babs gabs about content

Ideas, Conversation, and Debates about Content

Get Me Thinking | Content Strategy – Buyer Personas

I am fascinated with the idea of buyer personas. In the past we may have intuitively identified specific sets of buyers (remember the word “segment?”) and included them in question-based selling. How well do you know the purchasing habits of your customers? Are they sole decision makers or part of a committee or chain of influencers?

In a series of blogs, Brandon Hickie of OpenView explores buyer personas in the B2B environment. He says:

A buyer persona is a description of an individual or group of individuals who play a role in the decision to purchase a product. These descriptions go beyond buyer demographics, firmographics, and functional roles, and try to capture an individual’s role in the buying process, behavior, motivations, likes/dislikes, and other unobserved traits that impact a buyer’s perception of problems and solutions and the way they approach the buying process. Those who are core to the decision-making process are generally referred to as core buyer personas and are the individuals who are the focal points in the development of a go to market strategy. Those who are not directly involved in the decision-making process are called influencer personas.

babs’ view

And that got me thinking.

No matter what you call it, since marketing terminology evolves over the years, the concept of profiling buyers is not new.  The concept has evolved as well. Meticulous data collection and analysis may reveal patterns in purchasing habits, but the data do not reveal who is this person? Much like creating a character in a novel, we need backstory. We need motivation. We need an inciting incident.

Years ago when I was a director of corporate branding, I learned and believed that earning trust and confidence was the way to a sale and ultimately, brand loyalty. A potential customer may say your price is too high, for example, but what that really means is that you haven’t given him a reason to justify the price. To each persona, trust and confidence may take on a new meaning. Creating a true buyer persona can get to the real trigger.

Adele Revella has authored an intriguing buyer persona manifesto I would encourage you all to read.

Questions 4 U

  1. Have you created buyer personas for your customers and potential customers?
  2. How has this helped or not helped your marketing efforts?
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