As B2B marketers recognized the potential of persona-based marketing, more and more organizations have invested in persona development. For many organizations, unfortunately, the process ends there. Marketers create buyer personas but then set them aside to gather dust on the proverbial shelf.
With years of research and hands-on experience, ITSMA has observed a great divide in the impact of persona development. Simply put, those organizations that invest in change management gain significant value from their persona development; those that don’t, don’t!
Recent interviews with 10 leading solution providers that have invested in developing buyer personas amplified the point. Several of the 10 have seen the initiatives take off but the majority have sunk with barely a ripple.
The difference is not in the personas themselves. In both groups, the marketers deem the buyer personas insightful, even eye-opening. The difference is the presence or absence of a serious investment in change management: Are buyer personas integrated within overall marketing strategy and process or was the development just an isolated project?
This Update is the second part of a three-part series on Leveraging Buyer Personas. See also Part One on Crafting Buyer Personas, Not Profiles.