The B2B Buyer persona has changed over the years, but the Buyer’s Journey has not evolved to match that change. In this presentation, Janelle Amos talks about modern B2B personas and how a company can change its approach to match the preferences of that persona.
Janelle Amos is a former in-house head of demand gen gal who took her experience from several startups to pursue her own aspirations of becoming a business owner. Founder of Elevate Growth, a demand generation consulting firm, Janelle is passionate about helping B2B SaaS companies create go-to-market strategies that catapult their demand gen efforts and achieve their revenue numbers
“Buyer personas are supposed to enable teams to better understand their target audience like characteristics about the personality for they consume their information. That’s the whole purpose of creating them. So what’s the problem with the traditional way of creating a buyer persona?”
“So what you should be doing when marketing to a modern b2b persona is adopting the b2c customer centric mentality to captivate your buyers the way that b2c companies do, because that’s what buyers are used to.”
- A profile of the modern B2B persona
- Considerations when marketing to this persona
- Evaluate B2C company trends and adapt them to fit B2B
- Find ways to set up a trusted brand
Have you ever used Amazon support chat to resolve an issue is when your packages. If you have, you know how easy it can be to get what you need done in a matter of minutes, short, sweet, quick, efficient, onto whatever else you need to get done.
I tell this story because companies like Amazon Instacart DoorDash. offer a service that can be completed in a matter of minutes. You can quickly select the items you want, add to cart and buy immediately or get the support that you need.
Now, what does this have to do with the modern b2b persona that we’re supposed to be talking about today? Well, it’s because of companies like these that are revolutionizing what a customer experience looks like. And today, we’re going to unpack the difference between how the b2b industry is used to go into market using traditional buyer personas, when we should be going to market in an entirely different way
Hi, I’m Janelle Amos. I am the founder of a company called elevate growth, a full funnel demand gen consulting firm that helps b2b SaaS companies catapult their management efforts and hit their revenue targets. Today, I’m excited to unpack the components of a modern b2b buyer with you. We’ll look at how it’s changed over time, how to construct your go to market plan with the modern b2b buyer in mind, and at the end, I’ll provide you with three key takeaways that you can implement today to impact your tomorrow. Are you ready to dive in? Let’s go.
If you’re a marketer, you’ve probably heard the phrase know your audience or know your persona. And you’ve probably built a few personas in your lifetime. And if you have built these profiles, you’ve probably done so by going to your sales team asking questions about the personas. Maybe you’ve gone to your customer success team and maybe you’ve done your own research. But in my experience, personas are mostly made up of opinions and assumptions. And once everyone gives their input on who we should be going after, traditionally the marketing team then uses that as a staple in everything that they do. So here’s the reality. The picture we paint with our assumptions, opinions and half back research for these personas are not the way that modern buying takes place today. Which means the whole purpose of using these for our go to market strategy doesn’t actually connect.
Buyer personas are supposed to enable teams to better understand their target audience like characteristics about the personality for they consume their information. That’s the whole purpose of creating them. So what’s the problem with the traditional way of creating a buyer persona? The companies I mentioned at the beginning at the beginning, Amazon Instacart DoorDash. They’re all spoiling us with the convenience on how easy they are to navigate and by giving us what we want quickly.
So here’s the disconnect. In today’s b2b world, we’re selling to people who have experience using these types of convenient apps, yet we expect them to go through a long drawn out process with us processes like having a talk to a sales person before getting more information about a product processes like submitting a demo request form and then not actually getting a demo. It doesn’t add up and it frustrates your buyer because that’s not what they’re used to anymore. Their traditional way of creating Empire persona actually fails to take the persona into consideration. And I’ll bet you that your persona looks something like this.
You can see Steve, he’s the CEO of a large financial company worth 85 million. You can see where he likes to take risks, communicates to get his information and how he likes to find those things. Considering his pain points and how he would buy and why he would not buy. You’ll see he’s on LinkedIn and Twitter and reads financial and economical publications and attends financial conferences. Anything you see on this image is usually compiled by assumptions, opinions and halfback research. And so if marketing were to use this profile in their go to market strategy, they’ll likely put out ads on LinkedIn and Twitter and get articles written on these publication sites. Not that doing that as bad. It’s just that it only takes in consideration a portion of the buyers journey. To really catapult your strategy you need to cover the full buying journey.
So here’s the reality on how Steve actually buys. Steve is a CEO and likes to spend his weekends playing golf at the clubhouse. He’s joined with other C level executives. And as they’re going through the course they’re talking about how this new product hit the market and how cool it sounds. Then Frank a CR o says he knows someone that recently implemented a product and raved about how awesome it was. CIO, Cindy said her team actually currently uses that product and they love it as well. So when Steve gets back from golfing, he talks to his VP Sara and asks if she’s heard of it, Sarah says yes. And then Steve says you’d really like to investigate the fit for the company. So Sarah goes to her director, Mark and requests for him to inquire about pricing and implementation setup. So Mark goes to the company’s website, submits a demo form talks to sales and ultimately purchase the product. Is any of this listed on the buyer persona image that you see right here? No. Why not? Because the modern b2b journey is about pure trust. So let’s unpack that for a minute.
Steve the golfing CEO and his team purchased the product because people he trusts raved about it? Not because Mark happened to stumble on the website? Not because Steve heard from Frank and Cindy that it was an awesome product. But winning deals and a modern b2b buyer is about establishing trust. It’s about having your go to market plan. Establish a brand instead of just focusing on LinkedIn ads and trade shows. Think about how your company can be talked about on the golf course. That means having a quality product for starters, loyal customers and messaging that is ultimately relevant and useful to the buyer and for the buyer. And we need to remember the b2c mentality it’s all about customer centricity.
So what’s the best way to get started incorporating marketing efforts to the modern buyer? Well, the best ways to think about your own personal way of buying as a consumer, do you go to your friends or colleagues for questions and validation? Do you do extensive research? Do you read reviews? Do you watch demo videos? Do you engage in Slack communities? I sure as hell do. So what you should be doing when marketing to a modern b2b persona is adopting the b2c customer centric mentality to captivate your buyers the way that b2c companies do, because that’s what buyers are used to.
My favorite example is Amazon. If you have a problem with a product or a delivery issue, you can contact Amazon support via chat. I’ve done this multiple times. The service that I get from Amazon via chat is exactly what I need to solve my problem. There have been times when a package said it was delivered, but it never came. And I was able to communicate that with Amazon and request and process a refund all via chat in a matter of minutes.
So let me ask you this What is your chat look like on your b2b website? Is it the exact same fields on your form submission? If it is, it’s probably time to rethink that. When we create processes for our benefit, and not for our customers benefit. We end up frustrating the buyer losing them to a competitor and he might end up actually tarnishing your brand in the long run. So here are your tangible takeaways and to accept the fact that the way that buyers buy has changed over time and you need to pivot your go to market strategy accordingly because at the end of the day, you mean we’re all human here in the b2b space and we’re all just as conditioned to go to Google research reviews, ask friends for the stuff that we want to buy in our personal lives, as well as our professional lives.
So what are the three things that you can do today to impact your tomorrow? Number one, evaluate what b2c companies are doing, and mold that concept to fit the b2b space and your customer. Great example like I mentioned is Amazon chat for support tickets. Most b2b chats that I find are just form fields in an automated process. Take off your marketing lenses and evaluate the friction process as a consumer. Really take off your marketing lenses. I
know it’s hard, that’s the only way that you’ll be able to get objective feedback. Number two, do your own persona research. Get in the field, talk to the customers ask new leads how they heard about you. Ask your customers why they’re still with you. How people hear about you, plus the actual problem that you’re solving. That’s your go to market message and Channel 4 your modern b2b persona for three find ways to establish a brand and establish trust, model find model b2b companies and embedded how you can do that as well. Gong is a great example to model because they’re looking for one.
So there you have it. My three key takeaways on marketing to a modern b2b persona. I hope you found it valuable. Thank you so much for spending your time with me enjoy the rest of your Summit. And if you want to connect with me, feel free to grab me on LinkedIn. I’m Janelle Amos, I would love to continue the conversation with you or answer any questions that you may have. Thanks again.