The other day I came across DM News’ article, “Your Buyer Has a Name” and it got me thinking. A lot of marketers know the importance of creating a customer persona for their consumer product or services, but what about those marketing to businesses? Data shows it’s equally important. As the article states, “Companies that exceeded their lead and revenue goals are 7.4 times as likely to have updated their personas in the prior six months as the companies that missed those targets.”
Images credit (DM News)
Despite the clear difference between companies with documented personas and those without, only 44% of B2B marketers have a documented buyer persona. Are you one of them? If not, it’s time to start putting one together.
Steps to creating your buyer persona:
1 – Collect your customer data
You probably already have your customer file ready, but if not, it isn’t too late to start! Compile your customer information from old orders or ask for a name and email address or phone number at checkout. It’s best to standardize data entry to maintain a file that is cleaner and easier to use.
2 – Request a customer profile report from ANS
A customer profile report will take the information you have now and give you a little more. For a B2B customer file, the additional information could apply to the employee or it could apply to the business as a whole. Some of this information might include:
- Employee Job Title
- Employee Household Income
- Home-Based Business
- Rent Expenses
- Years in Business
- And Much More…
The additional pieces provided by a customer profile report allow you to paint a picture of who your customer really is. There’s no need to be left guessing. Learn more about the ANS customer profile report here.
3 – Interview your customers
Now that you have your customer file squared away and have received a customer profile report, the next step is to learn from your customers what their pain points, motives, and expectations are. The best way to learn from your customers is to talk to them. Send a survey through email, call customers on the phone, or talk to them at networking events. The point here is to better understand your customer motives and what problems you can help them solve.
4 – Document your persona
Gathering all of this information isn’t going to be helpful unless you document it in a persona format. Using the findings from your data collection, put together the pieces of an individual person that represents your target market. Some companies won’t be able to narrow it down to one persona, and that’s okay. Start with two or three customer personas if needed.
5 – Refresh your persona every 6-12 months
Remember at the beginning when we learned that “Companies that exceeded their lead and revenue goals are 7.4 times as likely to have updated their personas in the prior six months as the companies that missed those targets.” Creating a customer persona isn’t a one-and-done type of deal. Customers change over time and so will the persona. Depending on your company, an annual refresh may be sufficient. There won’t be enormous changes every refresh, but it’s important to catch the little changes along the way.
Creating a customer persona takes time and effort but is well worth the investment! A clear target gives direction to the marketing sales teams so they can craft their messages accordingly. If you’re ready to get started on your persona, email Patricia Thompson at email@example.com. She can answer any questions you might have, as well as start your customer profile report.