There are many ways to approach your marketing strategy. It can be difficult to know which strategic method fits you and your company best… but what about a marketing strategy that prioritizes the customer? Isn’t that what inbound marketing - and great marketing - is all about in the first place? The answer is YES; hear us out...
What is Persona-Based Marketing?
Persona-Based Marketing is a strategy founded on research and analysis of your own customers - both current and potential. In essence, Persona-Based Marketing (PBM) is built around your company’s buyer persona or ideal customer. Compiling the general behavioral traits, interests, and demographics of your target audience into a set of profiles allows you to streamline marketing and sales efforts to effectively engage with potential customers. Companies often treat their buyer persona profiles as a fictional representation to better visualize and connect with their desired audience.
If you’re not sure who you should have a buyer persona profile for, consider:
- What group or type of people is your business / product / service most popular with currently?
- What group or type of people does your business / product / service have the most opportunity with, if you could reach them?
- What group or type of people is your business / product / service is your “dream” customer or client?
- Who are the influencers or those surrounding the group or type of people your business / product / service serves?
Persona Based Marketing does require some diligent work and research for your marketing team, but it also means seeing more results. The more time and energy you spend developing your buyer personas, the more your engagement rates will likely soar. Persona based marketing strategies see 10% higher conversion rates and 18% more revenue. Studies show behaviorally targeted ads are twice as effective as general ads, and personalized content can produce 14% click-through rates and 210% increased website traffic. The numbers speak for themselves; the time, energy, and resources spent on buyer persona profiles and using them in sales and marketing tactics pay off - big time.
Persona Based Marketing vs. Account Based Marketing
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is similar in many ways to Persona Based Marketing. Both marketing strategies emphasize personalized content as a means of targeting potential customers. Both of these strategies prioritize selling specific products or services to specific customers, and because of their directness are often called ‘zero waste’ marketing campaigns. ABM and PBM aim to waste no energy, time, or resources by marketing only to contacts who are the best fits and most likely to convert.
Account based marketing is also different from persona based marketing, too. ABM is a strategy best suited for business to business (B2B) companies, or companies that sell to other businesses. The advantage of ABM for B2B organizations is it allows them to market to many people of one organization as if they are one unit. Account-Based Marketing works best after buyer persona profiles are researched and created. Often, persona-based marketing will work to target a single type of persona, and account-based marketing will work to target specific professionals or specific companies that fit your personas.If you want to see quicker results and engagement on individual level you should consider going the buyer persona-based marketing route.
How to combine insights about buyers + potential buyers with marketing tactics
Building a buyer persona profile is a highly strategic practice. To start out, you’ll want to rely heavily on customer data that you already have. Use form fields and categories to sort through the basic demographic information you have, and conduct research to fill in the blanks. For example, if a significant number of your customers are females aged 40-55, you would then be able to draw conclusions from research studies and profiles of Generation X women.
If you have the time and resources, it would be beneficial to conduct interviews and polls with your customers too. These might look like a follow-up, or post-purchase email inviting customers to answer a few questions, a CTA on your website offering a discount in exchange for a few minutes of visitors’ time, or even cold calling customers for a brief interview.
The aim of your Buyer Persona research is to determine why your customers choose you, and what drives them to make a purchase. This means you may have more than one buyer persona for your brand: different groups of people buy for different reasons. The more detailed your research is, the more segmented and streamlined your buyers’ journey will become.
HubSpot even suggests going as far as building a negative buyer persona. This buyer persona outlines people that may appear similar to your buyer persona, but are the ones that ultimately do not follow through with a purchase. An example of a negative buyer persona might be students or professors using your website and materials for research, or people of a lower income bracket simply just window shopping. Having a negative buyer persona will help save money and resources that might be otherwise spent on true customers.
Persona-Based Marketing transforms all your unknown potential customers into familiar, loyal supporters of your brand. PBM upgrades your marketing strategy in a big way; it not only makes your job easier, but it also makes your potential customers’ choice to buy an obvious one!