In 2012, the Hollywood film industry spent $80 million dollars on market research. Why does this research matter to them? For a movie to become a blockbuster, it takes more than special effects and a big-name star. It needs to connect with the things moviegoers are innately seeking.
Hollywood puts this money into research so that they can know their audience, understand what they want to see on the silver screen, and adapt their next hit to what the people want. Can a strategy from this B2C space work for B2B organizations too?
HubSpot found that knowing your audience and creating buyer personas can have a big impact on your marketing results. One particular study they reference shows that using buyer personas can make websites 2-5 times more effective. This was reflected in key metrics, such as click-through and conversion rates, online revenue, leads, and organic traffic.
What does this data really tell us? If you aren’t using buyer personas, then you’re wasting marketing budget and effort on tools that are less than effective. Let’s look at how you can start using buyer personas to turn this around.
Using B2B Buyer Personas as Your Marketing’s Foundation
To guide your marketing strategy: Strong B2B marketing strategies can’t be created in a bubble or a boardroom. It takes real-world insights to make the right choices. Buyer personas solve this problem by helping you collect and analyze data on your actual customers. This lets you understand what they think, need, and want, allowing you to tune your strategy to them.
To optimize your website: Your website has a very specific audience: your ideal prospects. Buyer personas make it easier to adapt your content since you already understand the knowledge level, interests, and challenges of your ideal prospects. This allows you to adapt your CTAs and messaging to different stages of your sales funnel more easily.
To communicate with your customers: Are you sending out a marketing email or setting up a drip campaign? Marketingsherpa got a 7% conversion rate in a study it did on persona-based email campaigns. How would an email campaign with a 7% conversion rate affect revenue for your business? Achieving numbers like these is possible with B2B buyer personas.
To support departments across your entire organization: Clear buyer personas that illuminate different customer types can help sales, operations, and customer service teams show greater empathy for the customer, understand the needs of different customer types, and modify communication styles accordingly. It can also help your team hone in on which personas to focus the bulk of their efforts on, and which ones to target when considering service and process improvements.
What Your B2B Buyer Personas Should Include
There are many different levels of detail that can be included in your buyer personas. Some companies may use a few short sentences to describe their ideal buyer, while others spend multiple pages trying to list every detail of their persona’s life. How detailed should yours be?
Something is always better than nothing. So, even a simple paragraph describing your buyer personas can help. But, in our experience, the best buyer personas include information on the following areas:
- Demographics. What’s the typical job title, age, education level, income, location, and industry for your prospects? This information is extremely useful for targeting your ads and sales efforts, and should also be taken into account when setting up your content calendar.
- Mindset. This includes your persona’s purpose, goals, fears, and barriers they face when doing their job. When you understand how they think and what matters to them it’s easier to choose information that they’ll find appealing and helpful.
- Learning and sourcing vendors. How does your persona typically learn new information about potential vendors, their expectations, and how they choose them? “What they call the solution” can impact SEO strategy, and allow you to target search terms used by your ideal customers.
- Day-to-day tasks. This should represent a typical work day in the life of your persona. This information can be extremely useful when pitching how products or services will make each day easier on them.
- Challenges and solutions breakdowns. This is a comparison of your persona’s challenges and how you solve them. This helps you maintain consistent value propositions across all of your content.
It Pays to Know Your Audience
B2B buyer personas can improve marketing across every metric. Why wouldn’t you use them? If you still haven’t created your own buyer personas, then download HubSpot’s persona template. This will give you a solid starting point to create your own buyer personas.
For professional help, contact us. Partnering with Windmill has been an essential step in the success of many companies. We can perform independent research, look at your customers through an objective lens, and create personas that will have a true business impact.
Ready to start on your buyer personas?