In B2B, understanding the customer is not just a casual prerequisite; it’s a strategic imperative that can spell the difference between deals won and lost. Enter the B2B buyer persona – a semi-mythical representation of your ideal customer. But why exactly are personas so important and, perhaps even more importantly, how do you bring them to life?
The term “buyer persona” might conjure up images of a Mad Men-esque character whimsically crafted to fit the tastes of a certain demographic. In reality, a well-developed buyer persona serves as a beacon of insight, guiding the efforts of sales and marketing toward the true heart of customer need.
Let’s dive into why building B2B buyer personas is essential to every aspect of marketing and sales and how you can construct them with a relatable, human touch.
Contrary to popular belief, emotion has a place in B2B. Businesses are, after all, made up of and run by people who experience emotion – from fear, frustration and anxiety to confidence, jealousy and joy. Every influencer and decision-maker has needs, aspirations and challenges unique to their industry and role.
Crafting a buyer persona is akin to tailoring a well-fitted suit; it’s not a one-size-fits-all affair. It’s about weaving the fabric of their professional goals, daily trials and individual business alignment to seamlessly address their underlying challenges.
So make your personas personal. Give them depth. The biggest mistake marketers make is focusing on superficial aspects of the persona that simply have no bearing on how you will interact with them.
Your buyer persona isn’t Mick, the marketing manager who enjoys his coffee black, likes his clothes on-trend and spends his free time driving his Tesla along the Pacific Coast Highway with his wife and two kids in two. No, it’s Linda, the marketing director at a mid-sized tech firm who grapples with ever-growing competition and is always on the lookout for cutting-edge solutions that promise innovation and ease of implementation.
Understanding Linda’s buying habits, preferences and pain points allows you to elevate your outreach. By knowing that she preaches the gospel of content marketing and heavily leans on peer recommendations, you can craft a brand story that aligns more closely with her values and MO. This deep understanding enables:
Creating a B2B buyer persona may seem daunting, but breaking it down into steps can simplify the process. Let’s walk through each one, using Linda as our guiding template:
Well-developed buyer personas should be central to everything you do. With them, your entire team has a foundation to build and connect their strategies, allowing them to create a consistent story across every touch point and phase of the buyer journey. Personas help set the tone for every communication, so that each asset, outreach and campaign speaks to your target audience at an emotional level, introducing a measure of personalization that is powerful, compelling and memorable.