In most B2B, it is vital to focus on addressing the professional needs of the audience and show that you add value related to your field of expertise. You will probably be able to do this by analysing your buyer focuses (see my previous blog post). But you can get a better understanding of your audience by taking it a step further and create buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fictive person that represents your ideal customer.
Personas make sense because after all, a reader is a single individual human being, not a target group, a role or a focus. 63% of marketers create content by buyer persona (Curata). A useful approach is to create a persona for each buyer focus. Basically, the personas will have the same needs, problems and goals as the corresponding buying focus, but the persona allows you to dig deeper and wider.
For example, our vivid imagination could give birth to a woman we name Joyce Davenport. Joyce is CEO of a mid-sized online fashion retail company. (Does this name ring a bell? Well, then it tells me something about your age…)
We could ask: what is her work performance measured on? What are her personal values? How does she prefer to learn and where does she pick up information to keep herself up to date? Focus interviews with customers – the real Joyces if you will – will probably produce the best quality of facts. They would also let you cover the part with the pain points at the same occasion. Using a tested persona template (figure 3 shows an example) saves time and forces you to concentrate on factors that will actually help you adapt your content to Joyce.
Figure 3: Adding buyer personas to the buyer focus chart.
As you see in figure 3, the persona characteristics can be conveniently added in the same grid you used for the pain points of different buyer focuses. Creating a persona is like turning a buyer focus into an imaginary person. In the grid above, the persona names and titles have simply been added under each buyer focus.
If you discover that you have identified too many buyer focuses to create personas out of all of them, apply the 80/20 rule. Focus on personas that account for most of your anticipated business (your top business opportunities). A study from Mark W. Schaefer shows that three to four buyer personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales.
Learn how to go from ’relevant’ to ’need-to-know’ content in my ebook How to Add Business Value Throughout the Buyer’s Journey.
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