B2B marketing personas - Getting started with persona-based marketing

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Persona-based marketing: Getting started

Persona-based marketing takes advantage of who a prospect or customer is

How? By answering questions about their behavior such as: what keeps this person awake at night? How does he spend his time? How does she like to be sold to?

This concept can help you, as a business-to-business marketer, by creating a vivid, tangible picture of your best prospects or customers and then sculpting a marketing message that’s pertinent to their concerns and move them to inquire and buy.

How to get started:

  • Convene a group of employees who interact with your customers and prospects. Bring in lunch and a whiteboard and ask them to help you build a persona for each of your target customers.
  • Start by describing the customer’s role in their company: CEO, CIO, CFO, COO, sales manager, purchasing agent, user, and any other important influencers.
  • Next describe the kind of company they work for. What industry is it in? How big is it? How up-to-date is it? Does it have a lot of competition?
  • Then describe the person and their behavior: Give each persona a name, a title, an age, and describe how he or she looks. How does he dress? What kind of car does she drive? What does he do in his free time? What kind of educational background does she have? Flesh out as many attributes as you need to give a full, rounded picture of who this person is.
  • Then, turn to your persona’s problems and goals. Think about what does this person’s daily calendar look like? What are his or her most pressing concerns? What product or service attributes would be most helpful in solving this person’s problems? Is he or she looking to roll up 20 databases into one, getting ready for an IPO, dealing with a new competitor who has just entered the market?
  • Finally, when formulating your marketing messages, think about what path this prospect or customer might pursue to solve this problem. Will he or she turn to white papers or articles in trade publications or Web sites? Would this customer or prospect seek input from a speaker at a networking group of their peers? Let the personas steer the route, which you can pave with information that can help your prospect and customers move forward in their consideration and buying process.

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