Tagged 'lead generation'

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

5 Buyer Behaviors Reshaping B2B Marketing

Posted by Tony Zambito on May 23rd, 2013 at 1:24 pm

One thing we can count on is by the time you have finished reading this buying behavior may have been altered one again.  Changes in buyer behaviors continue unabated.  This is making it difficult for marketing and sales leaders to plan the right mix of strategies and tactics resulting in a winning formula.
5 Buyer Behaviors B2B Marketing Must Keep An Eye On
New buying behaviors means B2B marketers have to become more responsive today.  Creating nimble organizations and improving knowledge in buyer understanding.  Here are ways buyer behavior will continue to reshape marketing:
Buyers Embrace Collaboration
Social and digital technologies has allowed for progress in the area of collaboration.  Meaning the sphere of influence and interaction not only has widened but increased.  Old ideas about roles on buying teams are being shattered as we speak.  The era of collaborative buyer networks has arrived.  We now have to consider internal as well as external members of collaborative networks impacting decision-making.
Buyers Want Co-Creation
Collaborative networks are fostering a new environment for co-creating products, services, and for solving problems.  This new development will put pressure on B2B organizations to get in line with flexible products and services which allow buyers to play an active role in co-creating.  Buyers... Read more

7 Big Questions for B2B Marketers in 2013

Posted by Tony Zambito on May 21st, 2013 at 9:51 am

The more change occurring  the more questions arise.  This year is no exception.  B2B Marketers are experiencing ongoing as well as new challenges as we start to hit stride in 2013.   What are the big future questions for B2B Marketers?  Let's look at a few:
How do we generate more leads and keep them?
Survey after survey indicate B2B marketers have this issue top of mind.  Creating demand and filling up a pipeline is loaded with pressure packed environments.  In my qualitative buyer research work, I see shifts in behavior on the part of buyers.  There are unique sets of goals and behaviors emerging in the area of nurturing.  Calling into question how leads should be defined and segmented.  Lead research and unique lead persona development will emerge to help B2B marketers address this most important question.
How do we use marketing automation effectively?
Marketing automation has crawled out of infancy stage and is being more widely adopted.  Many organizations have been in the "let's just get started" phase.  Experiencing the pain of implementation.  The next level question is how to make marketing automation more effective to get better results.
How do we operationalize content marketing?
Content marketing has certainly arisen as one of the core capabilities B2B marketing... Read more

Is Your Lead Generation Off-Target?

Posted by Tony Zambito on May 13th, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Marketo wants to talk revenue cycle and lead nurturing #marketotour (Photo credit: servantofchaos)
A problem facing organizations today is generating more leads.  Making this issue even more challenging is changes in buying behavior.  Depending on which study to reference, buyers are performing different activities for up to 70% of their buying evaluation before sales intervention.
A recent report by the Aberdeen Group on sales performance shows there is a fair degree of dissatisfaction among sales leaders.  56% saying they were not seeing sufficient growth in top line revenue.  Nearly 30% expressed dissatisfaction with lead conversion to sales.  A recent CSO Insights report indicated that only 20% of organizations understood their buyer’s buying process.  These two perspectives combined point to one of the key issues – targeting the wrong buyer.
Looking back on over 12 years of qualitative buyer research and buyer persona development work, I found in 6 out of every 10 organization– a different buyer was identified than the organization had been targeting!  If you are off-target with the buyer – you will be off-target on your demand generation and lead generation.
Getting On Target
Marketing and sales leaders today are looking to increase their percentage of being on target when it comes to lead generation.  There... Read more

5 Buying Behaviors of the Persona Buying Cycle

Posted by Tony Zambito on May 9th, 2013 at 10:27 am

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ernest Hemmingway
The concept of buyer personas, as a means for understanding buyers, has been around now for over a decade.  It is an understatement to say many things have changed in the world of buying and selling since their beginning.
We have witnessed the changing dynamics of the buyer-seller relationship. The dynamics I refer to are buying behaviors and buyer goals.  On the other side of the coin, we see marketing and sales making attempts to adapt.  The concepts of content marketing, lead nurturing, insight-based selling, customer experience, and brand management emphasized.  These practices have been introduced as gateways to connecting with buyers in the new digital age.
Adapting to New Realities
Personas, at their core, were introduced as a tool to communicate the goals and behaviors of users and buyers.  Specifically for informing strategies related to product design and marketing to buyers.  For B2B Marketing and Sales, a clearer picture has begun to emerge around the goals and behaviors of buyers.  Yet, there are many more miles to go.  My endeavor and work with organizations over the past decade lead me to... Read more