To execute a successful marketing campaign, you need to understand your target audience. This goes beyond learning the demographics and behaviors of your prospects. Carving out fictional characters that align with your business objectives will guide you in developing a strategic marketing campaign.
Oftentimes, companies invest money into content marketing plans, google ads, or social ads with little knowledge of their B2B buyer personas and realize that the data and ROI aren’t adding up, inevitably blame the channels or product. More likely, you aren’t reaching your target buyer, the person with the purchasing power.
In fact, companies that develop buyer personas see a 55% increase in organic traffic and a 210% increase in website traffic. So if you haven’t created your personas yet, now is the time!
Buyer Personas: What Are They? Why Are They So Important?
Buyer personas are blueprints of your customers and prospects. They are much more than a one-dimensional representation of your consumers – they represent your customer base, deeply rooted in research and consumer data. Their description should mirror your various market segments and have unique attributes that help you better understand how to market your product or service. Thus, leading to more robust and highly effective marketing campaigns.
However, when carving out your B2B buyer personas, you will need to collect different information than you would B2C. Attributes you likely need to consider are:
- Company size
- Company’s revenue
Everything the marketing team produces should align with your buyer personas. Otherwise, you are wasting time and effort.
At Lake One, we create 2-5 personas. The number of personas created depends on your company. Businesses typically have more than one industry vertical and job title they are targeting. This way, you cover all the bases and ensure you are getting in front of the right people.
Steps to Develop B2B Buyer Personas
When you have the tools and steps in place to develop buyer personas, you will start to see the ROI in the campaigns you launch, content ranking, and overall success. However, your personas need to be unique to your company. To achieve that, you need to establish a thorough development process.
Think of research as the foundation of your development process. It doesn’t matter what field or industry you’re in, and you need to research before formulating a plan. Before diving in, you will want to evaluate both qualitative and quantitative research.
You can efficiently conduct quantitative research by accessing your client’s or company’s web analytics and CRM. Whether that be Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or special tools such as Hotjar or Hubspot. These platforms will provide insight into:
- What content resonates best with your audience?
- How they navigate your site.
- Which digital channels are the most receptive?
- Their behaviors and patterns when interacting with your digital presence.
- How do they communicate with you?
- What ultimately leads to conversions?
This initial research creates a great starting point and will help guide the conversation in your qualitative research.
Qualitative research is perhaps the most informative phase that will likely be the catalyst of your B2B buyer personas. Conducting an initial discovery session with your client or stakeholders is a great starting point to see where their assumptions about their consumers lie. Then, ask them who their model or favorite clients are to work with and see if you can get an interview in the books!
Learning about your target audience from one-on-one customer interactions lets you go directly to the source to identify pain points. It will also help you discover the unique selling point your company or client offers, which turns them from a prospect into a customer. You can fill in these gaps by learning the following about your company or your client’s consumer:
- How they found your company.
- Where they consume their information.
- Their role within the company.
- Why did they become a customer?
- What needs or wants led them to seek out your company or client?
- Who has the ultimate decision-making power? Is it the person you’re speaking with or their boss?
2. Identifying Your Personas
After conducting thorough research, you will be able to start identifying the different segments in which your personas live. This will help you decide how many B2B buyer personas you’ll need to create to represent your target audience accurately. Some differentiating factors that can help you segment your customers:
- Job title
- Company size
These are just some overarching themes used to identify various buyer personas. Some may argue fears, objections, etc., can also be factors, but you’ll learn that those areas often overlap.
3. Structuring a Buyer Persona
At Lake One, we have a templated process that guides us when structuring personas to ensure we cover all aspects that encapsulate the persona. It’s essential to recognize that every business is different and no single persona will be the same. We often use the template as a reference yet tailor each persona based on our client’s business objectives. However, every B2B buyer persona should highlight the following:
- An Identity – A buyer persona is a fictional character, and every character needs a name and a story, so get creative! Give the person a name, a job title, and a brief description of their role.
- Goal or Objective – Typically, when prospects reach out to companies, they are looking to fill a gap in a goal. This is where the prospect identifies their problem that needs a solution. This area should be buttoned-up and concise; no fluff, a simple “looking to accomplish X but needs Y to be successful.”
- Who They Interact With and Where – This area is critical to identify who influences the decision-making process and who will be using your product or service (it could be someone further down the hierarchy). This is where you will list primary interfaces and where these people get their information.
- Game Changer(s) – This is where you find out what prompted the persona to choose you over your competitors. You will find out what sets you apart and makes you unique from other companies in your marketplace. This piece is crucial when it comes time to create marketing and advertising collateral.
Now that you have developed your B2B buyer personas, you can start creating marketing plans and campaigns that will drive real results! Referring back to your personas before you launch any new marketing or even sales efforts is key. It acts as the foundation for any marketing efforts that will be deployed.
Are you ready to start seeing real, data-driven results for your marketing efforts, but lack the time and resources? Lake One is a team of highly qualified, results-driven marketers who embed themselves (virtually) into your company to align your sales and marketing efforts. Contact us today to get started!