6 Steps to Developing Effective B2B Personas

Segmentation is vital in marketing. By grouping together people or companies with similar characteristics, their needs can be met much more efficiently. It’s important to bear in mind, however, that segments are essentially bodies of people and it is individuals rather than bodies than actually buy products.

To combat this, marketers have to develop personas that represent these customer segments. Targeting a specific persona is much easier than targeting a body of people. By turning segments into real people marketers can build a picture of their age, gender, behaviours and attitudes as well as their goals, challenges and fears. Marketing messages can then be aimed at just one person, rather than everyone.

Developing personas in business segments is not as simple as in consumer segments. Decision making units are typically made up of different groups of people from different disciplines, and these can vary between businesses. So, a particular b2b segment could be made up of numerous personas. A “value seekers” segment, for example, could include a buyer, production manager, technician and a chief financial officer. Each of these different roles will be seeking value when choosing a supplier but will have their own unique requirements.

To help you in building personas for your own segments, we have put together a 6-step guide to developing effective personas in b2b segments.

  1. What is the title of the persona?

    What do they do? Are they a manager? What are their responsibilities? What type and size of company do they work for?

  2. What are the demographics of the persona?

    What is their gender? How old are they? How long have they worked at the company? What is their education level? What is their marital status and family unit?

  3. What are their hobbies, interests and values?

    What are their passions in their personal life? What are their passions in their business life? How ambitious are they? Are they a team player?

  4. What are the rational factors that drive their choice?

    How do they trade off price, quality, technical service, speedy delivery, supplier reputation etc? What weight of importance do they put on each of these attributes?

  5. What are the emotional factors that drive their choice?

    How important is supplier reputation, relationships with the supplier, trust etc? How important are these emotional factors in influencing the choice of supplier?

  6. What is the name of the persona and what do they look like?

    Make the target real and pin them to the wall.

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