Your customers are more than an entry in your database. Your customer is someone you should know like you know your friends. So when you approach buyers, they shouldn’t go “Well, that’s just another marketing gimmick” but instead think “Wow, these guys got me!”
This is precisely why your B2B e-commerce business can benefit from developing a buyer persona. If you want to extend the reach of your business, buyer personas are the right way to go about ensuring that your marketing efforts reach the right people at the right time and the right place.
Creating Buyer Personas
Buyer personas help create effective messages, winning products, and compelling customer journeys. The point is to emphasize and remember that it is the journey that is important, and not the destination.
A B2B buyer persona is a comprehensive representation of the type of consumers you want to target or are currently targeting. The identification of a buyer persona not only lets you find customers but it will also help you identify and create collaterals so they find you.
Let’s look at a step-by-step approach to creating buyer persons for your B2B e-commerce business.
Step 1: Identify Questions to Ask
To get started, you can start by asking these questions:
- Getting information: How do the consumers locate information that is required?
- Decision making: Who makes the final decisions?
- Challenges: What is preventing consumers from reaching their goals?
- Problem: What is the problem guiding their purchase decision and how does your product or service solve it?
- Who are they and what they like: What makes them happy and how do they finalize purchase decisions?
These data points can be synchronized for creating synthesized portraits of your ideal customers; each customer segment shares psychographic, demographic, and behavioral traits.
Your primary goal should be for your business to know its target audience inside and out. Also, your buyer persona must clearly, precisely, and completely communicate to others how you can solve a problem they are facing with your product or service, how you can get them better or cheaper or quicker than your competitors, and what your unique selling proposition is.
Step 2: Learn From Competition
Have a look at competitor pages and try to gather as much information as possible on the people who leave feedback, comments, and testimonials on social media pages and blogs. You can easily adopt a similar strategy by using tools like Quantcast, SimilarWeb, and Compete.com to gain and explore valuable insights into the kind of audience that is already visiting competitor stores and social media accounts.
Step 3: Demographics and Firmographics
This intricate aspect helps in transforming a profile into a person who can be trusted, respected, and admired. At the minimum, B2B marketers should include core characteristics like location, age, and gender along with information like education, family composition, total household income, company type, and industry. This can help you focus your marketing efforts by gaining a complete understanding of your consumers. Naturally, this will result in much more qualified leads, thanks to targeted content appealing to the right audience.
Step 4: Reach Out to Both “Good” and “Bad” Customers
Before you start filling out your business persona, it is important to talk to both “good” and “bad” customers. Wondering why? Customers who are presently unhappy with your products/services will help you identify problem areas that good customers have failed to. Moreover, there is a possibility that these “bad” customers may find it a bit difficult to use or the documentation (provided by you) including instructions on how to use your products may be too technical for them. In both cases, you get the opportunity to learn something new about your product along with a possible scope to simplify or improve your product. A win-win situation!
Step 5: Keep an Eye on the Goal
What is your biggest objective behind creating a persona? Are you about to introduce a product that solves a problem of the target audience? Remember, most persona goals should ideally be the end goals. Moreover, experience goals should communicate how users will feel when using your product, for example, feeling relaxed or having fun. For instance, an individual on an online banking site wants to feel assured that all transactions are safe and encrypted.
It is important not to get carried away when creating your business persona. Remember, you have to relate to the customer and convince them that your B2B brand is the answer to their problems.