Build Personas, Know Your Customers

Buyer personas are like sketches of the customers to whom your company serves. When creating a persona, it’s best to focus on one customer segment per product/service at a time. Once you’ve selected a target audience, you want to identify the influencers and decision makers within those companies and then create your persona around them.

Five Steps to Build a Persona

Step 1: Define their current situation

  • What are their priorities and what are they doing to meet their goals today?
  • What alternatives could be in place or are they considering?
  • What problems are limiting their success?

Step 2: Define their demographics

  • Job title
  • Years in current position and place in career – whether they’re young and just starting out or have spent most of their career with the same company and can provide insight on risk tolerance, influence increasing change within the company, etc.
  • Company size and revenues
  • Industry

Step 3: Identify their attributes

  • Role – Their place in the company and who they answer to.
  • Responsibilities – What or who they manage and what outcomes they must achieve.
  • Threats – what could derail the deal?
  • Motivations – both professionally and based on company objectives – could also be what they want to avoid.
  • Influencers – who can aid in affirming the project or stall it from moving forward?

Step 4: Understand their preferences

  • Where do they spend time online? Offline?
  • How do they participate with social media? Do they?
  • What keywords, phrases and search terms resonate with them?

Step 5: Draft the buyer persona value statement

  • I need to solve [FILL IN BLANK], in order to achieve [FILL IN BLANK].

Speak to people and use third party data to help complete your personas. A few examples follow:

Use Business Intelligence Portals:

  • Search by industry, size, title.
  • Assess profiles, click through to review LinkedIn profiles.
  • Use at least ten profiles to identify common themes.
  • Access the industry information to gain insight to challenges and opportunities.
  • BI portals also offer in-depth research on specific industries, helping you to define priorities and challenges quickly.

Talk to Salespeople:

  • What areas of the business are they focused on?
  • Who are they speaking with?
  • How do prospects frame the problem?
  • Who else do they have to convince?

Talk to Customers:

  • What problem did we solve?
  • What else did that enable?
  • Why did they choose us?
  • What obstacles did they have to overcome to buy?

Knowing your audience and having a personalized business plan is a foolproof formula to create new business leads, and strengthen old ones.  If you know what companies need or want, and develop a marketing plan tailored for them, you will be more desirable to them than a marketing company that has not done their homework.

Infographic: Buyer Persona Process

Persona

Poll Update – Best Sales Scenes

The poll results so far for the best sales scene in movie history are a bit surprising…With almost 38% of the vote, The Wolf of Wall Street has a solid hold on first. Glengary Glen Ross is surprisingly tied for second place with Mad Men.

This poll will remain open through July 4, 2014. Cast your vote now and pass this on to your friends.

 

The Wolf of Wall Street – Leonardo Dicaprio cold calls and sells penny stock (take notes everyone)

 

Boiler Room – Vin Diesel closing champ (Does this scene look familiar? Boiler Room was based on Jordan Belfort’s story – The Wolf of Wall Street and hit the big screen in the late 90’s.)

 

Glengary Glen Ross – Alec Baldwin, in probably his most famous scene, is motivating and coaching salesmen to close.

 

Ironman – Robert Downey Jr. sells a new weapons system to the military

 

Boiler Room – Ben Affleck sells the life of a stock broker to potential recruits

 

Good Will Hunting – Sells the NSA on why he should pass on working for them

 

Jerry Maguire – Tom Cruise makes the break from his firm and learns his first lesson in entrepreneurship about “The Quan”

 

Boiler Room – Teaching a cold caller how to cold call

 

Mad Men – Don Draper’s best moments

 

 

Build Personas, Know Your Customers

Buyer personas are like sketches of the customers to whom your company serves. When creating a persona, it’s best to focus on one customer segment per product/service at a time. Once you’ve selected a target audience, you want to identify the influencers and decision makers within those companies and then create your persona around them.

Five Steps to Build a Persona

Step 1: Define their current situation

  • What are their priorities and what are they doing to meet their goals today?
  • What alternatives could be in place or are they considering?
  • What problems are limiting their success?

Step 2: Define their demographics

  • Job title
  • Years in current position and place in career – whether they’re young and just starting out or have spent most of their career with the same company and can provide insight on risk tolerance, influence increating change within the company, etc.
  • Company size and revenues
  • Industry

Step 3: Identify their attributes

  • Role – Their place in the company and who they answer to.
  • Responsibilities – What or who they manage and what outcomes they must achieve.
  • Threats – what could derail the deal?
  • Motivations – both professionally and based on company objectives – could also be what they want to avoid.
  • Influencers – who can aid in affirming the project or stall it from moving forward?

Step 4: Understand their preferences

  • Where do they spend time online? Offline?
  • How do they participate with social media? Do they?
  • What keywords, phrases and search terms resonate with them?

Step 5: Draft the buyer persona value statement

  • I need to solve [FILL IN BLANK], in order to achieve [FILL IN BLANK].

Speak to people and use third party data to help complete your personas. A few examples follow:

Use Business Intelligence Portals:

  • Search by industry, size, title.
  • Assess profiles, click through to review LinkedIn profiles.
  • Use at least ten profiles to identify common themes.
  • Access the industry information to gain insight to challenges and opportunities.
  • BI portals also offer in-depth research on specific industries, helping you to define priorities and challenges quickly.

Talk to Salespeople:

  • What areas of the business are they focused on?
  • Who are they speaking with?
  • How do prospects frame the problem?
  • Who else do they have to convince?

Talk to Customers:

  • What problem did we solve?
  • What else did that enable?
  • Why did they choose us?
  • What obstacles did they have to overcome to buy?

Knowing your audience and having a personalized business plan is a foolproof formula to create new business leads, and strengthen old ones.  If you know what companies need or want, and develop a marketing plan tailored for them, you will be more desirable to them than a marketing company that has not done their homework.

Infographic: Buyer Persona Process

Persona

7 Habits of Highly Effective Content Marketers

By Karen Weber

Axonn Media’s marketing director Karen Webber spoke at the Figaro Digital Conference as part of the Digital 21 series in April 2014 on The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Content Marketers. 

The operative word in Karen’s title is “Effective”. This is Worth sharing, so please pass it on.

Marketing Leadership – Team Building

We all know how powerfully effective teamwork can be in delivering higher levels of performance. Managers need to focus constantly on developing and expanding the capacity of each team member and must always make sure that everyone is working cohesively. Developing how teams work is a key skill requirement for every manager, especially in highly competitive environments which tend to encourage more individualistic behaviors. The standard performance management model used by most organizations today is based on management by objectives, and it can drive the very behaviors contrary to good performance. Contrary to common knowledge, the sum of the parts will not always add up to the whole. Oftentimes, the successful completion of personal objectives by individuals, as formalized in the annual appraisal process, does not equate to the company being better off. High performers are needed; effective team work is mandatory for companies to succeed today.

Many organizations are matrix-formatted, where within these structural settings people depend on the input of many contributors to be effective. The matrix formatted organization is substantially more complex for international organizations where teams spread out geographically, speak different languages, work in different time zones and have different cultural mindsets. In these environments, command and control through top down management techniques will not work. For these organizations to be successful, leadership has to be more inclusive and focused on leveraging the strengths and capacities of all team members, whatever they may be and whatever their cultural background or organizational roles may be.

Apply the following five leadership principles to build high performing and effective teams:

  1. Build a shared sense of community around a vision, set of values, common direction and objectives.
  2. Build, encourage, reward and recognize the sharing of resources and skills, knowledge and best practices throughout your team.
  3. Share your leadership by empowering team members to take responsibility at all levels.
  4. Encourage, never blame.
  5. Stand by and defend your team members and promote solidarity and responsibility at all times.

There are everyday examples of what effective teamwork looks like. Take the example of why a flock of geese fly in V formation. Because Mother Nature teaches the art of effective teamwork. We can take a lesson from their example and instill these skills in our own everyday business acumen.

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Happy Marketing!