by Deb Harrsch
Last month, we looked at how to refresh (or create) your post-COVID-19 buyer personas. This month, we’ll look at how to use them to create marketing campaigns that make sense in our new sales environment.
Mapping the Customer Journey
The whole point of a buyer persona is to create targeted social media and marketing campaigns with the content your prospects want. Having built your customer personas based on actual conversations your sales team has held with buyers, you can confidently drive your prospective customer through the customer journey.
Keeping it simple, there are three objectives in the buyer’s journey: awareness, convert, and close. There are a lot of other steps in there, but these are the main stops on the journey.
- First, you want to attract prospects and create awareness.
- Next, you want to convert them, to make them consider your product or service.
- The final goal is to close the sale.
But, the question is, how do you get them to go from awareness to consideration to purchase?
It’s a really important journey. And you don’t want to lose them along the way.
The personas you build dictate everything. They dictate how your website functions and navigates. They dictate the kind of collateral you need and how you’re going to take a buyer from awareness to purchase. How you get them from point A to point B to point C is what persona marketing is all about.
Sales teams understand the journey. This is one reason why marketing needs to work closely with sales. A brochure is not a journey. That’s a factoid. There’s nothing of value in that brochure that’s going to get somebody from awareness to consideration to a purchase. You need more support than that.
The journey needs to make prospective buyers think: “This the best service or product for me.” Your job is to build content and collateral around that journey.
Different Buying Needs
In each company there can be multiple buyers, right? So when you’re looking at your marketing material you have to look at it from each of those personas, because their buying needs and decision-making processes are different.
Our clients typically have several levels of buying personas. For instance, a software client has personas for:
- The user – the person that will use the software in the lab.
- Their boss – who will make the buying decision.
- The IT person who must implement it.
When we’re creating content, whether it’s for the website or marketing collateral, we have to consider those individual personas. Other life science clients can have four or more buyer personas for products or services. In every situation, we need to build content that addresses their individual needs because each of them will be very different.
Think about it – maybe the conversation starts with an influencer, then it moves to the gatekeeper, and then it goes to a decision-maker. In the above case of software, the IT guy may say, “We only want SaaS, we don’t want anything on a server.” The buying person may ask, “How am I spending this money and is it going to deliver ROI for me?” Both of those people are going to need content and value propositions that address their specific needs.
Designing Persona-Based Marketing Campaigns
Using customer personas not only allows you to choose and create material that addresses the pain points and values that your buyers need, it also identifies the marketing tools you’ll use to reach each of those personas. These personas will drive whether you use social media, case studies, email marketing, website FAQs, webinars, or print collateral.
When we build marketing campaigns, we start by creating a working spreadsheet based on our campaign goal and the selected target personas. The spreadsheet clearly states the name of the campaign and what personas we’re going to use in that campaign. We lay out our strategy and we list our goals.
We survey the marketing assets and content we already have available to ascertain whether it fills a need in the customer journey towards our goal. Because what we use for one persona will be different than what we use for another persona, we assign available content to the appropriate personas and where it fits in the lead nurturing campaign.
We then assess what materials we still need to influence the personas’ movement through the stages of the journey. We ask, “What are the materials that we need to build to get them through those three major stages?” And then we build them.
With this working spreadsheet, it’s easy to see what content matches which persona.
A campaign is not just an ad. It’s a combination of all of the collateral, the outbound and inbound marketing tactics, and all of the engagement.
The next step is to build your campaign week-by-week in your spreadsheet. I suggest taking it persona-by-persona and working through each one – assigning the journey stage, each activity and content type, and message to keep them engaged and coming back for more inspiration as they’re working through their buying decision.
Success and Scorecards
No marketing should ever take place unless you’re measuring your results. Guess what? You’re going to give your campaign a score. Look back at and review your goals. Ask what was our goal for lead generation? What were our actual lead generation results? What percentage did we close?
After the Close
And don’t forget after you’ve got them to buy, you need to keep them engaged. Why?
First, your engaged, vocal, and loyal customers are one of the best sales assets you have. Second, you want to keep them engaged because you may have new products or services and new updates for the products they’ve already purchased. You need to retain your customer and keep them viewing you as their problem-solver.
Have questions on how to develop a persona-based marketing campaign? Reach out and let’s talk.
Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, energy, and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.Read More