By Nora Weintraub
You’re most likely aware you can’t go after a huge target market if you want to create successful advertising strategies. But many companies have trouble segmenting their customer base and generating separate marketing materials for each buyer persona they want to pursue. How can you create more relevant and targeted campaigns? By using customer intelligence, your marketing team can effectively segment your customers and have better knowledge of current and prospective clients.
Especially for B2B organizations, persona-based marketing is critical because many different players are involved in the decision-making process. B2B products often apply to very specific niche markets, so there’s no sense in trying to attract everyone. You need to get the most relevant customers interested in your products or services.
Why Do You Need Personas?
Most would-be customers encounter completely generic content when they research new products. Personas are virtual characters and represent a segment of customers with particular demographics, industries or roles within a company. Knowing your customers can help improve marketing, sales and even product development operations, according to an article by Mike Telem in Business 2 Community. You can more accurately define your ideal prospects and discover what really matters to them, helping you create more effective and engaging content.
B2B purchases typically involve a number of people within an organization, and each of these people will have different concerns. Financial executives won’t have the same considerations for new software as IT managers. And the end users of the product will have different concerns. Without targeting based on buyer personas, your marketing team may not be generating the right amount of leads, and the sales team may not be able to achieve significant revenue gains.
Start Using Personas and Get Better Results
Simply personalizing content isn’t enough, Patrick Spenner wrote in Forbes. While personalization can help companies target individuals, it doesn’t give B2B buying much of a boost when four or five people are involved. The more people in the buying group, the less likely you are to effectively engage all of them with the same kind of content.
In addition to needing more people to decide on a solution, people aren’t going to buy something immediately after discovering your product, according to Irakli Beselidze in a separate post for Business 2 Community. B2B buying cycles can last for years. The consequences of making the wrong decision can be disastrous, so buyers take their time and weigh their options. And even after you make the sale, you want to keep in contact with previous customers for when they need to upgrade in the future. This means you need to create content that targets multiple people, not just the executives with the decision-making power.
Some organizations wait for their audience to give clues to who the decision-makers and key influencers are. But companies need to stop doing this and start focusing on buyer personas to generate more effective campaigns. Rather than just launching content and hoping it provides value to someone in the buying cycle, you need to start studying buyer personas through customer analytics. Watch customer behavior while they are going through the different phases of the sales cycle. Since your customers are increasingly growing more knowledgeable and tech-savvy, you need to convert big data analytics into actionable insight. It can help you more effectively reach all the different people involved in the B2B decision-making process.