevant content, you generate better quality leads that are more sales ready. Personas make automated lead-nurturing more effective too. Check out our proven lead generation techniques for Manufacturers.
How to create buyer personas for your Manufacturing company
There are multiple ways to approach buyer persona creation; market research, surveys and interviews with your ideal prospects and existing client base.
Here is a quick introduction to creating a buyer persona:
Here’s a step by step process to help build out your first persona:
- Start by gathering all the information you have about your target audience. There’s a good chance your marketing team have already collected website visitor data; their location, how they found you online, their industry and job role. Collate any previous market research and customer feedback at this point too.
- 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.)
- Meet with your sales team to learn about their insights; What type of customer does the business attract? What type of leads do they interact with the most? What are these leads common objectives? What do they expect from your product or service?
- Gather existing knowledge and schedule a session with both sales and marketing to begin building out your buyer personas.
- Personas can’t be built solely on internal knowledge. Interview current customers and lost prospects to learn what they like or dislike about your product/service.
Create a persona for each type of customer you sell to. For instance, you might manufacture various types of automation systems. Sketch personas based on each and the type of individual who would typically purchase it. Even if you manufacture one single product, it’s likely that you’ll sell to more than one type of customer. From decision making executives to influential operations managers, different job roles will have different pain points. It’s important to create tailored content that addresses their specific needs.
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. A clearly defined buyer persona allows you to anticipate buyers, tailor content, adapt sales pitches and influence decision making throughout the customer journey.
 Content Marketing Institute 2017