10 Questions to Consider When Creating Your B2B Buyer Persona
Your B2B buyer persona is a critical element of supply chain marketing efforts, particularly for inbound marketing.
According to Marketing Insider Group, 93% of companies who exceed lead and revenue goals segment their database by buyer persona. That said, a surprising 60-70% of B2B marketers admit that they don’t truly understand their buyers (source). If you don’t have a clear picture of who to market toward, then you risk not making the sale.
Getting started with developing a buyer persona for your supply chain marketing can be difficult. Creating a persona that’s helpful requires a fair amount of solid research. Overall, your buyer persona should include demographic, firmographic, and technographic information. Once you have a clearly defined buyer persona, be sure to distribute it to your internal marketing team. And share it with your outsourced marketing team, too, if you’ve partnered with one. Distribution ensures that all marketing efforts collectively speak to your target audience.
With your established buyer persona in hand, you’ll need a content marketing strategy to ensure that you get the most out of your industrial marketing initiatives. Start building your buyer persona with the following 10 questions.
10 Questions to Help You Develop Your B2B Buyer Persona
1. What are your buyer’s basic demographics?
Are they female or male? Are they married? Do they have kids? Where do they live & how much money do they make?
2. What is the buyer’s level of education?
Did they graduate high school? Are they a college grad? From what college? You’ll probably reach Harvard grads differently than those from smaller liberal arts colleges.
3. What role does your buyer have at their company?
Are they your end user? A decision maker? Are they a gatekeeper who’ll push your product or service to a decision maker? What’s the organization’s team structure? What’s their job title? All of this will determine how you communicate.
4. Which industry does your buyer’s company serve?
Where are they in the supply chain? Are they a supplier, a manufacturer, or distributor? What’s their market niche?
5. How big is your buyer’s company?
How many employees does it have & what’s their structure? What about annual revenue?
6. What are the organization & department goals of your buyer’s company?
Is the company in growth mode? Are they looking to better serve their existing market or find new industry verticals? Are they working to expand their digital marketing?
7. What does success look like for your buyer?
From a job role perspective, are they trying to hit certain sales quotas? How is their job measured? Make them the hero through your products & services; they’ll want to purchase more from you
8. What major pain points does your buyer have?
What problems do they have that align with your products or services? Are they seeking solutions now? Do they realize they have a problem?
9. Is the buyer’s company a leader or an underdog?
How they market will vary depending on what position they hold in the marketplace.
10. How does your buyer typically interact with a vendor like yours?
Do you know anything about their current B2B relationships? How often are they communicated with? Through what channels?
Putting Your Buyer Persona to Use
Once you’ve gone through these questions, come up with a name that suits the persona. Something along the lines of Marketing Mike or Sales Sally. Just have fun with it! Then, try to find a stock photo of a person that fits the persona. The more real the persona is, the more accurately you’ll be able to direct marketing campaigns towards your ideal customers.
But a word of caution. People have a tendency to bias their answers and research when creating a buyer persona. To mitigate this as best you can, run your answers through the following questions:
- Are these personas based on sound research?
- Do my personas reflect awesome customers we currently have?
- If our ideal customers read this profile of themselves, would they agree with it?
- Would my sales team agree with this persona of our ideal customers?
You may want to create multiple buyer personas in order to target different marketing opportunities. Create each one to be unique and reference them often. Each time you create a new marketing campaign, use these personas as reference points to ensure you’re targeting the audience you hope to reach.
Buyer Persona QUAD
In true WE•DO form, we’ve developed a QUAD Model for developing a buyer persona for your B2B company. The idea of our QUADs is that you can do strategic planning on the back of a napkin. The content should be simple and straightforward, making it easy to digest and quick to implement. Once you have your buyer persona developed, you may want to dive deeper into each persona. Diving deeper means developing the persona further using analytics and tracked sales performance.
The buyer persona QUAD is broken down into four sections (naturally). Who, What, Why, and How. These may seem too simple at first glance. But in reality, many businesses don’t take the time to do even this simple of an exercise to define who their ideal buyers are. Approximately 60-70% of B2B marketers admit that they don’t truly understand their buyers (source).
QUAD 1: WHO
- Demographic: the statistical characteristics of human populations.
- Firmographic: descriptive attributes of firms or companies.
- Job Title / Position (Decision maker?)
- Size of company
- Years in Business
- Technographic: the behaviors of consumers as it relates to technology.
- Communication preference
- Social media channels & usage
- Tech tools used
- Choice of consuming news
QUAD 2: WHAT
- primary goal
- secondary goal
- primary challenges your buyer persona has in reaching their goals
- secondary challenges your buyer persona has in reaching their goals
- Your services/products help this client reach their goal by…
- Your services/products help this client overcome their challenges by…
QUAD 3: WHY
- What would your buyer say about their challenge?
- What would your buyer say about their goals?
- Why would your buyer object to your service/product? (primary)
- Why would your buyer object to your service/product? (secondary)
- Why would your buyer object to your service/product? (tertiary)
QUAD 4: HOW
- How would you state your solution to this buyer?
- How would this be received by them?
- How would you pitch/sell your solution to this buyer?
That should get the gears moving, but I encourage you to further develop a buyer persona that best fits your supply chain marketing efforts. You’ll have unique questions that best fit your industry and that should be applied to your customer persona.
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