How To Understand Customer Needs And Improve Your Marketing

Find Your Ideal Buyer Persona And Improve Your Marketing Plan
Summary: The most valuable way to get more detail about who your organization is selling to is to develop a buyer persona. Once you have created buyer personas, their impact on marketing is powerful. Here are 10 ways you can improve your marketing when you have a deep understanding your customer needs.

Find Your Ideal Buyer Persona And Improve Your Marketing Plan

“We want to reach chief learning officers at large corporations.” Have you ever kicked off the development of a marketing plan and heard a response like that from your sales team or CEO when you ask who the target audience is? It’s really common to receive a brief, high-level response when asking that question. But as a marketer, the more you know about who you are selling to, the better. Effective marketing starts with a deep understanding of who you need to reach.

The most valuable way to get more detail about who your organization is selling to is to develop a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a one-page visual profile of who you need to get the attention of, which is incorporated into your marketing plan. The persona outlines demographics about the person, like age, gender, and job title, along with information that goes a lot deeper into who the person is. It should explain what their needs, motivations, and pain points are in their job. Putting together the persona brings the person to life in a way that will inspire marketing strategies and prepare sales teams for conversations with prospects that connect them in meaningful ways. The development of a persona opens up conversations with your colleagues about who you are selling to that will provide you with more information than a job title and company size.

Once you have created buyer personas, their impact on marketing is powerful. Here are 10 ways you can improve your marketing when you have a deep understanding of your customer needs:

1. Align Your Sales And Marketing Teams

There are many reports about the misalignment between sales and marketing teams. One research study found that sales ignores up to 80% of marketing leads, instead spending half their time on unproductive prospecting. The creation of buyer personas is an activity led by marketing, but it should be a collaborative process with sales. Getting together to have conversations will help you both get to know your customers better and will open up a dialogue between the teams, aligning sales and marketing.

2. Refine Your Messaging Points

No matter what product or service you are selling, you are competing to get the attention of a consumer. They are not only receiving messages from your competitors but many other brands that appeal to their work and life. When you are communicating what it is your company has to offer, clear messaging points that relate to the person you are reaching will help get their attention. A buyer persona outlines customers' needs, motivations, and pain points, which you can leverage in your messaging in order to make connections and bring in leads.

3. Select The Right Press Outlets

Generating PR for your company is a beneficial way to keep your company relevant and seen as a thought leader. To make the most out of the press you generate, you need to make sure the people you are trying to reach are spending their time with the outlets you are placed in. A buyer persona that outlines what resources they trust will help you hone in on your PR strategy.

4. Determine Where You Should Advertise

A digital advertising strategy, across platforms like Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook, is a foundational component of a marketing plan for companies that need to generate leads. Understanding where your prospects spend their time online and how they search for eLearning solutions will help you focus on where you spend your money and resources.

5. Choose Content Marketing Topics

Content marketing is another effective strategy for connecting with consumers by sharing your expertise and providing value. Content marketing can include any number of formats including blog posts, white papers, eBooks, infographics, or podcasts. Referencing back to the buyer persona will provide inspiration on topics to highlight in your content marketing. How does your company meet a need of the persona? Address that in your content marketing in order to appeal to your audience.

6. Decide On Conferences To Sponsor

Conferences, whether they are in-person or virtual, provide opportunities for your company to be recognized as a thought leader and to develop relationships with potential buyers. When you have details about who your customer is and what conferences they attend, you can focus your sponsorship dollars on conferences where you will meet people who will benefit from your company.

7. Develop Targeted Sales Campaigns

When you have a clear job title, company type, and industry outlined in your persona, you can work with the sales team in creating targeted account-based marketing campaigns that will reach a focused group of prospects. Leverage content topics and advertising channels specific to your key accounts using the information outlined in the buyer persona in your campaign.

8. Identify A Qualified Lead

It is not enough to pass leads over to sales solely because they engaged in a marketing campaign. You need to be bringing in marketing qualified leads who meet the criteria of a potential buyer so that leads are successfully followed-up with by your sales team. The development of a buyer persona provides a good opportunity to work with the sales team in defining the target audience in a way that can be tracked through marketing lead generation technologies, like progressive profiling forms and lead scoring so that you are passing along qualified leads to the sales team.

9. Measure Success

Once you have a marketing plan and agreement on what makes a marketing qualified lead, you will have the inputs you need to measure the success of your efforts. Evaluate your marketing performance regularly and assess how tactics are working or not working in targeting each of your personas.

10. Stay Connected To Customers

Buyer personas are usually developed with a goal for gaining new customers, but existing customers are also a productive avenue for generating more business. Leverage the buyer persona to build marketing programs that help keep you top of mind to existing customers so you can expand business with them and encourage them to bring in referrals.

Next time you develop a marketing plan, challenge yourself and your colleagues to provide more than a one-sentence answer for who you are selling to. Work collaboratively with the sales team and develop buyer personas that provide detailed profiles of who you are targeting. Getting to know what your customers need, what motivates them, and where you can reach them, will benefit your whole organization by ensuring marketing is bringing in loyal customers.

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