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UNDERSTANDING BUYING BEHAVIOR IN THE NEW DIGITAL AGE

Best Practices

Confusing Customer Segmentation, Buyer Profiling, and Buyer Personas Harms Marketing

In the 15 years since originating the concept of buyer personas in 2001, there has been one issue that continues to plague fully understanding exactly where, how, and why buyer personas can be beneficial.  Compounding the issue today is the prevalent use of the term buyer persona to describe customer segmentation and buyer profiling efforts.   The issue I am referring to is the confusion that can surround distinguishing between customer segmentation, buyer profiling, and buyer personas today. If you are a CMO or a marketer and you find yourself having a sudden realization that perhaps you are not quite sure…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

State Of Buyer Personas 2016: Strong Correlation Between Effectiveness And Goals

In 2016, we will mark the fifteenth year since buyer personas were first introduced.  The journey, however, continues towards professionals and organizations gaining a true understanding of what buyer persona development entails. What is clear is buyer personas are now entering the mainstream of dialogue when it comes to overall customer understanding.  Incorporating Survey Data I wish to thank the (124) respondents of the State of Buyer Personas 2016 Survey for taking the time to complete the survey.  While there may have been redundancy in previous surveys, this particular survey is devoted to understanding the best practices associated with buyer…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

What CMOs Need To Know About Listening To The Customer

It is a generally accepted notion that listening is vital to having positive and healthy interpersonal relationships. Listening is an essential skill for leaders in business, politics, sports, and in many different aspects of culture and society.  As a country, we have had many leaders rise to the occasion upon their ability to listen and connect with people and their causes. For CMOs today, listening to customers has become one of the key ingredients shaping their success in connecting brands with customers.  Expanding the growth of their customer base is predicated, to a high degree, on having listening be an active…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

Intervention: Buyer Personas Are Not A Product Requirements Document

Product centricity is still kicking dust up in the perfect storm of changing buyer behaviors and transforming digital technologies. The dust up so thick, most organizations believe they may be responding to this perfect storm, yet, everything they do does scream products. A good case in point is what organizations believe they need to do or are told what to do with developing buyer personas. Unfortunately, companies are being misguided on the intent and methodology behind buyer persona development. Where the end game is still about pushing the product onto a target buyer. Let me illustrate with a couple of…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

Stop Business Speak And Simplify Insights To Achieve Customer Centricity

Many executives today are struggling in two areas.  One is in formulating strategies designed to help their organization stand out in a crowded field.  The second is in creating an enterprise adept with deep customer insights and understanding, which translates into obsessed customer focus.  When struggling in these two areas, executives and their organizations can find themselves in a turbulent whirlpool dragging them and their customers into further states of confusion. Wrapped In A State Of Business Speak Depending on the circumstances and the people involved, you sometimes wonder if people are wired with a switch in their brains to…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

State Of Buyer Personas 2015 (Survey Results)

It is now nearly fourteen years since the first-ever buyer persona development methodology was first created specifically for sales and marketing. For trivia and history buffs, Harcourt Education in 2002, a division of Reed Elsevier at the time, was the first organization to ever use research-based buyer personas for marketing and sales. How far we have come and how far we have still to go. Incorporating Survey Data For the first time in this annual reflection of the State of Buyer Personas, this commentary will incorporate responses from a survey conducted this past October through December. The survey consisted of…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

Why Marketing Leaders Should Embrace Story Listening Before Story Telling

“What I’ve seen is a leader doesn’t start with storytelling, they start with story listening.” –John Maeda, Design Partner, KPCB During the past two years, B2C as well as B2B marketing leaders have heard much about the concept of storytelling in marketing. With the number one challenge facing marketers today being one of connecting with customers and buyers, storytelling can seem like one sure bet. Recent headlines in the blogosphere seem to all suggest and promise businesses can accelerate their revenue growth through storytelling. Not so fast. I believe organizations are prone to make the mistake of a rush to…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

Use Buyer Personas To Humanize Your Content Marketing

All businesses and people within businesses become enamored with, process, at some point. Process is good. Process can also be bad. Bad to the extent doing the process becomes more important than meeting the end goal. When it comes to content marketing today, it just may be too much process is actually preventing a human connection with customers and buyers. The same can be said for buyer persona development as well. Misperceptions about the intent and value of buyer personas have resulted in too much process. Most common is the force fitting of buyer personas into buying processes, sales cycles, and…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito

The CMO Modern Marketing Guide To Buyer Personas And Buyer Insights Research (Part 1)

As the 21st century arrived, so did many new digital technologies.  Well over a decade into the new century, we now have a robust digital economy altering economics and business forever.  Enabling globalization on a scale unfathomable before the entrance of the 21st century.  One significant outcome has been the continued evolution of buying behaviors. This outcome has created an ever-growing need for modern marketers to understand the new face of buyers in the digital economy.  A need CMO’s across the globe are finding essential to developing modern marketing strategies. CMO Perspective Understanding the macro-economic changes underway globally represents just…

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito
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