A buyer persona is a composite of different factors that affect your buyer and motivate him/her to buy. Your prospect’s buying cycle and buying decisions are situated within a larger context that must be understood in order to motiveate his/her buyer behavior” (MLT Creative). For B2B, buyer personas are especially complex due to typical B2B sales cycles.

MarketingSherpa found that 41% of B2B firms have established buyer personas, while 47% of organizations have not (See more). A complete understanding of your buyer is critical in the development of communications, marketing materials, and content. Below we will share tactics in developing buyer personas. In addition, we detail what type of content to develop for four different B2B personas.

Effective Tactics For Developing B2B Buyer Personas

MarketingSherpa asked more than 1,700 B2B Marketers, “What tactics did you find to be most effective in developing your buyer personas?”

Gathering qualitative information, by interviewing prospects and/or customers, and interviewing sales are the top two tactics.

Gathering quantitative information by conducting a survey of prospects and/or customers or mining in-house database to identify characteristics of best and/or worst customers are the third and fourth most utilized tactic for developing buyer personas.

Buyer Persona Data

You can download the full study here.

Creating Content For Different B2B Buyer Personas

Depending on the persona of your buyer, they may prefer particular types of content. TopRank recently shared four typical B2B buyers and suggestions for content that addresses their particular persona.

Persona I: The Methodical B2B Customer – Methodical types need to be prepared and organized to act. How can your solution solve this problem? Provide hard evidence and superior service. Do you have a white paper to download?

Persona II: The Spontaneous B2B Customer – Spontaneous types live in the moment. Why is your solution best to solve the problem now? Address immediate needs with relevant and credible options. How about offering a “Quick Start Guide?”

Persona III: The Humanistic B2B Customer – Humanistic types are usually slow to reach a decision and generally prefer the big picture. Who has used your solution to solve my problem? Offer testimonials and incentives. Does your website display testimonials of credible companies? Is a free trial offer or money-back guarantee appropriate?

Persona IV: The Competitive B2B Customer – Competitive types are goal-oriented and looking for ways to complete tasks. What can your solution do for me? Provide rational options and challenges. Can you provide a short video that explains your product or service? Do you offer an FAQ page that addresses their pain point?

You can read the TopRanks full article here.

If you need more information about content for B2B, check out our Guide to Modern B2B Content Marketing. You are bound to run into a variety of different buyer personas. In fact, due to the more complex B2B sales cycle, you may even encounter several different types in one sale. An understanding of your buyer will help across all aspects of your relationship. Visit some of the additional resources below for some more tips.

Additional Resources

Building B2B Buyer Personas? Focus on the Buying Decision … then the Person

An In-Depth Look at How to Create and Use B2B Buyer Personas with Ardath Albee

B2B Buyer Personas: Why?

Improve your Targeting and Tell a Story By Creating Buyer Personas