I have the great pleasure of meeting face to face with our customers. One of the things that always strikes me is to see that marketing departments working in different industries, targeting completely different prospects and presenting their offerings to very diverse demographics, share many of the same challenges and dilemmas. There is a solution that I’ve seen work time and again – persona-based marketing (PBM).
We all know that the B2B sales process is a long one, involving several distinctive phases and personas. In fact, according to a recent study by Sirius Decisions, “the sales cycle has increased by 22% over the past 5 years due to more decision makers involved in the buying process” (source). With PBM, you discover and understand your target personas and then engage them with relevant content to support their decision process. Whether it’s a CFO from a small software company or an IT security specialist in a Fortune 1000 financial firm, you focus and optimize your efforts for your target personas in high-value organizations.
What is a Persona?
A persona is a virtual character or prototype created to represent a group of customers that share similar firmographics (industry, size, location), challenges, attitudes and behaviors. Personas help Marketing, Sales and even Products to zero in on the ideal prospects your company is trying to land by understanding what matters to them.
By creating and honing in on buyer personas, marketers can better communicate and optimize their marketing and sales efforts.
Your potential customers are overwhelmed with content and offers from various vendors on a daily basis. This phenomenon has manifested as a super short attention span for prospects. Most of the content they are presented is generic, creating the equivalent of a “Wall of White Noise”, making it more challenging to attract and educate your target prospects.
Overcoming the “Wall of White Noise”
When it comes to content marketing, speed and relevance are key. According to a recent survey based on the 50,000+ members of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on Linkedin: “Content success starts with audience relevance (71 percent), followed by engaging and compelling storytelling (56 percent) that triggers a specific response (56 percent)”.
Persona-based marketing sharpens your aim and helps craft messaging to entice the key decision-makers and influencers. It allows you to define and target the relevant audience, with compelling content that will trigger a response.
So What’s Next?
Getting started with PBM is easy. You are probably already thinking in those terms right now. All you need to do is follow these insights to intelligently target based on personas. So stay tuned for my next installment on PBM, where I will share the 4 steps to get your person-based marketing strategy up and running in no time.
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