At its core, effective marketing is about understanding how people think and what motivates them to make purchasing decisions. “Audience personas” are valuable tools for businesses and marketing professionals to understand their potential customers better. By carefully researching and building audience personas, marketers gain insight into their audience’s perspective, helping to understand their needs, tune in to their fears and vulnerabilities, and help you critically analyze your marketing strategy from your customer’s point of view.
Although personas have been standard practice in B2C marketing for decades, the B2B sector has been slower to adopt persona-based marketing strategies. Nonetheless, using personas to better understand and target your audience has been shown to have significant benefits for B2B business’s bottom line. Read on to learn more about the case for B2B businesses to create and use audience personas in their marketing efforts.
Audience Personas Boost Marketing Performance
The most apparent benefits of audience personas can be seen in an organization’s marketing efforts. Tailoring your tactics and messaging to a well-defined customer type increases the likelihood of appealing to them, thereby increasing their likelihood to convert into paying customers.
Marketing Sherpa case studies found B2B businesses that utilize audience personas can increase:
- Website traffic by 210%
- Organic search traffic by 55%
- Website-generated leads by 97%
- Website-generated sales by 124%
- Online marketing-focused efforts by 73%
It’s worth noting that these drastic improvements were likely the result of a business developing multiple audience personas (and creating marketing content catered to each one). Audience personas shouldn’t narrow down or eliminate potential customers; instead, companies and marketing professionals should aim to break their audiences down into groups with common traits, then create marketing materials designed to meet the group’s unique needs.
Audience Personas Boost Sales & Revenue
The best marketing professionals understand that any marketing activity needs to be tied into a business’s broader objectives. In most organizations, increasing leads, sales, and revenue is a high priority; when considering abstract and time-consuming activities like creating personas, it’s important to be able to show a direct link between what you’re doing and how it’ll impact results.
- 93% of companies who segment their customer database by persona report exceeding lead and revenue goals.
- 24% of companies report increased leads after targeting personas.
- 56% of companies report higher quality leads while using personas.
- 36% of companies achieve shorter sales cycles with personas.
- Targeting cold leads with persona-based content can be up to 58% more effective than targeting warm leads with generic content.
The numbers don’t lie. Developing personas (and developing marketing content catered to them) positively impacts most organizations’ conversion rates, sales, and overall revenue. By creating and updating personas over time to reflect your customer base, organizations can better understand what their audience needs to convert, and make the most of every conversion opportunity.
Gaining a Competitive Advantage
Finally, in highly competitive B2B industries, utilizing audience personas can give you a noticeable advantage over your competition.
In 2017, BPI noted that just 44% of B2B businesses use personas. While this percentage has likely gone up over the last four years, it’s still reasonable to assume that a large portion of organizations (likely including some of your competitors) have yet to incorporate personas into their business strategy. By creating and maintaining audience personas, your business stands to gain a competitive advantage leading to more effective marketing, more sales, and increased revenue in both the short and long term.
As important as personas are, simply having them isn’t enough. Experienced marketing professionals know that personas are most valuable when used to guide your overall marketing strategy. In addition to thoroughly understanding your potential customers, organizations need to develop a system of assets, content, and marketing routines designed to generate traffic, engage audiences, increase sales and revenue, and foster business growth.
With over twenty years’ experience in digital marketing, Atrium Digital has helped businesses of all sizes and scopes achieve sustained digital marketing success. Our systems-based approach allows us to engineer systems, build platforms, and optimize routines to deliver consistent marketing results over time, allowing organizations to experience sustained growth through digital marketing.
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