Five Tips to Get Started with Persona Marketing

Marketing

Making a shift to persona-based marketing is a major undertaking: You’re transforming the way you approach your prospects! Although it will take a while to get accustomed to the new mind-set, the process doesn’t have to be mind-boggling. Follow these five tips to ensure the persona marketing method won’t drive you to madness.

Put your data to work.

Before you start brainstorming with your team, take a look at your data: Who are the main contacts linked to closed sales opportunities? Which are tied to opportunities that didn’t quite make it?

Note the job titles, seniority levels, and departments for these contacts – they’re in positions to make or break future sales. If your offerings (or your prospects’ needs) vary by region, include location as a possible differentiator. These attributes will set the foundation for your personas.

Keep it simple.

It’s tempting to go crazy on customization, but the law of diminishing returns definitely applies to persona marketing. Don’t exhaust yourself with a dozen targets – focus your efforts on four or five persona types to get the ball rolling. Refer to your opportunity notes to determine who makes the decisions, and who drives those decisions.

For example, your personas may break down into five categories below, each of them with a different reason for using your solution.

– Executive/C-Lev
– Influencer
– Solution Implementer
– Procurement
– Daily user

Use your reps as resources.

Ultimately, your goal is to get great leads to the sales team, so it only makes sense to get their input on your new effort. Find out what challenges come up when reps talk to prospects, and identify how you can remove those barriers before the marketing-to-sales handoff.

Potential questions to ask your reps:

– What are the most common questions you get from prospects?
– Is there something you wish your prospects knew earlier in the buying process?
– Are there specific features of your offering that raise concerns for prospects?
– Are there features that are a strong selling point for a particular type of prospect?

Focus on solutions.

Although your segmentation looks at demographics, persona marketing messages are less about who they areand more about what they need. What problems are your personas trying to solve?

Map out the questions each persona will ask as they consider your offering. For example:

  • Solution Implementer – How does the solution fit into my existing framework?
  • Procurement – What makes this solution a good value?
  • Daily User – Does this solution make my tasks easier or more efficient?

Leverage existing content.

When you begin to think about persona-based marketing, don’t assume you need a whole new set of assets. Evaluate the content you’ve used in product-based campaigns. It’s likely those messages have already answered your personas’ questions! So, figure out how to repackage and use your existing content to highlight the messaging that appeals to each of your personas.

Persona-based marketing is key to speaking to your prospects where they are – answering their questions before they even have to ask. It shows you know your audience and are not just sending out the message that you think everyone needs to hear. As we all know, it’s all about trust. You’re proving that your prospects can trust you immediately because you’re focused in on their needs and how your solution meets that need.  Using these five tips will have a transformational effect on your marketing efforts and will help you better align with sales to close deals faster. Sounds like a win-win to me!

Also read: Five Keys to Managing Chnage

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