Marketing personas have been there for quite some time. It is a great idea to personify the target segments and strategize accordingly. It does not mean that one persona can define each and every person in the segment but it is capable of providing an aggregate idea of the target population and that is why personas are so useful. However, it takes a lot of effort to make this strategy successful.
You need to interact with the actual customers tactfully and gather a huge amount of personal data about them. This data, combined with some educated guesses should form the basis of your personas. B2C marketers have been using this trick regularly but the questions arise when we talk about the same in business to business marketing.
Applying buyer personas in B2B domain can be a bit tricky even for seasoned marketers. While we are used to applying the same in a B2C space, we intuitively find it hard to attach the same to the businesses because it takes a bit of imagination to personify the business organizations. Nevertheless, we must understand that there are human beings behind those organizations too and they surely have their own personal traits and preferences like all of us. That is why the use of buyer personas for B2B marketing is also gaining ground of late and so let us have a look at a few prevalent ideas and tricks that can help you make the most of B2B personas.
We all know that this is the age of quality content. Nobody cares about spun or reworked content that does not add any value. You need to come up with useful, engaging, entertaining, and informative content in every format. Now, you can add another dimension to the same using marketing personas. What kind of content will be preferred by your target persona? Think about it and the answer should lead to very targeted and effective content marketing plan.
When you engage with your clients through social networks, mailers, cold calls or any other means, always keeps the ideal persona in mind. For instance, B2B clients will probably be more active on LinkedIn rather than on Facebook. You need to format everything you post there as per the suggested persona in order to attract their attention.
It is a new but interesting idea. Everybody likes games, as is evident from the puzzling popularity of various online, multiplayer games on social networks and smartphones. Gamification attempts to apply these principles to other fields too, so as to engage people in the same manner. While it seems more suitable for B2C customers, a clear thrust is being seen in the B2B sector too. Basically, human beings naturally get attracted to competition, social approval, and rewards. So the only trick here is to design the competition and rewards as per the primary persona of a business buyer.
Similarly, incentives, rewards, gifts etc. can be very useful if they are designed according to the buyer persona. For example, in a B2B setup, a senior executive or an entrepreneur will probably appreciate the access to some exclusive survey data or market research report compared to some paltry discount voucher at a neighborhood coffee shop. Your success here will depend on how well researched the buyer persona is.
Technically all of the above can be called a part of persuasion marketing. It basically means using the knowledge of consumer psychology to shape your marketing pitch. Apart from these techniques, you can work and shape each and every piece of your marketing communication and conversation to appeal to the particular buyer persona and impact their decision making process.
The above can also be extended to the user experience design of your interface including websites and mobile apps etc. Consumer psychology research has shown that every single thing can impact human psyche including the use of color and typography of a site. All these aspects must be fine-tuned as per the target persona. For instance while bright colors work better for general customers while a B2B site is probably expected to be more subdued and minimalistic. However, this will again depend on the specific personas.
About our guest blogger:
Born in Los Angeles, Blair Strasser is a business and marketing enthusiast that enjoys sharing his knowledge through his writing. He is also Founder and CEO of eMerchantBroker and passionate about technology. @BlairStrasser