Tagged 'buyer persona development'

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

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.
On-Site
When you have visitors to your home, you take pride in... Read more

Map Content to the 5 Phases of the B2B Buyer Persona Buying Cycle

Posted by Tony Zambito on June 6th, 2013 at 9:57 am

B2B business strategies were much simpler back in the day.  In the pre-Internet and pre-digital age, the target of one customer or buyer was an accepted viewpoint.  We are no longer back in those days.
We are in the new digital age.  This new age consists of more complexity, collaboration, co-creation, and new emerging buying behaviors.  Recently, I introduced the concept of the Persona Buying Cycle™.  It represents a view of understanding new buying behaviors via the B2B buying cycle.  Designed to help us address not only new behaviors – but address new complexities.
The Why
Last year, I suggested a single view of the buyer was a dangerous road to travel.  This view wired into B2B Business for nearly a century.  We now live in a new digital age of audiences, influencers, procurement policies, buying teams, committees, social collaboration platforms, and more.
Mapping content strategy to this new world means factoring in more views than a single buyer.   For B2B businesses, the dynamics of audiences, nurturing, insight, experience, and “consumer-like” branding are all new.  These new dynamics are fast emerging as success factors for succeeding in the new digital age.
One of the key insights behind this thinking, gained through a collection of on-site... Read more

3 Ways to Be a Market Leader with Buyer Foresight

Posted by Tony Zambito on May 31st, 2013 at 9:13 am

Every company has aspirations to become the market leader in their space.  Leading your market has built-in advantages over your competition.  Market leadership helps to ensure a level of stability and longevity.
Getting there and staying there is the hard part.
The demands of the market and the buyers within them can set the bar very high.  Being the market leader can be very tenuous as buyers evaluate new emerging technologies and options.  Rising to the top also comes with a heavy responsibility.  Which is this:
Customers and buyers expect market leaders to provide them with a roadmap of the future.
Recently, this became a profound understanding for me, which I want to share with you.  I conducted a significant amount of qualitative buyer interviews during the past year or more.  There was a sense buying behavior was shifting in this direction.  It has led me to conclude this:
Organizations today, particularly B2B, must develop the capability as well as provide to their prospective buyers and existing customers future-oriented Buyer Foresight™ .
Michael Brenner, who has a fantastic blog B2B Marketing Insider, and I had a conversation on the subject of buyer foresight.  You can find it here: Marketing is in the Throes of a Buyer... Read more