The increasing complexity of B2B marketing has led successful marketers to take a closer look at the characteristics of their potential customers. This gives marketing teams an understanding of who their potential customers are, what they are looking for, and how to reach them. Several properties can be used to drive people creation. Keep these questions in mind when defining the B2B buyer personalities for your marketing campaigns.
Who are you?
Firmographic characteristics are used by B2B organizations in the same way as demographic characteristics are used by B2C organizations. Example categories of firmographies used to create personas in B2B marketing include industry, company size, and location. Although many categories can be used, choosing the characteristics that most accurately reflect the audience you are trying to reach should be focused on and used in the personas. Focusing on too many specifics can distract from your target persons. In the case of firmographic characteristics, however, important information such as industry, company size and location are decisive for the formation of your ideal target group.
Psychographic characteristics reflect the values, opinions, and attitudes of your audience. While psychography is most commonly used in B2C marketing, it is still valuable information for B2B organizations as it gives better insight into prospects’ values and interests. Understanding these traits of your prospects and using them to reach your audience can set your business apart from the competition.
To complete the formation of your well-rounded persona, it is important to understand certain behavioral habits in addition to firmographic and psychographic information. Lots of things can be gathered, but relevant and meaningful data can shed light on the goals of the marketing campaign. What types of media do your prospects typically consume? When do your prospects interact with your email broadcasts? Does your audience use LinkedIn the most compared to Twitter, Facebook, or other social media channels? These aren’t the only questions to ask when determining common behavioral traits of your personas. However, this is a good place to start when you do this. Answers to these and other questions can be helpful in informing you about marketing campaigns. For example, if you understand what type of media is most preferred by your audience, be it video, blog, infographic, or any other type of content, that information can guide your content creation efforts. If your target audience is interacting with your email broadcasts more in the morning than in the afternoon, use this option to fuel future email marketing efforts. Knowing which social media channel is the most popular can help your team determine which ads might be showing.
What are you looking for?
Understanding the vulnerabilities of yourself, a problem, or a problem someone is facing will help you better target your message to illustrate how your product or service is addressing them. As you address a prospect’s specific concerns, you appreciate them because you took the time to understand their needs.
Prospects can be confronted with a variety of vulnerabilities. Here are some of the most common:
- Financial: Prospects are paying too much for their current solution and are looking for a more budget-friendly yet effective solution.
- Process: The current solution may not fully meet the requirements. They are looking for a solution that addresses all of their weaknesses.
- Resources: There may not be enough internal resources available to complete projects and potential customers are looking for a solution to help them complete these tasks.
Where are you on the buyer’s journey?
The relationship a person has with your company is another way to segment an audience. Where a prospect is on the buyer’s journey is the most influential factor in the type of relationship they have with your business. A prospect in the awareness phase of their journey has a different relationship than one in the retention phase. For example, if you target these two people at different stages of the buyer journey, your tactics and messages will be different. For the prospect in the awareness phase, you need to educate the prospect about the benefits of your product or service, while in the retention phase, your prospect is addressed with offers of continuous support and updates. A segmentation based on this can define which content should be distributed and when.
Understanding the different characteristics of each of your personas can lead to more effective and efficient marketing campaigns. Background information about your personas can aid appropriate content and messaging efforts to reach the right audience.