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One of the most powerful tools for building and sustaining customer relationships is email marketing. It’s cheap, easy-to-use, and is able to reach large quantities of people in no time at all. The problem is you’re probably doing it wrong.
Do you get loads of clicks to your content, but fail to get anything from your call-to-action? The problem won’t be that your content is bad, it’s that you’re not resonating with the people who matter — your audience.
Before you can really start to build out your content and sales strategies, you’ll need to take a step back and define all of the potential people that will come through your online door. In the form of buyer personas, you can really get to know each customer that comes to you in more depth than you would simply looking at target demographics.
I’m starting to think of “perfect personas” that get written up in the industry press as “Stepford Personas.” If you remember, in The Stepford Wives, the heroine arrives with her family in the little town of Stepford, Connecticut. She quickly discovers that there is a sinister truth about the too perfect behavior of the other wives. What lies beneath all these all-too-perfect persona tales?
When it comes to developing your marketing and branding strategy, there is nothing quite so important as having a clear understanding of your target market. For example, you might know that you would like to sell your product or service to 25-40 year old women. However, trying to start a campaign or business based entirely on demographic information isn’t always enough.
When we speak of buyer personas as humanistic understanding, we speak to understanding who buyers are, what goals motivate their actions, how they behave, how they think, why they make the choices they do, what influences them, and what emotional behaviors impact their decisions. We want to understand the human experience contextually, the scenarios where they unfold, and the mental models buyers use.
New European Union legislation on “the right to be forgotten” allows people to remove themselves from search results. Why hasn’t this been an issue in the U.S.? And what happens when you have the ability to remove yourself from history? There are also some profound implications for marketers and content creators.
Buyer personas are tools that help bridge the gap between customer experiences and expectations and the assumptions that brands make about their target audiences. Based on real data, they include educated guesses about personal histories, motivations, concerns, and pain points.
Companies today must check against their current status quo thinking about buyers. Being careful to not influence with self-referential code and projecting one’s own beliefs on customer views. What matters most is to understand what buyers think, the context in which they think, and why they think as they do.
It is downright scary. Pressure is building to come out of the recession and light a fire under growth. Marketers and sellers are responding impulsively. How? Slipping back into a time warp of the ‘80’s. But sliding backwards is not the direction B2B organizations need to be heading right now.