Still in 2020, it is clear that too many companies communicate without considering the expectations of their customers and their prospects. However, one of the basic rules of marketing, let's remember, is to know your target at your fingertips !
A webmarketing strategy only makes sense if it addresses a predefined audience. This is why the buyer personas is paramount. What do your customers want? What are they looking for? How can you help them and what do you have to offer them?
Here is a complete guide, which will enlighten you on how to define your personas. You will also learn how to use them to optimize your digital communication strategy and improve the performance of your marketing and sales campaigns. We will share our experience as awebmarketing agency. Through this guide, we hope that the importance of acquiring this methodology in your processes will seem clear and limpid to you! J
In this article, we will discuss:
- The definition of a marketing persona
- Why create marketing personas?
- What is their purpose?
- How to create your personas in B2B?
- How to use them in a marketing strategy?
Definition of a marketing persona
The buyer persona marketing is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal client. In other words, you have to " paint the picture The "marketing target" of your marketing target, based on demographic and behavioural information. Who are they? Where do they live? What are their tastes, interests, needs, habits, fears, etc.? Finding answers to these questions will allow you to define your different types of customers and formalize a very precise profile of your buyer persona.
To do this, you'll need to focus on your current customers...like those of your competitors. Understand how they work, what are their habits on the web, which contents are likely to interest themWhat are they influenced by, who are they influenced by, what are their motivations or what are their problems to which you could provide a concrete answer?
This step is essential for understand the logic of your consumers and understand his expectations and behaviours. In this way, you will be able to propose an efficient and very relevant content!
N.B: On average we count 2 to 3 personas, it depends on your sector of activity and your offer.
What does not constitute a buyer persona marketing?
The persona is not a real person but rather a representative panel.. It's not just a job title, a role in the company or a buying path. The persona helps to understand your customers and prospects, by taking an interest in their intentions and motivations. The goal is to successfully identify the purchasing behaviour of different customer groups.
What are the differences between BtoB and BtoC personas?
In BtoC, the purchasing decision is rather a result of individual emotional criteria. There is not necessarily a purchasing logic and it can be impulsive.
In BtoB, the purchasing decision is more often a collective one.. The purchase is thoughtful, not impulsive, and buyers will seek to rely on concrete and relevant content before buying. You will therefore address key employees within the company, qualified people who are likely to be influenced by their emotions.
Thus, BtoB personas are both expert and human. They have to be built separately on these two levels.
Why create marketing personas?
For save time, simplicity and efficiency ! It's no wonder we get bad results if we haven't taken the time to identify our target. Remember that the challenge of digital marketing is to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
Defining one's buyer persona is a key element of thean inbound marketing strategy. It will allow you to bring real added value to the different points of contact where your ideal customer is located. By knowing their intentions, you will know what message to create, how to deliver it, when they need it.
How useful / how important is it?
Concretely, the personas will allow you to..:
- Determine the different profile(s) of your customers
- Create and direct specific content to attract them
- Know when to publish your content
- Improve your SEO performance by refining your long tail queries
- Establish a dissemination strategy based on the influencers they follow
It doesn't matter how big your structure is, if you don't create personas, you won't know what kind of content to create since you won't know your clientele. Thus you will take the risk of creating content that will not have a return on investment because it will most likely be too far removed from the needs and expectations of your prospects.
That's why it's important to know exactly who you're talking to! In this way the creation of specific content will become clear: site pages, landing pages, social media content, blog posts, etc...
Let's take the example of Netflix, where the customer experience is at its peak.. As they explain on their blog, the members of the Netflix Technology Blog have bet it all on unique customer experience. The SVOD platform is the unconditional king of personalized recommendations. Yes, it's no coincidence that the videos suggested to you are almost always adequate to what you like. Netflix anticipates the behavior of its users by analyzing what, when and how they watch.
We could also take the example of Apple, which since version five of its iPhone has revised its offer. Apple has been able to define and respond to its different personas by focusing on medium budgets with the iPhone 5C and more recently with the iPhone SE.
How do you create your personas?
In order to help you help in the creation of your personaswe've put together a complete kit containing:
- a sample questionnaire to complete with your questions,
- an example of personas,
- a persona template to duplicate
To define your buyer personas marketing, we suggest you follow these three steps:
1. The collection of information
2. Search channels
3. The modeling of personas
First step: identify your questions to identify your marketing persona
You need to think about questions that define his identity.
- Sociological profile
- First name
- Professional background
- Areas of interest
- Organization's business line
- Size of the organization
- Role in the organization
- Typical day
- Number of supervisors
- Decision-maker level
- Specific information
- Career Goals
- Professional problems encountered
- Professional challenges encountered
- Sources of information
- Communication tools used
- Research media used
- Relationship to technology
- Presence and activity on social networks
But also... the buying preferences or sources of influence to be found in our sample questionnaire to download here.
Step Two: Conduct Research
Although you have a better idea of your ideal customer's profile, now is the time confirm your assumptions. To do this, we offer you several search channels :
- Involve your employees
The first thing we think you should do is interview your internal teams.... What requests do they receive most often? What objections? How do they respond? From the sales department to marketers to customer support, everyone has an important role to play in this data collection.
- Carry out customer interviews
The best way to understand the real motivations of your prospects and customers is to talk to them. Conduct interviews with customers and prospectsin person where possible or by telephone or Zoom. This step allows you to assert or not assert your hypotheses. Be sure to interview a minimum of six to eight people from a variety of industries. In this way your insights will be of high added value.
- Use webmarketing tools
It would be a shame not to take advantage of digital tools. Check your reports Google Analytics and Insights data from your social networks. If you use Facebook advertising, include the personalized web pixel on your websiteit's a great way to collect information on internet users who visit your website. You can collect data with many other CRM and SEO tools, including among others the Google Search Console which will tell you the keywords your audience is looking for and which led them to a particular page on your site.
You can also use more traditional tools. For example, market research carried out by institutes such as FIFG or the ipsoscan turn out to be gold mines. Depending on the socio-professional categories, you will find data on purchasing behaviour or the use of new technologies. Finally, other studies carried out by the Chambers of Commerce can also be very useful to you.
Third step: persona modeling
Now you can Compile and organize all the data qualitative and quantitative data collected in one document. We offer you our model document at download here. You will start give life to your personas by their first name, a photo and a short description. Here's an example of what you could get:
Propose a persona computer graphics with Staenk's graphic charter
...we don't forget the negative personas!
If the buyer persona is your fictitious representation of your ideal customer, the negative persona or personas of exclusion is its exact opposite. In fact, there are profiles that you do not wish to have as a customer.... Why spend time creating content for people who won't buy your product or service? Therefore, we will try to identify their behaviors and demographics. that don't fit our ideal client and keep them out of our marketing strategy. This will save you time and money.
Now, how do you use your buyer personas in a marketing strategy?
Now that you have defined your personas, you have everything in hand to choose your positioning. (link to the article on positioning) and create a relevant content strategy. You know who to talk to, how and when to talk to.
Let's take the example of Netflix, which has identified the fears and needs of its users and responds to them in a concrete manner:
You will be able to develop inbound marketing actions that will respond in a concrete way to the needs of your customers and prospects that you have detected during this phase of personas creation. What tone should I use on social networks? What actions can I take to improve my conversion rate? What content should I highlight? So many questions to which you can give precise and fair answers.
Now all you have to do is to create and disseminate your messages on the appropriate platforms and maximize benefits.
In short, we hope this article has allowed you to:
- Knowing what is and is not a persona
- Understand the interest of creating your personas
- Learn how to create and use them
SEE ALSO: MARKETING STRATEGY: HOW TO DEFINE A UNIQUE MARKETING POSITIONING IN RELATION TO COMPETITORS? (link to the article on positioning)