Financially Responsible Marketing

Step 1 of B2B marketing: Catch the attention of the right people

Posted by on Mar 21, 2018

Our ideal client is a thriving business that we call Ready for Takeoff (RfT).

RfT frequently operates nationally or internationally. Typically they’re in the tech space – IT-related, or industrial/engineering. They might build infrastructure ­– consult to manufacturers ­– be a leading-edge digital innovator. Their people are seriously impressive. They know their stuff.

No question, RfT has the skills and resources to grow beyond their original customer base. But they need help. The sales team isn’t enough; word of mouth isn’t going to be enough to get them to their sales goals.

Anything else? Yes. RfT usually comes to us a little frustrated and skeptical. They’ve tried marketing. But their dartboard approach is draining funds without delivering results.

 

See what we did there?

You’re picturing RfT now, right? Maybe identifying? And if you were on the Imaginis team, you’d already be lighting up with some ideas as to how to help RfT grow. Some avenues worth exploring.

And why is that?

It’s because our human brain identifies with the real, the concrete – stories and personas and identities.

Yes, we can and do learn in the abstract. But to be successfully engaged in a long-term goal, we need to visualize where we’re going. Who we’re talking to, who we’re trying to influence, and how. In sports, in business, in the military, in anything.

 

Enter buyer personas

Buyer personas help us to define our audience – our buyers – and better yet, to visualize them. Buyer personas are fictional, named representations of your ideal customer (Tom the techie), supported by real data.

What are their preferences, lifestyle and challenges?  How do they like to receive information? How do they make decisions? Where are their pain points? What pushes them to make a change? All this is a way to humanize our audience – because people relate best to people!

Armed with this knowledge, we can speak their language, consistently craft messages that resonate, address their needs, and offer solutions. Plus, all the players involved (marketing, sales, C-Suite) will work well together, because we’re aligned on our target. We are … wait for it … singing from the same song sheet.

 

Where do buyer personas fit in the marketing process?

Marketing personas are Step 1

In order to be successful in your B2B marketing campaigns, you need to start with the right audience, your defined target market. And you need to know that target beyond just the demographics. What are their preferences, lifestyle and challenges?

Armed with this knowledge, you can then speak their language (not yours!), address their concerns (not yours!) and offer solutions that make sense to them. Strong marketing is customer-centric.

“Good marketers see consumers as complete human beings with all the dimensions real people have.” – Jonah Sachs, American storyteller, author, designer and entrepreneur

 

Remind me of the benefits of buyer personas?

Buyer personas are created to humanize your target customer – because people relate to better to people than concepts:

  • Buyer personas focus and motivate your sales and marketing efforts.
  • You create better, more engaging, more powerful content.
  • You customize your message to address your customer’s needs and challenges.
  • You get better leads. For less $ per lead.
“If you want to create messages that resonate with your audience, you need to know what they care about.” – Nate Elliott, Marketing Technology Advisor

 

How do you prepare to build a buyer persona?

Three steps:

  1. Think about your best customers. Describe them. What do you know? Demographics are the easiest place to start: gender, age range, marital status, education. What is their role? What industry are they in? Do you know how they spend their time outside of the office? Have they purchased similar products/services from another organization in the past?
  1. Next, fill in the gaps by collecting qualitative and quantitative data.

⇒ Who interacts with your customers? Speak with your internal team.

⇒ Ask your sales teams about common objections. Document your persona’s challenges so you can equip your organization with solutions that address their pain points.

› How do you help your customers achieve their goals?

› What problems are you solving? Is there a common question that your customer asks?

› How do you interact with your customers? Phone? Email?

› What marketing campaigns have been successful?

⇒ Doing some additional research online can’t hurt. You may even consider interviewing your customers to validate your assumptions.

  1. Finally, compile your data and highlight commonalities.
“The content that breaks through is never about your products; it’s about the audience.” – John Miller, Founder and President of Scribewise

 

Now, create your buyer persona

It’s time to bring your data to life. Find a picture that helps you to visualize your buyer. It is easier to visualize and communicate with actual people, so be human-centric.

  • Who is the lead character for your ideal prospect? V.P. Operations Victor, or Procurement Paula? Do they influence others, or make decisions on their own?
  • What does a day-in-the-life of your buyer look like? How do they spend their time and why? What is important to them?
  • Make some educated guesses about personal histories, motivations and concerns. Create one or more named personas, each one representing a person/role your sales team will connect with.

 

What happens next?

Now you’ve built your buyer persona/s, you’ve defined the Right Audience. Step 2 is to craft the Right Message. Watch this space for Step 2 in this 4-part series.

 

“Effective messaging lives at the intersection of what your buyers want to hear and what you want to say.” – Adele Revella, Author: Buyer Personas

 

Interested in getting started on your own buyer personas?

Click on this link to download our template and get started!