B2C marketers have long used buyer personas to help hone and target their messages. A persona is nothing more than personality summary that includes basic demographic information and psychographic details about their lifestyle. In the end, the buyer persona is a rendering of a typical customer. They will include a name, a photo and all the details deemed important. Now marketers have someone to talk to. They use the persona as inspiration for marketing messages.
B2B marketers can also benefit from the practice of creating buyer personas, but it may worth broadening the scope just a bit. You see, consumer marketers want to know the person to whom they are selling. But B2B marketers may be better off knowing the organization that they are selling to (including the chief decision maker). Why? Because typical B2B purchases can impact the entire organization (or a large chunk of it)…not just a single person. Knowing the types of companies you sell to is, in effect, like knowing the person a consumer company is marketing to.
For example, perhaps you are a software developer and specialize in residential services like heating and cooling, plumbing, etc. You create software for these companies to manage their business. You probably have an ideal customer. They are probably a certain size in terms of revenue or employees. Knowing this and what these companies struggle with is important to the marketing process. Less important is understanding the personality of purchaser (the actual buyer)…because that person may be different from company to company. It may be the owner at one company, the operations manager at another company, or an IT guy at different company. Small to mid-size companies are like that. But understanding the type of company you want to target in terms of size, location, service area, etc., you can better hone your marketing for greater impact.
Where you may want to focus down to the individual level is with the actual users of your products. Buyers and users can be two different groups. Understanding the buyer may be important to get your foot in the door, but understanding the user persona may land you the business.
Consider personas as you evaluate your marketing. You just might find your marketing performs better.
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