Do you know who your ideal customers are?
Nearly every organisation knows if they're marketing to executives or middle managers. However, do you know your target customer's job title, motivations, or pain points? Buyer personas are profiles of your organisation's ideal customer, which will likely include demographics, firmographics (details about their organisation), and psychographic characteristics.
According to leading subject matter expert Adele Revella, these tools are a crucial factor for building confidence in your marketing strategies. When your organisation creates vibrant and realistic profiles, you'll be better able to target your marketing. Aligning your content strategy with your buyer personas will help your company attract more qualified leads, and allow your sales team to focus their energy on the right people.
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Use the following questions as a guide to create your own B2B buyer persona profiles:
1. What is my ideal customer's job title?
Do you tend to engage with marketing managers or directors? If you're unsure, spend a few minutes on LinkedIn, or check with your sales team. Other helpful factors for individual profiling can include:
- Education level
- Professional background
- Skills, abilities, and team structure
2. What does a "day in the life" look like for my buyer persona?
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Do your customers tend to spend time on LinkedIn or Twitter? Where do they get their news? What professional organisations are they a member of? Ask yourself the following:
- How engaged is my customer with professional development?
- Are they avid users of social media?
- What types of content do they tend to consume?
3. What are their demographics and firmographics?
How old are your customers? Are they typically married, or parents? Filling out firmographics is particularly important for B2B organisations, who may need to qualify leads according to an organisation's size or industry. Include the following:
- Industry and associated challenges
- Company size and locations
- Typical organisational/department goals
4. What makes my customers feel stressed?
Do your customers worry about helping their department meet sales goals? Are they struggling to stay competitive in a saturated industry? Identify the pain points of your buyer persona (and how your product can help) by considering:
- What are typical "trigger-points" for individuals to start searching for solutions?
- What problem does my product solve for my customers?
- How frustrated are our clients when they purchase from us?
5. What are typical success factors?
What's the benefit of buying from your brand? Revella recommends you outline success factors for your product:
- Will your customer's company increase efficiency or quality?
- Will their day-to-day life become easier?
- What are typical, quantifiable results our customers experience?
6. What are some barriers to purchase?
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When your customers find your brand, do they have to go through complex approval processes, or do they make a snap decision to buy? What stands in their way? Barriers to purchase can include:
- Organisational structure and challenges
- Pricing and budget
- Lack of perceived need by senior management
7. What are some decision criteria?
When it comes to finally making the purchase, what pushes your prospective customers into being ready to buy? Understand what's most attractive and unique about your product, and how it fits into your industry, which can include:
- Unique features or benefits
- Perceived urgency by customers
8. How do I mine data for buyer persona development?
If you're struggling to answer any of these questions, the answers are likely as simple as searching social media, your analytics, or scheduling a long talk with your company's sales manager. Alternatively, HubSpot's Magdalena Georgieva recommends making time to interview your company's most loyal customers for additional insights.
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Featured image source Magdalena Roeseler / Flickr