The Value of Revisiting Buyer Personas
As the year draws to a close, our clients often find themselves reflecting on their achievements and planning for the future. It’s a time for setting new goals, evaluating past brand strategies, and ensuring that everything is in place for a successful start to the upcoming year.
One crucial aspect of this process that should not be overlooked is revisiting your B2B customer personas.
All customer personas—B2B or consumer—are built with assumptions. No amount of research or marketing insight will deliver 100% correct customer personas that never need updating. As such, our clients revisit their personas at least once per year, and most use Q4 or Q1 to do it.
In this blog, we’ll explore the value of revisiting your buyer personas, when and how to do it, and the role it plays in your overall marketing strategy.
The Importance of B2B Customer Personas in Marketing Strategy
Before we delve into the “why” of revisiting your B2B customer personas, let’s discuss what they are and why they matter. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on research and data about your existing clients. These B2B personas provide a deep understanding of your target audience, their pain points, needs, and motivations.
In B2B marketing, where the audience is often a complex mix of decision-makers, gatekeepers, influencers, and end-users, having well-defined personas is essential. They guide your marketing efforts, helping you tailor your messaging, content, and strategies to resonate with your audience.
Revisiting your buyer personas doesn’t just benefit your marketing department. It has a ripple effect throughout your organization:
- Sales: Sales teams can better understand customer pain points and motivations, enabling them to tailor their pitches and close deals more effectively.
- Product Development: Insights gained from updated personas can inform product improvements and innovations that directly address customer needs.
- Customer Support: Customer support teams can provide more personalized assistance by understanding the unique challenges faced by different buyer personas.
- Content Creation: Content teams can create more relevant and engaging content when armed with a deep understanding of who they’re addressing.
When Should You Revisit Your Buyer Personas?
Revisiting your buyer personas shouldn’t be a one-off event; it should be a recurring practice. But when is the right time to do it? Here are some key indicators:
Market trends can change rapidly, and your personas should reflect these shifts. If you notice significant changes in your industry or market, it’s time to revisit your personas to ensure your strategies remain relevant.
If your business has undergone significant changes in its offerings or business model, your personas may need adjustment. New products or services may cater to different customer segments, requiring you to refine your personas accordingly.
Keep an eye out for signs such as declining conversion rates, increased customer churn, or a lack of engagement with your marketing efforts. These may indicate that your personas no longer accurately represent your audience.
In rapidly evolving industries or markets, an annual persona refresh is likely necessary.
Creating Effective B2B Customer Personas
Effective personas are created by gathering data on your existing customers. Conduct interviews, surveys, and analyze your CRM data to identify common traits and pain points. Patterns will begin to emerge, and then group similar customers together based on shared characteristics and behaviors. These will become the foundation for your personas. (This process will take time, so don’t rush it.)
From there, you can begin to flesh out these outlines. Develop detailed profiles for each persona, including their name, job title, goals, challenges, and preferred communication channels. Validate your personas with feedback from various departments within your organization to ensure accuracy.
As mentioned, these should never simply live in a desk drawer or buried on your server. These should be very front of mind during all your marketing efforts. A study by the Aberdeen Group found that companies using buyer personas experienced a 111% higher conversion rate compared to those who didn’t. Moreover, HubSpot’s research revealed that companies that exceed their revenue goals are 2.4 times more likely to have a documented persona strategy.
Adapting to Market Changes
As market trends and business landscapes evolve, it’s essential to adjust your B2B customer personas accordingly. Keep a pulse on your industry, gather feedback from customers, and be agile in making persona updates when needed.
At COHN, we understand the critical role that buyer personas play in shaping effective B2B marketing strategies. Our team of experts has a proven track record of helping businesses like yours thrive in the ever-changing B2B landscape.
If you’re ready to take your B2B marketing campaign to the next level, consider partnering with COHN to make the most of your buyer personas and drive meaningful results.