buyer personas for b2b software marketing Photo by Daniel Watson

Buyer Personas for B2B Software Marketing

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Do you work in B2B marketing?

Even though you’re selling to other businesses, remember that all marketing is person-to-person. You ultimately have to persuade individual decision makers that your software is the right solution to their problems. Here’s how to develop buyer personas for B2B software marketing.

Anatomy of a Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a description of a type of person you want to sell your product to. You should develop multiple personas, based on the different types of buyers you intend to target. To do that, you want to examine your buyers’:

  • Job titles.
  • Biggest challenges.
  • Work roles and responsibilities.
  • Preferred methods of communication.
  • Level of knowledge about your software and competing products.
  • Reading habits about their industry, software and other business matters.

Talk to Sales

Chances are your salespeople already have a pretty good idea of who your core buyer is. Look at your best clients and what their top priorities were when they purchased your software. Consider the clients you like to work with, and why you work so well together. Think about your potential buyers -- those you’d like to reach but maybe haven’t yet.

When marketing and sales work together, you get the clearest picture of your buyers. “Developing personas together provides the greatest insight on customers, a unified buy-in from both departments and enthusiasm around the strategy,” says Erin Wasson, vice president of marketing at web-based relocation management software company UrbanBound. Ensuring marketing and sales are on the same page can help make your content more effective.

Add the Details

Now it’s time to flesh out the hypothetical “perfect customers” you’re trying to reach. Using the information you’ve gathered in the first step, brainstorm about who these ideal buyers are:

  • How old are they?
  • How do they want to impress their managers?
  • What do they do and read during the day?
  • What problems would they like to disappear?
  • What do they dislike about the solutions they currently have?

As you go through these questions, you’ll probably come up with three or four buyer personas. Give them names, ages, titles and problems they have to solve. This knowledge will help you produce content to give them deeper insights into their work, answer their questions and provide the solutions they need.

Stay Nimble

You know the B2B software industry is moving quickly. Watching your website analytics and paying attention to conversations your customers are having on social media can point you in the direction your content needs to go. As technology, solutions and your own organization change, you’ll need to adjust your buyer personas, as well.

Keep an eye on your competitors, too:

  • Who are they targeting?
  • What questions or challenges does their content address?
  • Are they producing content that you’d like to emulate, or are there ways you can stand out by doing something different?

You can use this information to refine your buyer personas and ensure you’re providing them with the information they want -- including unique content they can’t find anywhere else.

Lee Price is co-founder of Managing Editor. After 7 years as a content marketing consultant at Rep Cap, she started a thought leadership consultancy to help visionary leaders dig up and develop their big ideas. She's a proud University of Virginia fan, Twizzler enthusiast and feminist. She lives in Georgia with her husband and two young daughters. When she's not reading or writing, you can find her on Twitter @leevprice.

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