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Persona profiling: looking beyond the B2B stereotypes

As the content marketing machine goes in search of ever more effective messaging, persona profiling is once again on the rise in B2B. People are cottoning on to the importance of tailoring content to what makes the individual tick.

One size fits all? Hopefully no more.

But hang on, is this really something new? You’re a hard-hitting marketer. You were tweaking audience-specific messaging when you were just a twinkle in your dad’s eye, right?

I mean, you know a piece of software means different things to different people. For procurement it’s total cost of ownership. IT Managers want it ‘as a service’. And end users just want something that doesn’t crash every five minutes. So you adapt your messaging, swap in a targeted call to action, and deliver a series of relevant comms. Easy win, right?

Well, no. There’s much more to effective persona profiling than these established B2B stereotypes.

Who does the individual trust and respect in the social space? What do they think about your product (and its competitors)? Where are they most receptive to your communications? And when are they most likely to care about what you have to say?

Answer these whos, whats, wheres and whens and you’ll see your messaging starts to resonate on a much deeper level. And the great news is you don’t need to embark on a journey to the ends of the earth to get your audience personas in shape. Phew.

The fact is we now have access to a mountain of online analytics and implicit data from which to form interesting, data-driven and demonstrable behaviour personas.

We know what kind of content decision makers and cheque signers like and how they want to receive it. We know what they’re saying about you on social media. We know what they’re looking for and where they’re looking for it.

Simple segmentation based on whether your audience buys stuff, tries stuff or manages stuff is a start. But it’s certainly not an end. If you want to properly connect with your audience, get to know them – properly.