I’m excited to speak this week at the FWD:B2B Conference in Phoenixville, PA, hosted by Godfrey and the Philadelphia Business Marketing Association Chapter (BMA Philly).

My session is about the importance of understanding your buyers’ issues, problems and world view. When marketers fail to get this right, the effect can manifest itself in harmful ways. Ahead of the conference, I’ve identified three warning signs to look for where the underlying cause may just be a lack of solid customer intelligence. Read the original post.

persona

1. Your stories begin – and end – with your product

Grab the nearest piece of early-stage marketing content – go ahead, I’ll wait. Count how many times you see the words “we” or “our.” Now count how many instances where the word “you” appears. In examples of customer-centric marketing, copy is skewed toward the latter, focusing on the intended reader and echoing both their problems and their vocabulary.
But take a closer look. Is the story being told focused on your solution, its benefits, and its features? Who is the real hero in your content? If it’s your product, here’s a reality check: your buyers don’t care. They care about themselves, their issues, their problems, and their world. Customer-centric marketers translate the benefits of their solutions into the world view of their buyers.

2. Your buyer personas haven’t been updated recently (or ever!)

Let’s get honest for a minute. When was the last time you updated your buyer personas? Is your team relying on information about customers that was created years ago? If so, it’s time to revisit what’s happening in the environment of your buyers. Business pressures evolve at the speed of life, which moves incredibly fast for many industry segments, especially technology. There are new influencers, new priorities, new legislations, and new economic events that can quickly make your messaging irrelevant.

Understanding your buyers should never be considered a one-and-done project; even if you think you know, there’s likely room for updates. Schedule a quantitative survey once a quarter. Seek ongoing customer interviews. Tap into your sales and customer support teams for insights on an ongoing basis. Review what themes are working across your marketing campaigns related to various personas. Leverage external research in the industries of your buyers. You may be surprised what’s changed – or what you didn’t know you didn’t know! In the age of the empowered buyer, the company who understands their buyers best, wins.

Discover warning sign number three at the original post on the Godfrey blog, and if you’re in the Philadelphia area, join us on Thursday, November 5th for the excellent FWD:B2B event.