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Humanize Your Marketing With Buyer Personas

April 3rd, 2010 · 5 Comments · All Posts, JeremyVictor

Buyer Persona development may just be the most important element in a content marketing strategy. Having a deeper, more personal understanding of your customers leads to content creation that not only builds trust, but also demonstrates your willingness to spend the necessary time to learn the actual circumstances that affect your customers.

With well-defined buyer personas, your content suddenly becomes for *someone* versus *everyone*. And that makes all the difference when trying to build a relationship with your customers through your content marketing strategy.

What is a buyer persona? Here is my buyer persona definition:

A buyer persona is a description of a specific person for whom your products and services are intended. It goes beyond statistics and demographics, and defines behaviors, motivations, likes/dislikes, traits, etc. Its intent is to help you reach your customers on a human level.

Ardath’s Albee,, author and B2B marketing strategist, provides a definition in her outstanding book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, – (a recommended must read).

A persona is a composite sketch representative of a type of customer you serve. Personas extend beyond the traditional demographic profiles commonly used to summarize an ideal customer.

The common element of these definitions is that they suggest that you see your customers’ challenges through their eyes and begin thinking about your customers as human beings with feelings and emotions, not statistics and metrics in a spreadsheet.

This change in mindset provides you a more detailed answer to the question, “For whom am I creating this content?” It narrows your focus. Your marketing shifts from being product and company centric to useful, customer-centric content that is for a person – not a target audience. Your content begins speaking to what motivates your customers, what their priorities are, and most importantly, the real world problems that you can help them solve.

In addition to directing your future content creation efforts, buyer personas also provide you a tool to evaluate your existing content. Use your it to ask which buyer persona(s) does this content speak to (if any). You then have a guide for how to edit that content to fit the needs of your new buyer personas.

Bottom line, as David Meerman Scott first told us in The Goobledygook Manifesto, we are in desperate need of humanizing marketing … buyer personas are useful tools and are your first step in achieving that outcome.

Remember, we’re all people first. Bring that mindset to your content marketing strategy and you will create meaningful, lasting relationships with your customers.

Jeremy Victor
B2Bbloggers

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Ardath Albee

    Hi Jeremy,

    Nice post and thanks very much for the mention and for recommending my book!

    Humanizing marketing is indeed a challenge. I’m happy to say that I’m seeing more companies take it on! Your suggestion that we apply personas backwards to our current content is excellent. By doing so, we can repurpose to bring it into alignment and get better traction with the content we have, rather than trying to start over from scratch.

    Ardath

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  • Amy Howell

    Great insights here Jeremy! I have some new and thoughtful content to think about! Thx!

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