Identifying buyer personas are an important part of developing your marketing strategy. How you go about creating your buyer personas is a critical part of the process. As an article on Content Marketing Institute points out, don’t think that you can put together a comprehensive profile of your buyer personas haphazardly. This is work that requires research, not a subjective summary by your marketing specialists.
What kinds of research should you do to shape your buyer personas? The article by CMI says that there are three different types of research that best inform the creation of buyer personas:
- Sales team research
- Customer interviews
- Big Data
Each component plays an important role in informing your concepts about what your buyers look like, and each one balances the potential weaknesses of the others. For instance, your sales team’s impressions of buyers may be impacted by what they want to hear customers saying, but you’ll know to question it if the same themes aren’t appearing in your other types of research.
Research is costly, but there are ways to streamline your buyer persona strategy by tapping into the cost efficiency of telemarketing. When it comes to interviewing customers, telemarketing helps you not only gather information, but also build relationships with your customers and answer any concerns.
Take a look at each area of research for defining buyer personas and the unique role they play in your process:
Sales team research: Involving your sales team not only informs your approach for a more accurate buyer persona, but your sales team is guaranteed better, higher-quality leads that result from the process. They can tell you what they are seeing in their sales meetings and what a buyer looks like in real life. It’s important to involve your sales team so that they are telling the same story in a sales call that you do in your content.
Be sure to talk with sales reps individually, so that they don’t simply feed off the impressions of your more extroverted or assertive sales reps. Ask them questions that help you create your buyer personas:
- What position does your buyer typically hold?
- What are the problems your buyers encounter?
- What are their goals or objectives?
- What are their reservations or obstacles?
Buyer interviews: This is where you want to utilize telemarketing, particularly if you are hoping to reach out to dozens or hundreds of buyers. In a B2B model, you may struggle to get full, hour-long meetings with current buyers, but you should be able to secure thirty minutes to ask a few questions.
This is a great opportunity to not only gather information for your marketing research, but to also send a clear message to your clients. You’re listening, and you care about what they have to say about your company. These conversations build loyalty in both directions and help you to build qualified leads.
It’s a good idea to include a high percentage of buyers that are relatively recent conversions, because they’ll have a clear memory of what made them sign on to do business with you. There are some key questions you should include as you interview your current buyers:
- What do you do in your daily job?
- What was the problem or challenge that caused you to need a solution through this company?
- What was the outcome you were looking for?
- What were the obstacles to achieving that outcome?
- Where did you find the most useful information?
- What was the turning point that made your decision?
- Who are the decision makers in your company?
Big Data: While many marketers make the mistake of only accessing online data and analytics for buyer persona creation, it’s an important part of identifying the traits and behaviors of your buyers. For B2B marketing, LinkedIn has a wealth of information for drawing conclusions about buyers. You can see job information and interests but also see which articles received their time and attention and what times of day your target audience hangs out on social media.
Here are a few of the areas you’ll want to explore to gather data on your buyer personas:
- Twitter hastags and influencers
- Job listings for your buyer personas—what responsibilities are listed?
- Webinars, industry content and thought-leader blogs
You can use analytics to do research on the keywords that your buyer personas search and what types of phrases are likely to lead to click-throughs.
It’s also a good idea to take a look at what your competitors are doing online, and use that data to inform your buyer personas.
What keywords are they including on their content?
What are the conversations that are taking place on their social media posts?
How are readers engaging with their blogs?
Big Data is another area where telemarketing can play a significant role in helping you develop your buyer personas. Augment the information you gather on sites like LinkedIn and your analytics to help you get a clearer picture of your persona.
Incorporating telemarketing into this phase of your research has an added benefit: it begins to develop a relationship between your company and a potential buyer. You’ll gather information about the challenges and interests of your target audience, but you can also identify some leads that need immediate attention from your sales team. Even if a contact is nowhere near making a decision, you’ve still established your company as one that listens to buyers and is concerned with their opinions and preferences. This generates real-time leads and will add well qualified leads to your sales funnel.
If you’d like to learn more about how telemarketing helps you develop your buyer personas, talk with Blue Valley Telemarketing. Not only can we help you gather data to create buyer personas, but we also work with you to create a comprehensive marketing plan that delivers measurable growth.
You have the choice of many effective marketing tools, but which are the best for your industry, and your company? Blue Valley Telemarketing helps you sift through the noise to develop a strategy that works for you.