Because it isn't as sexy as business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing, there's a common belief that business-to-business (B2B) marketing isn't as easy, either.
"A common misconception in marketing is that it's easier to create compelling messages for B2C audiences than for B2B audiences," author Rena Fallstrom writes in an article for Forbes.com. "This idea makes sense on a surface level: When crafting B2C messages, you can easily picture your customer and appeal to their personal desires, fears and preferences. It's not difficult to imagine an individual using your product, whether it's a whitening toothpaste, a mobile app or a pair of shoes."
Just because B2C marketing sounds easier, however, doesn't mean that it is. According to Fallstrom, you can create B2B marketing that's just as impactful as B2C marketing -- and do it just as easily -- by treating your business audience as if it were a consumer audience. To do this, she recommends using personas.
"Personas help you understand a large group of customers in a more personalized way. By getting acquainted with Cristina, the CIO, or Matt, the cloud architect, you start to see your customers' pain points and aspirations -- and what messages will resonate with them," continues Fallstrom, who says the most effective personas for marketing are the ones that are based on real people. "Push past the theoretical and talk to your actual customers. Pick up the phone and ask them questions. Go to their offices and observe them in action at work. Don't assume you know what matters to them; spend time with them and see for yourself."
What you should end up with is a written description of who your customer is, what their challenges and objectives are, and how they like to work -- all of which can help you develop marketing messages that resonate with your business customers.
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