beware of the buyer persona

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Buyer Personas are in trouble. Most Buyer Personas focus on irrelevant details and end up missing the mark. Do yours include hobbies? Aspirations? Marital status? If so, your personas likely don’t provide the info you really need to influence the buying decisions. Think about it. What does any of that have to do with making a purchasing decision about your product? To be effective, your buyer personas need to provide insights about your target audience’s buying process.Do you want to know the best way to stop the “me too” generic content and websites that your industry and competitors have? Do you want to start delivering VALUE to the buying journey that will delight your target market? Watch this replay, and build Buyer Personas the way Adele Revella outlines in this webinar.http://contentzap.com/beware-of-the-buyer-persona/

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  • 2015 Genoo, LLC. www.genoo.com All Rights Reserved. contentzap.com

    Beware of Buyer Personas - The Cow Is On The Ice

    Watch the webinar video & see blog post

    Kim Albee: Welcome everybody to our webinar this morning, "Beware of Buyer Personas -- The Cow is on the Ice." We're going to talk to you about the truth about how to build and use buyer personas in a way that gets results.

    A little bit about Genoo and about myself. My name is Kim Albee. I am the president of Genoo and ContentZap. Genoo is marketing animation for small and mid-size businesses. ContentZap is a professional services content agency.

    I was named one of the top 20 digital strategist in 2015 by the Online Marketing Institute, which is an amazing honor. I'm humbled by that. You can follow Genoo Marketing on Twitter. You follow me on Twitter. You can connect with me on LinkedIn.

    Now, I want to introduce Adele. I am just thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to have Adele Revella with us today. She has just published a book. The book is called "Buyer Personas -- How to Gain Insights into Customer's Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies and Win More Business."

    Adele is the CEO and founder of Buyer Persona Institute. I consider Adele the top expert in buyer personas that's out there today. With a real commitment to making sure that there is actually a proven process that people can go through to build and use their buyer personas.

    Without any further ado, I am just thrilled to have Adele with us. This is going to be an awesome webinar. Adele, over to you.

    Adele Revella: Thank you so much, Kim. Thank you again for having me on this session. I am always thrilled to get to talk about my favorite topic. I love the creativity around this title for this session. What does the cow on the ice mean?

    It means that there is trouble. I don't have all the history around this. I guess it's a Swedish term. The concept that buyer personas are in trouble may be a surprise to you. I want to talk about that.

    I want to talk about what we can do to make sure that if you're thinking about getting into buyer personas that you're doing it in a way that's effective, because people are either going too far in one direction and making this too hard, or they're going too far in the other direction and making it too simple.

    Both of those are not boating well for the future of something that's incredibly valuable, and that's going to get the insight that you need to be a much more effective marketer.

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  • 2015 Genoo, LLC. www.genoo.com All Rights Reserved. contentzap.com

    Lets look at a typical Buyer Persona Let's look at what you might have been seeing out there on the Internet around buyer personas. If this picture, if this image looks like the right idea for what a buyer persona is, then, that's what we're here to talk about today, because I'm going to refer to this as buyer profile, which is just one part of the buyer persona.

    Sometimes, this is being done because people say, "Hey, we need an example buyer, or we need a fictional buyer that represents our real buyers." Both of those ideas are on target, but missing so many points, and this is how we're getting in trouble as marketers.

    What we're seeing here is an example, we have a guy who's an operations manager, we're probably selling him some kind of business product, and yet, we see here that he's married with two kids. I wonder, how is that going to help me market my business solution to Jim?

    His goals and his challenges, he wants a raise and a promotion, terrific, don't we all? His biggest challenge is that he's got a lot of new systems, and he's managing people, and he's keeping a lot of balls in the air at once.

    I'm down here in the middle of the slide, I can point at these ideas here, I know there's a lot of copy here. That's another problem, there's so much copy here, how do we use this?

    But his biggest challenge is we've got all these new systems we have to manage in maybe my plant where I'm the operations manager, and I've got to manage all these people, and I've got a lot of things to do. Terrific.

    If you've got to go sell a new technology to Jim, where's the information here that really helps you know how to talk to Jim about that solution? Now, we can go over here to the right, and we can see some things that marketers would like to know about like what are his preferences for communication?

    This team that put this together said he likes email and phone communication. That's pretty interesting, most people don't like the phone. He uses the Internet for research a lot. That's good, we can be on the Internet, but how do we talk to him when he's on the Internet?

    We're getting here a mere glimmer of what we could do to be able to influence Jim to buy our solution. Now, the reason we know this isn't working is that in our work, we are interviewing buyers about how they make buying decisions.

    Last year, we interviewed more than a thousand B2B buyers, people with roles everything from the CEO to the CIO, from engineers to health care professionals, physicians, about how they make busying decisions.

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  • 2015 Genoo, LLC. www.genoo.com All Rights Reserved. contentzap.com

    The very decisions that our clients wanted to influence. What we heard from them is frankly scary. Because we heard that we're not being helpful to them. Let's look at some of the things they told us.

    Were too focused on benefits First of all, they told us that as marketers, we're far too focused benefit statements, and they don't use those words, let's look at the buyer's real words, this is coming from a real interview. "Your website has all the same useless information as your competitors. No, I didn't spend much time there."

    Now, this is a buyer that we hoped our client would have been able to influence through the marketing materials and the investment they're making in their Web content. We have to think about this.

    How did this occur? I loved Margaret and Kim's, Genoos marketing for this webinar, because they said, "Let's look at the approach to buyer personas your competitors are likely taking." They're probably doing what you saw on that previous slide.

    What I want to talk about in this session is what we're hearing from buyers, from the normal way to do marketing, and how you can step out of the norm and differentiate yourself, based on being able to provide useful information to this buyer. Let's look at one of the other things we're hearing from them.

    Buyers will have specific needs We're hearing that as they go through the buying decision, as they go through their journey, as they go through in their buyers' journey, their customers' journey, all the things we're trying to influence as we develop content, and messages, and as we enable sales for this journey, that what they're hearing about are very obvious benefits.

    Things like we're going to help you keep all those balls in the air, we're going to help you be able to deal with all those new systems. If we look at that buyer persona that we saw a few minutes ago, we can understand why. That buyer persona is not providing any guidance that isn't obvious.

    We're developing obvious benefits, and we're not talking to these buyers about what they want to hear that's going to help them believe that our company is the most effective way to achieve those benefits. What else are we hearing from there? We're hearing that they're testing us.

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  • 2015 Genoo, LLC. www.genoo.com All Rights Reserved. contentzap.com

    When we help, we build trust That through their entire buyers journey, they're testing us to see, testing all of us as marketers and our companies, to see if we understand their needs. We're trying to find out if they're trying to find out if we're going to be responsive to their needs.

    What does this tell us as a marketer? It says that that trust that we so seek throughout this buying decision, because we know when we build trust with the buyer we're going to win their business.

    We know that that trust is based on this deep understanding of what this buyer wants and needs. Yet, there was nothing in that profile we looked at a minute ago to help us know how we could build that trust.

    Lets see what other influencers need Let's look at another one. I can't make this decision alone. For most of the interviews we're conducting, these buyers have spent weeks, months, maybe years evaluating their options.

    There are many different people involved in that buying decision, and if our internal champion, if the person we're trying to persuade wants to make this happen, and usually, they're the person that's charged with making it happen, and getting this decision to happen, what if we were the company that was the one that delivered really useful content to them, to help them persuade their other stakeholders that we had and we alone could address their needs.

    Which objections must you overcome? Finally, and I know this might surprise you, because many of you may be building your buyer personas based on input from your salespeople. We hear that even some advice being dispensed, that that's the way