Better Industrial Sales and Marketing Starts with Developing Buyer Personas
by Matt Johnson, on Jun 2, 2016 5:56:04 PM
These days, industrial buyers are constantly bombarded with emails and information from dozens of industrial suppliers and distributors, each claiming that their product or service is exactly what the buyer needs. This extensive inbox influx can start to get frustrating, however, and while your company may be able to solve all the industrial buyer’s problems, your marketing efforts can be disregarded.
But what if there was a way to target and label your customers, both present and future, so that you consistently get the right information into the hands of the right people? Marketing personas can do just that!
Marketing personas, often called buyer personas, are general and fictional representations of your model customers. Creating these personas is beneficial because they can help you tailor your content and communication to the specific desires and challenges of different groups.
So, we know that industrial marketing personas are great for understanding end-users and relating to them as humans, but how do you develop them? Look no further – here’s a step-by-step guide to developing marketing personas!
1. Gather Information
If you already have a database with contact information, you’re on the right track. Look for patterns and trends in this data to identify potential personas. Once you have some background knowledge, you will know what types of form fields to include when creating forms for your website. You can also lean on you sales team for help. Ask them for feedback on the industrial buyers and end-users they interact with the most. Practice those detective skills even more by conducting interviews.
2. The Interview Process
Now, you may be wondering who you’re supposed to interview. The short answer – everyone! It’s important to gather information from customers, prospects, and even people who don’t know about your company. Interviewing industrial suppliers, distributors, buyers, and end-users alike can also be useful. How many people you interview is up to you, but speak to enough people to be able to notice patterns and to predict the behaviors and motivations the interviewees discuss.
The best questions to ask an end-user vary in depth. Here are some examples of questions that will get you going in the right direction:
What are your personal demographics?
What is the size and industry of your company?
What is your job title?
What does a typical day in your life look like?
What skills and tools do you use in your job?
What does is look like to be successful in your role?
What challenges do you face in your job?
How do you learn about new information for your job?
How do you prefer to interact with industrial suppliers, distributors, etc.?
What is the one thing that would make your job easier?
Ultimately, you are trying to know the “why”. It’s good to know an industrial buyer’s behavior, but it’s even better to know why they behave that way.
3. Identify Commonalities
After the arduous research process comes the fun part. Analyze your interviews and results to find patterns to really start building your personas. For example, these fifteen folks all work for the same sized company in the safety industry, are all Marketing Managers, and all want to use social media to reach new customers. Looks like you have a marketing persona in the making.
Knowing what makes your customers tick is the key to marketing – but it can assist your sales team as well. When you’re delivering the most appealing content possible to a target segment, you can see higher sales productivity because your efforts will achieve a lower cost-per-customer. Further, after you construct these personas, you can identify some common objections a persona may have to prepare your sales team to address those during future conversations with prospects. Lastly, don’t forget to use your personas to direct prospects to your company. You know the end-user's goals and challenges – now, tell them how your company’s product or service can satisfy those goals and solve those challenges.
Developing industrial sales and marketing personas may just seem like one more thing to add to your to-do list, but once they’re created, you can efficiently deliver the right content to the right industrial buyer. It’s true – constructing these personas takes a lot of time and effort. If you think you need more help, check out Safety Marketing Services’ Inbound Marketing Packages. Schedule a free consultation with SMS today to get started!