The Marketing Strategist:

Buyer Personas: Now What?

August 27, 2015

Fit your shoes

Buyer personas are a big item on our agenda at ITSMA. That’s partly because we feel so strongly about the importance of well-researched buyer personas—and we mean primary research with actual buyers—to compelling and effective marketing. It’s also a reflection of the increasing interest our members have in developing and applying buyer personas. To date, most of our focus and the concentration of activity we see among our members have been on building a set of buyer personas.

But as more and more B2B marketing teams have invested the time and effort to develop them, we’re quickly moving on to the next question: now that we have buyer personas, what do we do with them? The short answer is to use them to guide every component of your marketing, value propositions, content development, and campaign design in particular.

Easy to say, harder to do. So we were particularly interested in learning more about how marketing technology company idio has put personas at the center of not just their marketing efforts but every part of their business, including product development, marketing, sales, and customer success. The results have been dramatic.

Personas have shifted the company’s entire approach to marketing. By shaping value propositions, content, and campaigns around the explicit priorities and pain points of its key buyers, idio’s marketing team has driven deeper engagement with prospects and improved its ability to qualify prospects more accurately and quickly. Since the sales team also uses personas in a tightly aligned process, idio has been able to accelerate the time from lead identification to opportunity and better predict the time to deal close.

Beyond the impact that personas have had on their business, what’s striking about idio’s experience is that a company like this is even interested in personas at all. With all of the marketing technologies out there and the variety of insights that areas like personalization—idio’s stock in trade—can generate, it’s easy to imagine that you don’t need in-depth buyer research to understand your audience.

The team at idio would beg to differ.

There’s a lesson in this for all of us. As much as marketing technology of all descriptions can make marketing efforts more efficient, it won’t make them more effective without a clear view of the objective. That’s where a deep understanding of buyers, their motivations, and their success factors comes in. Overlook the essential input of buyer personas at your peril. Without them, the other major marketing investments you’re making could be at risk.

To learn more about how idio has embedded personas throughout its business to drive results, read Buyer Personas in Practice: The Case of idio.

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