Archive for Tony Zambito

10 Ways to Know Your B2B Buyers Deeply Using the Buyer Persona Canvas

Posted by Tony Zambito on July 23rd, 2013 at 5:30 am

Getting in alignment with buyers today is no easy feat.  Every time there is a quarterly review, a pipeline review, and just any kind of review – there is the lingering wish to know more about your buyers.
Insight into buyers is harder to come by.  The business world has been flipped upside down when it comes to the buyer-seller relationship.  I believe it is a good thing.  It is good for business, good for sellers, and good for buyers.  What we all are striving for is the common good of getting to know each other more deeply.
In my article, What is a Buyer Persona?  Why the Original Definition Still Matters to B2B, I covered the foundations of buyer persona development.  To know today’s B2B buyers more deeply involves the use of qualitative contextual inquiry.  Which has served the fields of social science, qualitative research, and journalism very well.  It can serve B2B Marketing and Sales very well also.
Strategic Management
Buyer persona development is an exercise in formulating customer and buyer strategies.  To formulate strategies requires informed knowledge about your customers and buyers.  One way to characterize buyer persona development is to call it a strategic modeling initiative.  An initiative every level... Read more

What is a Buyer Persona? Why the Original Definition Still Matters.

Posted by Tony Zambito on July 9th, 2013 at 7:20 am

When I first founded buyer persona development a dozen years ago, I used to get asked, “What is a buyer persona?” quite often.  Nowadays, as I engage in conversations about buyer personas and buyer insights, I have to remind myself to ask what the person believes a buyer persona is.
Of late, there has been a rash of definitions added to the many, which has surfaced over the years.  It is time to revisit the original definition of buyer personas and breakdown why it still matters.
The Definition
The original definition established in 2002:  What is a Buyer Persona?
Buyer personas are research-based archetypal (modeled) representations of who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, and why they make buying decisions.  (Today, I now include where they buy as well as when buyers decide to buy.)
As you can see here, this has nothing to do with profiling.  And, it has everything to do with buying behavior.
I have highlighted the words who, what, how, and why – to emphasize we are seeking the story of buyers.  This has evolved to highlight the added importance of where and when.  Telling the story of buyers... Read more

3 Steps For Finding Profound Buyer Insights Like Sherlock Holmes

Posted by Tony Zambito on June 28th, 2013 at 6:08 am

Sherlock Holmes is the most famous fictional detective of all time.  Introduced to world in 1897 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Well noted for his logical reasoning, canny ability to get people to confess, and use forensic science to solve the most heinous crimes.
Given the complex nature of B2B Marketing and Sales today, finding profound buyer insights takes the same level of investigation.  However, the upside can result in a significant competitive advantage yet unforeseen.  Being a fictional character, Sherlock Holmes had the fantastical ability to see what the common person could not.
1. Where to Begin
I am often asked – “Tony, where do we begin finding insights that will make a difference?”  It is a place I like to help with and provide assistance.  Where you begin is incredibly important to the end result.  The end result is finding profound buyer insights.  Buyer personas play a role by helping to communicate the found buyer insights, which lead to newly informed growth strategies.  This has been their founding purpose since their origin.
A good place to start is with an event usually related to either a consequence or a growth opportunity.  Like a good detective story, you are looking for who is... Read more

What is a Buyer Insight?

Posted by Tony Zambito on June 17th, 2013 at 6:13 am

“What exactly is a buyer insight?”
I was asked this recently.  It made me think.  It is a term you hear and easy to quickly assume you know.  Turns out, there seems to be confusion given the rise in the use of the term “insight”.
A good place to start is with a brief answer to the question itself.  Here is my guiding answer:
A buyer insight is a profound, not-so-obvious, revelation as well as understanding of buyers, which leads to new innovations, value creation, marketing & sales capabilities, and business growth.
The basis of this definition is a buyer insight must be profound and it must alter an existing direction into one offering growth.
Do Not Confused Fact With Insight
One of the biggest areas of confusion I have noticed is misinterpreting a fact as an insight. One way of putting it is insight goes well beyond fact.  To be profound means an insight is an often unforeseen as well as unarticulated observation, which leads to a new deep understanding.  This new deep understanding then reshapes business growth strategies.
Uncovering facts of how buyers do things can result in improving effectiveness.  However, improving effectiveness is not a clear direct connection to a profound insight.  Mislabeling fact... Read more

How Activity-Based Buyer Persona Development Generates Opportunities

Posted by Tony Zambito on June 10th, 2013 at 6:49 am

We are busy people.  Our business and personal days are filled with activities.  The activities we engage in usually are designed to help us accomplish either a business or personal goal.  For example, I get up early and go to the gym and engage in the activities of exercising.  Not because I just want to – but because I have a goal of losing weight!
Often times, marketing and sales folks have no idea about the activities our customers and buyers perform on a daily basis.  Yet understanding these can yield rich and robust insights into goals, which drive buying decisions.
A Day in the Life
Since childhood, we have probably heard this quote a thousand times:
“You never truly know someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes.” –American Adage, Source Unknown
This applies in the development of buyer personas.  Using an activity-based research approach allows us to walk in the shoes of our customers and prospective buyers.  What it gives us is something very important.  Context.
Context provides us with a day in the life perspective.  We want to see what customers are confronted with in their natural – not artificial – environment.
When you have visitors to your home, you take pride in... Read more