As a B2B marketer, it’s crucial you know your intended buyers. You must know what kind of content to create to attract them to your business, move them through the funnel, and bring them into contact with your sales team. Read more
Buyer persona research should always yield highly useful information for companies. It allows marketers to understand exactly how certain buyer personas make complex buying decisions. With such valuable research in hand, marketers can then go on to create effective messaging that resonates with prospective buyers on a deep level.
To be able to unlock the powerful benefits of buyer persona research, however, marketers first need to ensure that it’s written in a way that their companies can actually use.
Buyer persona research should not be presented as a template that has been filled in with demographic and psychological details. Instead, it should dig deep into buyers’ key motivators, pain points, jobs-to-be-done, the decision making chain, and more. Those are the types of critical insights that companies need to win business.
Imagine your company is about to launch a new product. As a B2B marketer, it’s your job to lead the charge on developing buyer personas. You need to gain insights into the people who will be buying your company’s new product.
To begin your research, you scroll through Google and see dozens of guides with instructions on creating your own buyer personas. There are templates you can fill out. They have checklists you can follow. There are sample interview questions for you to ask your current customers.
Initially, this may seem promising. However, given the importance of getting this research right—and the level of risks that are involved—DIY buyer persona research can be added to a growing list of things that are better left for the professionals.
Other projects like updating your kitchen, changing out your snow tires, or cutting your own hair may all seem like things you could potentially handle on your own. However, unexpected setbacks are bound to pop up along the way. These setbacks threaten to leave you with results that range from lackluster (at best) to catastrophic (at worst).
Similarly, marketers who attempt to take on a buyer persona research project on their own can expect to face setbacks that result in a reduced quality of output. These issues can lead to generic, run-of-the-mill, and sometimes even inaccurate information for companies.
Buyer personas are the multi-vitamin of market research efforts. Without them, companies grow weak sales and marketing efforts. With buyer personas in hand, companies can confidently take on new markets, new buyer types, and new opportunities with ease.
Yet this truth is sometimes ignored by marketers who are taking over a new position. Whether it’s a newly promoted marketer or a marketer at a new company, we’ve traditionally seen these people focusing on brand studies first vs. buyer persona efforts.
We think this is a mistake. While brand research is important, of course, it can sometimes be nothing more than a sugary snack that supports rebranding efforts, especially when compared to the multi-vitamin of buyer personas.
Is choosing a new website palette, a new logo, a new company name, or the design for a new website fun? Yes. However, we suggest marketers not take this step until they understand a fundamental question first: Am I saying the right things to the right people? That is a question that buyer personas are well suited to address.
The industry standard for B2B buyer personas is wanting. I frequently see buyer personas built by other vendors that read more like a dating profile than an exceptional piece of analysis and insight.
In these poorly amalgamated personas, significant time is spent on demographic details and personality traits of a buyer when other topics are far more critical.
In the B2B buyer’s journey, buyers have to wade through a lot of nonsense to find relevant information.
B2B marketing has a vanity problem.
Never waste an opportunity to learn from a lost deal.
Large companies lose touch with their customers all the time.
Business buyers have shoved IT out of the spotlight.
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