You Built Personas, Now What?
Creating buyer personas is only half the battle. If your personas are wasting away at the bottom of a desk drawer, gathering dust up on the wall of your office, or sitting ignored on the company intranet, it’s time to reimagine their potential.
In a recent B2B marketing benchmark study we conducted, the majority of high-performing organizations used personas to guide messaging and tone of voice. Additionally, they leveraged them for sales training and demand generation to inform campaign decisions. Surprisingly, only 8.2% of those surveyed felt that at least 75% of their organization could confidently name their personas and key attributes.
Here are 29 fresh ideas for putting your personas to work.
For Demand Generation Marketers
1. Tag contacts to persona and segment your database to improve targeting and lead gen campaign results.
2. Leverage personas to understand the appropriate buying committee at target accounts for account based marketing.
3. Measure the performance of marketing campaigns by persona to understand what’s working for a given segment – and what needs to be adjusted.
4. Leverage insights to inform customer personas for specific post-sale activities designed to retain and upsell existing customers.
5. Create brand advocate personas to understand how to turn customers into evangelists.
6. Guide media buyers and demand generation teams towards only the most preferred channels for each audience segment.
7. Use personas to form qualifying criteria for your lead scoring model.
For Content Marketers
8. Use words and phrases from persona research to ensure your content marketing echoes the voice of your customer.
9. Audit and tag your marketing content by persona to understand where it fits into the buyers journey for your various segments.
10. Inspire blog authors to craft compelling content based on specific topics of content related to priorities as defined by the persona.
11. Use buying committee insights to craft your content so that it builds consensus among the group by speaking to distinct, various perspectives.
For Sales Enablement
12. Make personas available within relevant leads/contacts in your CRM to empower sales enablement and give your sales team critical buyer insights for more relevant conversations and cross/up-sell opportunities.
13. Help sales executives understand the various members of the buying committee, what they each distinctly care about and how to build consensus to close the deal.
14. Include personas in your sales training materials to equip the team with what they need from day one to have relevant, empathetic conversations.
For Marketing Leadership
15. Give personas to your entire marketing team to unify marketing efforts around one common understanding of your target audience.
16. Train new employees on persona segments just as much as you train them on your products and services.
17. Satisfy customer experience professionals’ desire for one cohesive story across the customer lifecycle by unifying various departments and functional areas of the business
18. Help external agencies understand your specific buying segments so they can contribute to this cohesive, unified strategy
19. Enable programmatic marketing by using persona insights to help determine the right content for the right channel at the right stage of the buying process.
20. Distribute persona insights across the whole organization to increase your visibility as the resident expert on the customer, and enable all functions to work with empathy for your target market
For Communications Professionals
21. Equip media relations teams with persona insights to help them understand which media outlets and targets are relied on by your key audiences
22. Arm social media managers with the relevant tone of voice, channels, and top-of-mind topics of interest for your given personas to satisfy their unique and distinct preferences
For Webmasters and Website Content Managers
23. Develop website workflows that are designed for a specific persona segment, complete with the right tone of voice, word choice, problem statements, and other related material.
24. Use behavioral tracking to better refine personas based on visitor behavior and activity
For Customer Service / Customer Experience Teams
25. Train client-facing teams in distinct personas to help them understand more about their day-to-day lives and distinct responsibilities. Empathy is perhaps never as important as in the support function.
26. Collect feedback from your customer service teams to refresh profiles, and keep them up-to-date.
For Product Marketing
27. Create and share personas with product marketing and product development to ensure the product lifecycle begins (and ends) with the customer in mind (and include their feedback!)
28. Unify your three related business functions (sales, marketing, and product) around one common view of buyers and users.
29. Ensure user personas align with product development and engineering to help them understand what’s needed to achieve greater usage and traction with your products (and to understand who they’re building for in the first place!)
Customer-centric marketing begins with a solid understanding of your target market, but customer-centric business relies on an organization’s ability to turn these insights into action across multiple functions.
Laura Ramos of Forrester says it best, “To win in the age of the customer, B2B marketers need to drive customer intelligence into all areas of the business.”