Where to Start with Marketing? Personas and the Buyer’s Journey

  • How do you reach potential customers when they're surrounded by advertising?
  • What is the buyer's journey, and how does it relate to your business?
  • The secret to grabbing the attention of your customers before they even know what the solution is

How we interact with the ads around us is changing. It has to when the whole world is constantly trying to sell us something. People tune out to ads all the time — especially when they aren’t speaking to them.

For a B2B organization, finding a perfect client is not down to some magic factor. Even if your product truly is amazing, it takes time for people to come on board. And they’ll only do so when the messaging is right.

Businesses Must Understand the Buyer’s Journey

With all the information we need a single click away in today’s digital world, businesses that want to reach and speak to potential clients have to both understand where a person might be in the buyer’s journey, and then willing to engage with them on multiple levels.

Especially in commodity industries like IT — with VARs and MSPs everywhere — it’s not enough for your product to be the best. The “what” question is less important than the “how” and the “why”.

People want to know how you’re going to do what you say your product or service does, and they want to know why they need it.

Build Your B2B Persona

Ask yourself who’s looking to buy from you. As a starting point, think about three different personas.

These could be representative of three different industries that each face their own particular problems. Or they could be three job roles within a single organization that each have different pains your product addresses. 

As an example, an IT company might sell software that frees front-line workers from a certain amount of manual technical support. This alleviates the pain those technicians face dealing with time-consuming issues they face day after day. A technician might seek out the IT solution as a way to make their own workdays easier.

Meanwhile, the technicians’ manager’s primary pain might be that they’re not able to address complicated long-term problems because those technicians are swamped by all those minor issues. By freeing up their time, they can reallocate their resources and accomplish more of those big wins that actually affect the company’s ability to generate more revenue.

Pain Points and the Buyer’s Journey 

In our example, either persona probably won’t immediately search for your company. They probably won’t even search for your category of product.

They’ll be searching for direct answers to the problems they’re dealing with every day. In this awareness stage, they know they have a business challenge, but they won’t know how to solve it. You might target these pain points by producing content such as blogs containing tips for better efficiency and project management in your target industry. 

Speak to your persona’s pains. You’re trying to help them overcome them. You’re on their side.

“Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”

This question from Steve Jobs to John Sculley in the early 1980’s, when he was trying to steal him from Pepsi to hire as CEO of Apple, is a great example of a brilliant sales pitch that fits the bill and speaks to a buyer in terms that make them feel they’re being looked out for.

Be the trusted advisor your prospects need long before they become your clients. Ask what you can do to make their work easier and more productive first — then show them.

What's your next step? Check out our Marketing Enablement page to find out how we take this methodology and get it working for B2B companies across Canada and the US.