When did you last update your B2B buyer personas?
Jul 06, 2020 / By Sydney Anderson
Having updated buyer personas is key for any successful B2B marketing strategy. But coming off the coattails of an unprecedented pandemic, now it’s crucial.
Travel, transportation, aviation, retail, fintech, CPG, grocery, media…the list goes on and on. All of these industries (which we also serve at ThinkInk) have been affected by COVID-19. How do you know if you’re still offering the solutions your target audiences need right now and identifying the pain points that may have changed?
So that’s why we’re asking: When did you last update your B2B buyer personas?
If the answer is anytime longer than four months ago (and if we’re really being honest, one month ago), then it’s time to reevaluate.
1. Your B2B buyers don’t look the same
This is where you need to ask yourself what has changed with your buyers. Most likely, that answer is almost everything.
That rail, airline, or retail company you’ve been monitoring has shifted priorities. There’s a deeper focus on customer communications, different motives are in play, unforeseen factors like a halt in travel and declining in-store purchases, and those decision-makers you contact? Yeah, they have a whole new set of motives and goals.
Find those differences by getting creative with your LinkedIn research. What does the VP of Sales at the fintech company you’re targeting like to comment on or follow? What is she writing about or reading? What conversations does she want to be in? These are huge tells into goals and priorities. Take note.
You can also gather data from current clients. In conversations with your customers, naturally work in questions like, “What has changed for your organization?” or “What are new goals you’re looking to achieve given the different operating environment we’re in?”
Answers to these types of questions provide tremendous insight not only into current customer sentiment (and opportunities) but your target audience as well. Use that intelligence as much as possible.
2. Your data is incorrect
But don’t worry, some information will remain the same. Their background and demographics, job focus, and key attributes will likely not change.
But pain points? Modes of communication? All of that has changed.
Millions of people are now working from home, many for the first time. This means a lag in decision time because companies are still adjusting. And budget impacts and re-prioritization of technology investments, too.
That also means if you previously relied on in-person discovery, visiting their office or meeting at a conference, all that has changed too.
If the EVP of loyalty for a major retailer you’ve kept in touch with preferred a phone call in the past, that may have changed to email or even video. Or vice versa. But you’ll only understand how their preferences have changed by asking or trying new methods.
3. You need to add new B2B personas
How has your company adapted in the last six months? What new products or solutions are you offering for other businesses? Are there new companies that could benefit from how you’ve shifted in line with changing business needs and the new solutions you’ve developed
Of course there are. With so many industries pivoting, there is a huge opportunity to tap into a B2B market that maybe didn’t exist for your company before.
For example, some food retailers that you’ve spoken with in the past were dragging their feet about digital strategies and loyalty program improvements. And now? There really isn’t an option.
Make sure you’re reaching these new B2B audiences properly by developing buyer personas that match new needs and reflect how the market and their business has changed. The extra effort you put in now will bring extra reward.
With all the disruptions that our clients have faced over the past few months, we’ve done a lot of work to help them update their messaging and buyer personas, because we know that circumstances have changed for everyone. They’ve been able to produce meaningful content that has resonated with customers, sensitive to the current circumstances, and reflective of changing needs.
Pain points are ever-evolving. But now this evolvement has been put into hyper-drive.
More than ever, keeping your buyer personas up-to-date is critical when implementing new campaigns. A team of experts in your corner can help. Reach out if you’re ready to revisit your buyer messaging and how you’re targeting the right audiences today.
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