Insight You Can Use

UNDERSTANDING BUYING BEHAVIOR IN THE NEW DIGITAL AGE

Digital Economy

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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Are Your Buyer Personas Data Overkill?

As the concept of buyer personas has crept into the conscious of both B2C and B2B Marketing, so has misguided representations of buyer personas become prevalent.  With many touted frameworks and processes being representative of buyer personas in name only.  These misrepresentations have also led to a tendency to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, into crafting buyer personas. For example, an organization I helped recently had previously utilized a framework, labeled buyer persona in name only, which consisted of a matrix of 15 plus categories.  Why do I say labeled in name only?  This approach of having 15 plus…

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Why Brexit Will Affect The Future Of Global Business Marketing

The stunning outcome of Britain’s decisive vote to exit the European Union has caught the political, economic, and business world by surprise.  Creating uncertainty in world financial markets, the future of the European Union, the pace of globalization, how to strategically plan for an eventual exit, and how to prepare for potential risk from this event. One area of concern for businesses is how to approach and conduct global business marketing.  What we can be certain of is that businesses, people, and various types of organizations will undergo a transformation in how they make decisions, exhibit buying behaviors, and recast their…

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How To Lead With Customer-Focused Content

The explosion of content in the digital world is an unprecedented phenomenon just a few could have predicted twenty-five years ago.  Content is ubiquitous in all phases of life and in business.  In fact, it is getting harder and harder to find a slice of time where content is not invading precious personal or business space. The voluminous nature of marketing and sales content is making it harder for organizations to get through to customers and potential customers today.  In several hundred qualitative buyer persona research interviews conducted last year, I heard firsthand about new behaviors related to filtering, managing,…

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7 Elements Of Customer Understanding The C-Suite Must Master

Changes in customer and buying behaviors continue to rock the very foundations of many industries.  According to recent surveys by PWC, Forrester, IBM, and McKinsey, disruptive trends in customer and buying behaviors are expected to continue over the next five years.  Many organizations are undergoing digital transformations in order to improve customer interactions, engagement, and understanding. For CEOs and their C-Suite teams, developing deep customer understanding is becoming strategically important to staying competitive and relevant to customers. While customer understanding is becoming of vital importance to the C-Suite, the struggle continues on just how to attain customer understanding.  New digital…

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How B2B CMOs Can Achieve Customer-Centric Marketing With Buyer Personas

A recent survey by B2B Marketing, in conjunction with the UK-based agency Tomorrow People, indicated only 38% of marketers considered their content to be “very customer-centric.”  This mirrors findings of other surveys related to content marketing and customer-centric marketing, which consistently hovers in the 35- 40% range of “very customer-centric” or “very effective content marketing.” In this same survey mentioned above, it was found 50% or more of marketers surveyed have not engaged in researching and creating buyer personas for their marketing efforts.  Although the concept of buyer personas were founded nearly 14 years ago, the maturity of buyer persona…

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The Emerging Importance Of B2B Ethnography To Buyer Personas

Better, deeper, insightful, and well-rounded understanding of customers and buyers is on the top of the list for many CEOs and CMOs today. In recent studies by IBM and other research studies on CEO sentiments, customer insight and understanding are identified as a top focus for CEOs.  A majority of surveys also find a growing concern for both establishing and retaining customer loyalty in today’s digital marketplaces. There are two additional concerns CEOs are finding of increasing importance to the growth, as well as, survival in competitive environs.  These two are: CEOs and CMOs have a growing concern about the relevancy…

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Beyond Buyer Profiling To Buyer Personification

Segmentation has been a staple of business marketing and sales for several decades.  The concept of breaking down a potential market or industry into smaller target segments is a standard technique taught in business schools and used by many organizations.  Beginning in the 1980’s and 1990’s, we began to see a shift to individualism.  The understanding of not only the segments and organizations that buys but also the individual that buys. We saw the influence of the Meyers-Briggs Testing philosophy extended into the business world.  Whereby sales organizations, in particular, went through training on how to adapt to the personalities of…

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