The B2B buying cycle has changed significantly over the last few years, with customer conversion taking a lot longer. A lot more research goes into the buying process and this means that your customers are armed with loads of information.
So how can you effectively engage with them?
You should start by understanding who they are, what their pain points are, and most importantly, what you can do to provide a solution to their pain points.
You can achieve this by creating buyer personas. Buyer personas are basically fictional generalisations of your ideal customers. Think of them like a dating profile! They enable you to adopt a highly-targeted and personalised approach to your service offering and marketing.
You could have one or 20 different personas depending on the type of organisation you work in!
Knowing your customer and understanding what motivates them is key to making sure all your products, services and marketing messages connect you directly with their personal drivers. Consider your main contacts with decision making responsibilities within the organisations which are already, or are most likely to be, your customers and use them to build a picture of your ideal target.
Did you know that 85% of B2B marketers don’t feel that they use personas effectively?¹
Here’s 10 simple questions to help get you started:
- What are their demographics – where are they based, age range etc.
- What is their job title/ position within the business?
- What are their main responsibilities?
- What are their main challenges/ pain points?
- Are they challenged/ under pressure from peers or supervisors?
- What do they need to deliver, in terms of service, results or outcomes?
- Where do they go for information?
- What language style do they use when speaking? Is it technical, conversational, industry acronyms etc.?
- What are their attitudes, values and personality traits? Extrovert, introvert, confident, decisive etc.
- What might be their biggest emotional fear in buying what you offer?
Once you have answered these questions, you can start to build out your fictional character.
Methods for gathering information:
- Interview your customers and prospects either in person or over the phone
- Talk to your sales teams – they know their customers so will be able to give you some insight
- Look for trends by identifying how your customers are currently consuming your content
- If you have a CRM, use it to make notes and build out customer profiles after each conversation!
Remember to share all your characters with your sales and marketing teams. Regularly review the characters and keep them up-to-date! It’s important to ensure there’s consistency in your messaging, no matter who is talking to the customer.
If you haven’t already, sign-up to our Smarter Marketer programme where we have lots of tips and tricks to make you a smarter marketer. We even have a downloadable template for creating your buyer personas!
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