What’s the most invaluable asset for a Product Marketer? Buyer Insights. I would trade anything for it. When you don’t know enough about your buyer, any campaign that you run would not result in desirable outcomes and move the needle towards achieving your business results.
You are entrusted with the responsibility to make your product enticing to your buyer and you can do that only with the right buyer insights.
So what is that one important thing that you do right that can make your marketing efforts successful to yield results? Know and understand your buyer! It’s harder than said.
In my B2B tech marketing stint (this sounds so long.. whatever!), I have built campaigns targeted for C level buyers (like CDO, CIO, CTO), IT buyers (like Enterprise Architects, System Engineers) and Line of Business buyers (Head of Marketing, Head of HR) and seen that they have distinct business problems unique to their role in the enterprise and their profession.
Messaging your product in the right language and crafting a value proposition that resonates with them is key to the success of your marketing campaign. So how will you message to them if you don’t know them well enough?
I will cover more about messaging and value proposition development in my subsequent blogs but to bring the focus back to this one, how does one go about “knowing the buyer”.
3 most important things that have helped me and yielded results are:
1. Conversations with your sales team
Your sales teams meet these buyers day in and day out and they have a wealth of knowledge that you can tap in to [only if you ask them].
Meet with your sellers on a regular basis and ask them more about their meetings with prospects and customers.
a. Who did they meet? And what was the buyer’s title?
b. Which industry they are aligned to?
c. What is their organization size and structure and who is the buying center and who holds the budget?
d. What are some of the initiatives that their prospects are working on?
e. What are their needs and wants? Drill deeper to understand your buyer’s emotional attributes – their fears and desires after your sales teams have had subsequent meetings with the buyer.
2. Conversations with your prospects and existing customers at Tradeshows
Tradeshows and user forums are great places not only to network but also gain deeper insights about your existing customers and potential buyers. Remember your existing customer was a buyer before!
Before you demo your product or dive deep in to your coolest product features, take a step back to know more about your buyer. With the obvious questions outlined above, also ask them about their business problem and why they are in this shopping spree. Talk to them and understand their aspirations, motivations and where they want to be in their career and what they think that would make them successful.
Ask them where they go to learn and find information. Open your ears and put your listening skills to the best use to “know them and their language”.
I hear you. There are budget cuts and we don’t travel enough to meet them. You may be thinking how you can leverage your digital marketing programs to gain insights about your buyer. The good news is.. You can!
3. Tap Audience Data from your digital tactics
Your buyer is hanging out online looking and evaluating your product and your competition’s product. If you have invested in a martech stack, you can access audience insights that show who have responded to your campaign. That should have wealth of data for you to investigate. Look through the content assets that they have downloaded and engaged with, look through the webinars that they have attended.
All this data put together can give you a picture of their topics of interest. Go to the online communities that they go to gain knowledge and see the types of questions and problems they post to seek solutions.
Stackoverflow, LinkedIn communities are great places to start for tech buyers. You can also use your social listening tools to get a download of the conversations they are engaging with on social channels. There is plenty of data if you open your eyes and look!
These are some pointers for you to get started. You can do more than these 3 and keep enriching your understanding of your buyer through other means which can help you better target them and build relevant campaigns.
Use all this information and document it and build an empathy map and keep refreshing it from time to time to keep it fresh with changing buyer needs and aspirations.
I would love to hear your thoughts as well on what else you do to know your buyer and use some of those techniques that have worked for you!