Clever branding isn’t just about logo design and aesthetics; it’s about imparting your company’s core values.
Branding should encompass your business’s emotional tone, characteristics, and goals. Your brand is not about pushing or selling your business (that’s marketing); it’s about presenting a clear concept of why your business does what it does. A brand should say, “This is who we are, this is what we do, and this is why we’re helpful to you.”
Enter: the buyer persona. A buyer persona is the research based model of businesses or group of people who buy your product. It includes the Who, What Where, When, Why about your buyers. Essentially, personas are an archetype of your customer base, the types of clientele for whom your businesses exists. In a B2B setting, buyer personas are often complex and difficult to create, but they are necessary for developing your content strategy. To make your brand approachable and effective, you first need to know who your brand is ultimately geared for. Imagine throwing a dinner party and not knowing who you invited. Guests would feel awkward, confused, and out of place. This is exactly what you don’t want when customers approach your business. To avoid this branding mistake, investigate your buyer persona(s).
Start with the Basics
Knowing the buyer objectives of your clientele will help you market more directly, while also painting a clearer picture of who your buyer actually is. Most companies already gather this basic information in some form but fail to develop that valuable information into buyer personas. You could waste time and money on marketing campaigns that are never seen or noticed because you didn’t consider the habits and needs of your buyer personas. Persona development can also help reveal what your services are lacking in the eyes of your customers. Use questionnaires and direct interviews to collect pertinent information. What might their business priorities be, and does your business meet them? How do they need to go about obtaining your services? Collecting this general information will give you a solid work base for persona development.
Personas, specifically B2B personas, will change within different stages of the end-to-end buying cycle. If you offer B2B services, gather information about your buyers’ business orientations, goals, and work flows. What departments will you be engaging with at each point in the cycle, and who might the heads of those departments be? You want this information to impact the strategies you should take in B2B marketing. Gathering an idea of who will be contacting your business throughout the process will give you a better idea of how to prepare to engage them most effectively and move them through the sales funnel.
Define Buyer Personas by Buyer Phases
Take the data you have collected in your basic research and piece it together to get a working version of your buyer personas. Using personas allows you to approach your sales process in a very human-oriented way because it will help you understand how goals affect business choices, and how different goals and contexts are present at different stages of the B2B sales process. Here are some examples of personas developed around buyer phases:
- Audience Persona: When marketing, you want to make sure you reach a wide but pertinent audience. Audience behaviors vary according to whether they are actively seeking products or services or not. Either way, knowing your audience persona will allow you to connect effectively with current and future customers. Targeting businesses who may eventually need your services is a great place to start.
- Lead Persona: This persona is clearly interested in your product or service and is therefore more specific in nature. Who might they be, and what are their job initiatives? Knowing your lead persona can help you transform leads into active buyers.
- Buyer Persona: Once you’ve transformed your leads into buyers, they will likely fit a few buyer personas. Buyer personas should enable the buying process from seller to buyer. Question a buyers’ incentives and discover their pain points. What may be hindering them in the sales process. Can you adapt your sales process to make it smoother and more empathetic?
Run through numerous scenarios until you come up with a few personas for each stage of the buying process. Personas are ideally created to aid in designing the sales process by creating a more customer-based approach. To make these personas clear in the minds of your coworkers, consider creating and discussing concrete images of the personas you’re imagining so that everyone in the company is on the same page.
Failing to develop buyer personas may cause you to miss out on points of customer understanding that could improve your services and your outreach. The more you know about your customers and their problems, the better prepared your business can be to provide the best services and solutions. Build your brand around the people that matter most, your customers, and it will be hard for it not to succeed!