Definitive Guide to B2B Buyer Personas

Summary

What is a buyer persona?

Key differences between target audience, Ideal Client Profile (ICP), and buyer persona

Target audience example for an online SEO solution: marketers in the US working in companies with less than 50 employees and an annual revenue of over $1 million.

An example of an ICP could be: 'European agencies with 200+ employees and an annual revenue of $200+ million' or 'e-commerce brands headquartered in the US and Canada that use Shopify or Magento'.

Elements of a buyer persona

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    Demographic information such as gender, age, family members, location, annual income, and education;

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    Professional information such as industry, job title, and company size;

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    Values and goals such as aspirations, beliefs, and personal/professional objectives;

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    Personal background including interests and hobbies—but only if these traits prove relevant to their decision making process;

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    Identifying information like social media use, the buyer’s role as a leader/influencer, and their communication preferences;

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    Any objections or barriers to purchase they might have, and their role in the buying decision process.

Types of buyer personas

Common misconceptions

How can buyer personas drive results for your business?

Here are some of the ways buyer personas drive marketing results:

1. Gain an in-depth understanding of your audience

The extensive research needed to define a buyer persona will earn you a vast amount of data on the specificities of your audience.

How to create a buyer persona:
a 4-step playbook

This section deals with the fundamentals of creating actionable, data-driven buyer personas, regardless of your organisation or industry, to guide your marketing efforts.

1. Research

It is essential to back strategies with data to ensure their efficiency. When creating buyer personas, there are two major sources from which to extract data:

Market research

To summarise:

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    Take note of relevant demographic and firmographic data

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    Observe your target's preferred channels

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    Investigate your audience's topics of interest and frequent pain points

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    Leverage tools such as social listening and surveys.

Data from existing clients

To summarise:

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    Promote conversations with existing clients

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    Study already owned data

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    Explore your audience's input on your product and marketing efforts

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    Examine usage patterns, preferred devices, platforms and channels

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    Age

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    Gender

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    Education

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    Income

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    Industry type

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    Company size

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    Location

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    Structure

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    Yearly revenue

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    Performance over time

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    Purchasing habits

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    Client loyalty

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    Product usage

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    Channel engagement

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    Interests

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    Personal beliefs

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    Values

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    Personality

Example of a buyer persona

Case

A freelance-based B2B translation company—LingCorp—in its early stages was looking to expand its client base. Current clients have been conquered via word of mouth: many ex-colleagues of the CEO, who often see themselves in need of quick translation services for short-form content and copy. As a result, LingCorp decided to build a buyer persona to guide its marketing efforts and better nurture its leads, who seemed to be getting stuck in the earlier stages of the sales funnel.

Research

Based on this research, the company designed the following buyer persona:

Buyer persona creation checklist

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    Establish a well-defined ICP to focus your research

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    Study previously collected data to identify any gaps to be filled by research efforts

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    Define your research tactics

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    Leverage loyal clients' feedback

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    Refine demographic, firmographic and psychographic data in search of common traits to base your segmentation on

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    Devise different personas for each segment with our buyer personas template below

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    Employ your buyer personas to inform marketing and sales initiatives

Key takeaways

Latest Insights

Webinar: Adapting Your Revenue Strategies to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Budgets of Your Defensive Buying Groups
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Webinar: Adapting Your Revenue Strategies to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Budgets of Your Defensive Buying Groups

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