Backbone Media B2B Marketing Blog
Would you walk into a sales meeting without knowing who was on the other side of the door? We’re guessing not.
But year after year, that’s how many marketers do business: with outdated, superficial customer personas of the customers they’re trying to convert.
Customer personas help you speak to your customer more strategically and get a better ROI from your marketing efforts. But one thing many business owners don’t understand is that B2B customer personas change over time. You can’t spend a few hours building your personas and then hide them away in the closet — you have to constantly tweak and update them to make sure they’re still working for you.
Not sure where to start? Here are three questions that will help you provide insight into B2B customer personas, and prepare you for how they can change over time.
1. What metrics are important to this customer?
In email marketing, important metrics include open rate and CTR. In content marketing, metrics include downloads, blog subscriptions, and social media engagement. Analyzing and tracking metrics over time is what keeps you informed about your business. But have you ever stopped to think about what kind of data your B2B customer persona tracks?
Just as your metrics tell you when you what is important to you in your business, your customer’s metrics tell you what is important to them. By identifying these metrics and aligning your business’s value proposition to what matters to your customer, you can gain a better understanding of how you can impact your customer’s business. And when you can put this connection into words, you provide a strong value proposition to your prospective customer.
2. How long does it take this customer to make a decision?
Depending on your industry, your customer may take months to research before making a buying decision. How long your B2B customer persona requires you to go through the purchase process is a big question mark you should strive to answer.
Consider all sides of the equation. With whom do they consult? How long does it take to work through their corporate red tape to make a decision and purchase? Do they read a lot of studies before making their decision, or is their decision more impacted by referrals from others within their industry? All of these questions will help you identify clear holes in how you meet each B2B customer persona’s needs and give you ideas for how to improve your marketing efforts.
3. What new and tangential technologies does this customer use or need?
Countless numbers of new products are released worldwide every year. And considering how many years your customer has been in business, what do you think the odds are that a new technology has been released that has changed the way they work? It’s important to track those technologies and update your B2B customer personas accordingly.
Use your access to knowledge to build a trusting relationship with your customers. Set up alerts to track new releases in your customer’s field. Whenever possible, survey your customer about new technology he is using to do his job. And even better, track new releases in your customer’s field and recommend the best ones to your customer.
Have you updated your core B2B customer personas within the past six months? Then it’s time you do so. Bring these three questions to the table and discover a wealth of knowledge about your core customer that can inform your B2B customer personas.
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