The Buyer Persona Blog

Bridge the Divide Between Marketing and Sales with the Buyer Insight Bridge

The issue of Marketing and Sales Alignment has been raging on for several years.  We have heard all kinds of reasons why.  From sales not receiving support they need, to marketing believing sales is not following up on its leads.  We have also heard we have to align with customers and buyers.  I agree.  I think it is more than that. The Big Shift Let us first acknowledge a big shift.  We are undergoing the biggest shift in buying behaviors in many a decade.  As I have previously written, in my article, 3 Steps B2B Chief Marketing Offers Need…

5 Actions Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Sales Officers Can Take to Bridge the Big Insight Gap

On the minds of most executive leaders for B2B organizations is two pressing objectives.  They involve two additions – increasing customer acquisition and increasing customer retention. From a customer lifecycle and buying cycle perspective, it means getting more in the front end and less leaking out the back end.  At the most basic level, it is fundamental to achieving growth and profitability. For CMO’s and CSO’s – there is a lot riding on both. Answering Big Questions B2B organizations are struggling with big questions.  They are not new.  They have existed since the dawn of business.  The struggle today…

Who Should We Interview When Developing Buyer Personas? (Find Out Who Matters)

When it comes to buyer persona development, recruiting and interviewing the right people matters.  I get this question frequently.  It may sound like an easy question to solve.  It is not and has a way of raising more questions. Avoid the Easy Route Typically, I have heard the response of getting started by going to sales and sourcing for recent deals won or loss to recruit buyers.  This is usually the wrong place to start.  Putting a box around a win/loss approach and calling it qualitative buyer research is loaded with peril.  While recent wins and losses can be…

3 Steps B2B Chief Marketing Officers Need To Take To Survive The B2B Buyer Revolution

The CMO’s of today are facing the challenge of surviving in a new world.  This new digital age has marketing in the throes of a buyer revolution.  Like any revolution, organizations, and institutions are going to topple. I was recently asked what I believed was the next “hot thing” in marketing.  I have been thinking about this for a while now.  Typically, when you hear a phrase like the “hot thing”, it is easy to think some form of technology (marketing automation for example), renaming of long-standing practices to adapt to new dynamics (content marketing as an example), or…

5 Obstacles to B2B Market Research and Actionable Customer Insights

The idea of market research has been around for a very long time.  Conceptually, market research is a strong component of overall business strategy.  A key element of market research is the gathering of valuable buyer and customer insights.  Ideally these insights will result in competitive advantage, innovation, and market leadership. Sounds good.  Except there is one issue we are all dealing with.  We do not live in an ideal world anymore. The global spinning world of networked buying behavior is calling for business to rethink how to gather insights.  While Big Data offers one avenue, it is still…

Is Your Organization Listening To Your Buyers? (How It Can Using 4 Stages of the Buyer Insight Maturity Model)

We hear it all the time.  The mantra of being customer and buyer focused.  Every year it shows up in one document or another.  It is widely announced at the beginning of each year.  The national meetings and celebrations fire up the troops.  Then, like a slow warping LP record in the hot sun, it begins to lose its’ clarity and sound.  The mantra dies. There has been much focus on customers and buyers over the past few years.  The need to listen and understand buyers today is broadcast throughout the business world on a daily basis.  In a recent…

How Many Buyer Personas Do I Need? (The Answer You Need To Know)

I get asked this question – a lot. I read many incorrect answers – a lot. The right answer matters – a lot. Confusion Reigns This is one of the most asked questions I have encountered since creating the buyer persona concept a dozen years ago.  What concerns me today with the rising interest in buyer personas, is how often this question is answered incorrectly.  The result is confusion in many areas. First, a look at the usual confusing – and incorrect – answers proliferating today: A buyer persona should be created for every role Buyer personas are built…

Do You Know What Your Buyers Value When Making A Purchase Decision?

The importance of knowing what buyers value is unmistakable.  Yet, trying to understand what they are can be fuzzy.  Buyers are not always clear in articulating, which makes our ability to understand challenging. Understanding buyer value drivers is important to developing a compelling value proposition.  You need to balance both sides of the coin to meet the goals and needs of your target buyers. Influence Begets Complexity Our traditional view of value drivers, through the term we know as buying criteria, has become inadequate in the new digital age.  It is a one-dimensional view, which can be un-insightful.  Buyers…

How to Find the Critical Buying Path of Your B2B Buyer (Using the Buyer Decision Model)

Lately, attempts to visually show buying processes or buyer journeys have come in all shapes and sizes.  They have ranged from the traditional funnel to circles, galaxies, maps, rings, and whatever Lego type shapes can be mustered.  Names for the different phases and stages seem to be – well – all over the map.  I will confess – even I got caught up in doing this a few times. As I reflect on this as well as the hundreds of buyer interviews I have done over the course of a dozen years – it comes down to this for…

How Buyers Decide When They Don’t Care About Your Competitive Advantage

In today’s emerging digital age, understanding buying behaviors is becoming job one for many B2B organizations.  Faced with relentless new demands from customers and buyers, B2B leaders must map out a course of transformation.  This transformation involves being relevant in today’s complex marketplaces by an equally relentless focus on customers and buyers. End of Sustainable Competitive Advantages One of the byproducts of the emerging new digital age is the equalizing of competition.  One of our brightest thinkers of today is Columbia Business School professor Rita Gunther McGrath.  In her just-released book, The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep…

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