Buyer personas are a powerful tool for B2B marketing. Using buyer personas, marketers can create impactful value propositions and relevant and differentiating content. While traditional messaging is offering- or company-centric, personified messaging is buyer-centric.
As B2B marketing teams shift to persona-based campaigns, however, they need to invest sufficient energy in crafting buyer personas that truly support compelling value propositions, messages, and content. Too often, they short-circuit the process with generic, role-based profiles that are heavy on demographics and pain points but light on insight into actual buyer behavior. According to ITSMA research, failing to craft effective personas is the first major obstacle to leveraging personas for effective campaigns.
The most useful personas come from qualitative research with real solution buyers focused on understanding what motivates buyers to choose a particular solution. Beyond generic profiles, effective personas are defined by buyer behaviors such as solution triggers, success factors, evaluation process, and decision criteria.
In this Update, Part One of a three-part series, ITSMA examines the challenges inherent in buyer persona development and offers advice on how to avoid the pitfalls. Parts Two and Three will provide guidance on using personas and turning buyer insights into action.