In the B2B digital landscape, persona-based marketing helps businesses understand buyer needs. Marketers use data to define personas – creating profiles for those who come together to make a purchase decision for their product, solution, or services. Much of this data often lives within a marketer’s own systems – think their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Marketing Automation platform. But other forms of data, such as intent data, can help to define a persona’s interest and tailor experiences and recommendations for interactions, helping to create sophisticated buyer segments.
Benefits for persona-based marketing are well documented for B2B. However, without the right data sets to influence targeting, integrating with your organization’s buyer persona often ignores the work done to define those personas. This is where intent can help marketers to understand an individual’s interest so the right persona can be sent the right message at the right time. Intent data allows marketers to stop asking “Are personas useful?” and focus on “When are personas useful?”
Understanding Buyer Personas
Persona-based marketing starts with persona definition. Persona definition helps to describe Who the personas are, including their job function and level, interests, and the pain points that your solution can solve.
Let’s create a hypothetical scenario to examine different interests of personas making a purchase decision, and how intent can help craft the right narrative for outreach
Example: A company is making a purchase decision about a CRM solution.
There are several different buyer personas who would likely be stakeholders in the purchase decision for a CRM. Here are a few, some of which might ring true to you if your organization has purchased a CRM recently:
Sales Leader: Views reports, dashboards, and works on strategic account alignment inside of the CRM. Wants efficiency and ease of use.
Marketing Operations Manager: Responsible for filling the CRM with actionable leads for the sales team to pursue. Cares about data management, lead routing, integration capabilities, and accurate reporting.
Technical Decision Maker: Assures the CRM solution fits into the current tech stack, with room to grow in the future. Asks if it is compliant, whether there are proper integrations, and if the current processes fit into the new CRM.
Finance Stakeholder: Designates budget for purchases, and might have an influence over final vendor decision based on cost or high-level analysis.
Sales User: Day-to-day persona that will spend the most time and energy inside of the CRM. Will test, demo, and give feedback on likes/dislikes about capabilities.
In the above scenario, each of these personas come together to make a purchase decision for the CRM solution. And, it’s no surprise that each of these personas has different interests and pain points. The Sales User views the CRM purchase through a VERY different lense than the Finance Stakeholder.
Smart marketers understand that these personas have different needs within their organization, and consider that during every touchpoint and interaction with a prospect. But here’s the challenge, short of connecting with a prospect and asking them directly, “How can marketers best anticipate persona-level interest and pain points?”
This is where intent data can help. Intent can help define What the personas are interested in, and Why they might be interested in your organization’s solution.
Intent Data Can Help Define Persona Interest
Now that you have defined Who your buyer personas are, it’s the right time to start asking What are their interests, and Why they might need your organization’s product, service, or solution. Intent data helps you get inside a persona’s head, and understand their interests by looking at all of their actions online. Check out this blog, by Ray Estevez, our Chief Information Officer about True Influence’s intent data solution, to understand just what goes into intent data – it’s a refined process that “creates a steady stream of billions of signals, which give us the breath of topical, account, and persona coverage to fuel our advanced Identity Graph and Relevance Engine™ analytics”
Using topical intent, you can create highly targeted marketing campaigns based on a persona’s interests. This can help to influence your asset selection, choosing to promote content that is recent and relevant based on the intent of your personas. Intent data analysis can help answer these questions:
- What specific online behaviors is a persona taking around your solution?
- Are your personas searching for specific terms?
- What websites are they searching on?
- What content might resonate well for outreach?
These answers help you provide relevant information, both during and after outreach to different buyer personas.
How Can Intent Help Persona-Based Marketing?
- Prospecting at a Fraction of the Cost:
Rather than guessing about a persona’s propensity to buy, intent data lets you identify the right individuals with real pain points. Targeting these prospects with greater accuracy helps to save resources and streamline marketing efforts.
- Showcasing Unique Selling Points:
Marketers can best communicate their organization’s unique selling proposition (USP) relevant to a buyer’s needs with intent data-derived insights. This can drive a greater revenue advantage with your most valuable USP.
- Aligning the Marketing and Sales Teams:
Intent data creates alignment within the marketing and sales team by helping them build a complete picture of buyer personas. This team alignment ensures that the right messages reach an ideal persona during the research process. Additionally, it helps marketers deliver leads that sales teams want to follow up with, resulting in increased engagement and better sales intelligence.
For more information and next steps with intent data, check out these other blogs: