The Road to Highly Effective B2B Storytelling: Buyer Personas
This is the first article in our three-part series on B2B Storytelling. Stay tuned for part two coming soon.
The Current State of B2B Storytelling
Highly-personalized and data-driven storytelling is the only combination that can capture B2B prospects’ attention. Marketers and sales professionals tend to forget that, more often than not, their target audiences are professionals in the same field as them, or with past experience in it. In the same way that you cannot be fooled by lazy outreach, generic ads, and vague wording, your audience has likely developed a very keen sense for marketing bullsh*t.
This means we are only left with one option. That is to offer our B2B (prospective) customers the truly tailored experience they deserve. We can do this by using the right mix of tools to properly cater to their individualized needs. Easier said than done, we know, but not impossible. Read this article and you may discover a thing or two as you go through our list of expert tips.
To add an exciting touch, we will use a fictional brand, Fictitious Creative.
Creating Buyer Personas
Fictitious Creative is a 17-person digital marketing agency spread across the EU and US. Your first step in creating a compelling story that will resonate with them is to hone in on their main bidirectional business relationships that define their buying and selling decisions:
- Fictitious Creative have customers who wish to purchase their expert digital marketing services.
- Fictitious Creative are customers of businesses that sell the digital marketing tools they use to provide their services.
Now that you’ve defined the primary business relationships for Fictitious Creative, you can get more specific with the persona type relevant to you and define accurate buyer personas. In this case, you may wish to promote a digital creative operations software to them. To do so, you must dig deeper into the second type of business relationship for this brand. If you want to be successful, you need to address the part of the equation that connects your business to theirs – that of digital marketing services.
Fictitious Creative need state-of-the-art digital marketing tools to:
- Plan for and keep track of the digital creative projects of their customers.
- Provide quick, easy, and collaborative feedback on creative assets.
- Create and replicate creative assets and their variations at scale.
- Store all client creative assets in one secure but easily accessible platform.
- Manage access to, track sharing of, and define expiration date for creative assets.
- Generate reports and analytics on the above, plus team availability.
Conduct Research on Your Buyer Personas
Conduct thorough research on Fictitious Creative across various social media platforms and their own website, you can determine the agency’s location, contact details, buying motivations and concerns, and part of their clientele. Then, upon further investigating the agency’s personnel on platforms like LinkedIn, you gain a general feel for their age range, gender distribution, hobbies, education, job title, income range, and languages spoken.
Next, make use of every tool in the toolbox at your disposal – look into Fictitious Creative’s competitors to identify common threads and fill in the blanks. Use survey findings and customer feedback to give a better shape to your buyer persona. Finally, add the finishes touches to your buyer personas by contacting your Customer Experience/Customer Success team to help you identify major pain points and screen your findings for validity.
Only Identify Useful Details About Your Buyer Personas
As the saying goes, ‘if you can track it, you can map it.’ Alright, maybe it’s not that old, and maybe it’s not an adage either. You get the gist of it – the list of details about your buyer personas that you can access online is practically endless. Remember: just because you know something about your buyer personas, it doesn’t mean that it’s always useful.
Combine Your Findings to Finalize Buyer Personas
Having gathered a wealth of information about Fictitious Creative, consolidate and finalize your buyer personas. Combine demographic details, buying motivations, concerns, and pain points to create comprehensive profiles. Perhaps a mid-level executive is keen on creative technologies, while a C-level executive prioritizes business impact and ROI.
Translate Buyer Personas into Business Needs, Goals, and Decisions
With your finalized buyer personas in hand, it’s essential to translate these insights into tangible business needs, goals, and decisions. Visualize the challenges Fictitious Creative may face in their digital marketing projects, outline the goals the agency aspires to achieve, and pinpoint the decisions they need to make in adopting new tools.
Create Narratives Aligned with Your Buyer Personas
The crux of effective B2B storytelling lies in crafting narratives that deeply resonate with your buyer personas. Tailor your stories to address the unique challenges, goals, and motivations and position your product or service as the ideal solution.
For Fictitious Creative, emphasize how your digital creative software addresses their specific needs, illustrating scenarios where your tools facilitate collaborative feedback and streamline project planning. By weaving narratives aligned with your buyer personas, you capture attention and establish meaningful connections.
Now that we’ve explored the ideal, let’s address the practical challenges many marketers face:
Navigating Real-world Constraints: Practical Strategies for Limited Resources
The path to highly effective B2B storytelling is demanding, and we understand not every marketer has abundant resources. Let’s explore practical strategies to tailor your storytelling within real-world constraints:
1. Prioritize Your Efforts
Identify key accounts or prospects that hold significant potential. Focus your personalized storytelling efforts on these high-priority targets, ensuring maximum impact with limited resources.
2. Utilize Automation Wisely
Leverage marketing automation tools to streamline repetitive tasks, such as social media monitoring or basic data collection. This allows your team to allocate time more efficiently.
3. Lean on Existing Data
If you lack the bandwidth for extensive research, make the most of existing customer data. Analyze past interactions, purchase history, and feedback to shape your narratives effectively.
4. Crowdsourced Insights
Engage your customer-facing teams, like sales and customer support, to gather valuable insights. Their frontline experiences can contribute immensely to understanding buyer personas without extensive research.
5. Collaborate Across Teams
Break down silos within your organization. Collaborate with sales, customer success, and product teams to share valuable insights and collectively build a more comprehensive understanding of your target audience.
6. Leverage Cost-effective Tools
Explore budget-friendly tools that can assist in data gathering, analytics, and social listening. While they may not provide all-encompassing insights, they can still offer valuable information without breaking the bank.
7. Iterate and Optimize
Start small, learn from initial efforts, and iterate. Continuous optimization is key to refining your storytelling strategy. As resources become available, you can expand and enhance your approach.
In the dynamic landscape of B2B marketing, we recognize the challenges you face. By strategically navigating limited resources, you can still implement effective storytelling tailored to your audience. It’s not about doing everything; it’s about doing what you can with precision and impact.
How to Build a Buyer Persona
We at Lytho help you streamline your entire workflow and harmonize all brand collateral under a single, uniform platform. Feel free to reach out to us by scheduling a demo and learning how our creative solutions can boost the effectiveness of your creative projects. We look forward to speaking with you!