‘If you market towards everyone, you’ll reach no one.’
To avoid this marketing mistake, it’s important to dig deep into who your audience is, their likes and dislikes, what they do in their spare time, their pain points and even their personality traits. Researching this information is integral for targeting the right audience and successfully getting your brand out there.
That’s why it’s so important to create a strong buyer persona or customer avatar for your B2B business.
What is a Buyer Persona or Customer Avatar?
A buyer persona or customer avatar is the profile and characteristics of your business's ideal customer. Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C industry, creating a customer avatar is essential. It allows you to unlock your brand's potential by understanding your audience's wants and needs and how you can cater for them.
In this blog, we will give you a step by step guide on how you can build your very own customer avatar for your B2B business.
Step 1: Identify The Basic Customer Avatar Characteristics
To build the foundation of your customer avatar, you must first identify the basic characteristics of your buyer persona. You can do this by conducting research into the market and using data from Google Analytics to help you understand who your existing customers are and their current buying habits.
These four components will help you build your basic avatar:
With these acting as the foundation of your avatar, you can then identify your plan to approach them and cater your marketing towards them.
For example, if we want to create a customer avatar or buyer persona for a content design service, we can jot down the following.
- Name: Sarah Williams
- Age: 35
- Location: London, UK
- Occupation: Head of Marketing
With just this information alone, we can determine a lot. For instance, her age bracket depicts that she is within the realm of advancing technology. She knows the latest trends and has a lot of experience under her belt. The age range shows that she may not want to read something too intricate, but at the same time, she would avoid anything too casual.
As she lives in London, we can imagine her having a very fast-paced and hectic lifestyle. Therefore, we can infer that she doesn’t have time for ‘fluffy’ marketing campaigns or people wasting her time. She wants information that is reliable and straight to the point.
Her job role as Head of Marketing makes us assume that she carries a lot of responsibility and is constantly busy. With this title comes experience. She has worked her way to this position and has done everything in her power to go above and beyond. This means working late and scheduling work around her lifestyle instead of her life around work. For this reason, we know she will have several pain points and needs.
Step 2: Core Values and Beliefs
The next stage is to look into what your customer avatar or buyer persona truly believes in and their core values. If we go back to our example, we could say that Sarah’s core values and beliefs are as follows:
- She desires to make the world a better place, and she strives for positive change and disruption that provides genuine value to others.
- She is adaptable, resilient and open-minded.
- She’s too busy. She feels overwhelmed by her own expectations and how to meet them.
- She wants to be in control. It’s challenging for her to delegate responsibilities and allow others to take control. But at the same time, she is incredibly busy and needs a trusting and committed team.
- She struggles to plan for 5 or 10 years ahead because it makes her feel unsafe. The lack of control, uncertainty and fear of the unknown, keeps her awake at night.
- She wishes people working for her company understood the brand/product fully. She feels they are not there yet.
With this in mind, we can see that Sarah struggles with giving up control. Therefore, when marketing towards her, a good way to build trust is showing her that we are thought-leaders within the industry. To build this relationship, social selling is a must, and so is creating content such as blog articles, videos and podcasts.
Another way to build trust is through proven examples of our work. Here case studies would be a great way to show Sarah that we can provide her with an excellent service that she can trust.
Building this relationship may take time but will be worth it as Sarah needs to work with people she can count on and trust.
Step 3: Key Needs / Pain Points
The third step is identifying your ideal customers’ key needs. Here you must look at what keeps them up at night and their real pain points.
If we look at the example with Sarah, we can see that the following factors are her key needs and pain points.
- Sarah is looking for someone (specialist) to make his life easier and take some weight off her shoulders. She needs a good quality service that she can trust will do the right job, on time and on budget.
- To ease her mind, she would like to be consulted and reassured by the designers that they all have a unified vision. This helps her keep some form of control whilst delegating tasks.
- Although she is the Head of Marketing, we can also identify that she may not be the sole decision-maker. She may have to consult the CEO, Managing Director or board of advisors before making a large purchase - this is very common in the B2B industry. The other decision-makers must also be convinced that the service provided will benefit the business.
With this in mind, we now know the type of service we must advertise to Sarah. Again we must prove that we are reliable, our services are of high quality and we are the perfect addition to her marketing team. We must also make it simple for other decision-makers. Being a thought leader within the industry will help support that.
Step 4: Worst Nightmare
This step looks at your customer avatar's worst possible case scenario. If we look into Sarah, we can imagine her worst nightmares are as follows:
- Investing in a service that wastes her time and company finances.
- Investing in a company that pushes back her team’s marketing goals by not living up to the standards they have promised.
- Worrying that if she picks the wrong company to outsource to, it can tarnish her brand's reputation and credibility.
By discovering what your ideal customer avatar’s worst nightmares are, you’re able to reassure them long beforehand. The best thing to do in this scenario is show Sarah the capabilities of the content design service by sharing case studies or building up trust through social selling.
Step 5: Additional Information
Conducting this research can allow you to understand how to deliver content to your ideal customer.
Again if we look at Sarah, we can assume the following:
As Sarah always wants to know what's trending, her form of entertainment is listening to podcasts and watching the news. She also loves to read and spend time with her friends and family.
Her free time is spent binge-watching TV shows, hanging out with her loved ones and travelling or exploring the outdoors.
Binge-watching reality TV shows and documentaries.
As mentioned, this can determine the tone of voice you use and the type of content you send out. As we know, Sarah loves to know what the latest trends are. So, thought leadership articles can help educate her and keep her up-to-date. She may also listen to podcasts as she’s always on the go. Therefore, this can be incorporated into the business's marketing plan.
Step 6: Their Ideal End Goal or Scenario
If everything goes well, what would your customer avatar’s ideal end goal or scenario look like?
If we relate this to Sarah, we can imagine that her end goal would be to:
- Have a well-rounded and reliable team.
- Incorporate a service that shows visible results, e.g. more people are interacting with well-designed content and a user-friendly website.
- Being able to take a day off knowing nothing is going to fall apart and the team can continue to prosper.
As we know this is our ideal customer's vision, we must show them that we are willing to make it happen.