For any B2B marketing to be effective you must know who you’re talking to and what their needs are. If you don’t have that information, you risk wasting your marketing budget on the wrong messaging aimed at the wrong audience.
For example, research has shown that 48% of buyers felt that the sales messages they receive aren’t relevant to their roles.
This article looks at how to identify your key customers, so you truly understand their requirements and can connect with them with specific and strategic messaging.
The B2B difference
Identifying your audience is slightly more challenging with B2B marketing because you’re not necessarily targeting just one person. It’s not unusual for there to be multiple people along the purchase decision line. In fact, there’s an estimated 6.8 decision-makers involved in every decision.
Unlike with B2C, the needs and pain points of the people you’re targeting aren’t specifically theirs, but their company’s. Plus, with multiple stakeholders involved, it could be that you have to consider the needs of a team, rather than an individual.
So, it’s not as simple as targeting a particular demographic but drilling down deeper and thinking bigger. Let’s take a look how.
Study the data
If your business is already up and running, the good news is that your target audience is right in front of you. You just have to mine the data to reveal the answers and get a clearer picture of who they are and what they need.
Take the time to review your Google analytics, and insights and data from your social pages to uncover the people and businesses that are following you and what their interests are.
Speak to customers
Who better to help you understand your target audience than your existing audience? Use customer questionnaires or one-to-one interviews to collect information on what attracted them to your business, their motivations and behaviours, business needs, and what more you could do to retain them as customers.
Look at the competition
Studying the competition can also help to identify your target audience. This is particularly useful if you’re a fledgling business as it lets you identify market trends as you can observe the type of content that people are engaging with.
It also allows you to recognise overlooked audiences. Your business could then enter the market with strong messaging that addresses their needs, which will help your business stand out.
Create a user persona
Everything described above is step 1 of identifying your target audience. Step 2 involves taking all that data and shaping it into a user persona.
This is effectively a fictional description of your average customer that embodies a group of customers. It includes a persona name, their demographics, a description, goals, characteristics, behaviours, and problems.
It provides a blueprint on which to build business decisions as you can see if your strategy aligns with your target audience.
There are many benefits of defining a user persona:
- It gives everyone in your business a shared understanding of who you are targeting
- It helps you empathise with your target audience’s needs
- It helps to ensure that every business decision is filtered through the customer experience
With 80% of customers saying that the experience a business provides is as important as its services or products, tailoring your marketing strategy towards your target audience could be the difference between winning or losing a sale.