Marketers have more customer insights at their disposal than ever. Buyer Personas can be one useful tool to turn this customer data into a story. They can help capture an abstract target audience as a tangible character sketch.
But buyer personas are only as useful as what they help you to do. Marketers can get carried away with the fiction. I’ve literally seen “watches Game of Thrones” in the personality sketches of buyer personas for enterprise software. These personality-driven personas may read well, but aren’t necessarily actionable.
This is particularly apparent when sharing buyer personas with the rest of the organization. Ideally, buyer personas can be a useful filter for the entire company to help prioritize creative, tactics, and executions. Too often, they lack sufficient insight on why and how the customers buy things. Nowhere is this gap more apparent than than classic chasm between marketing and sales.
To address this marketing/sales gap in B2B, there’s a rising emphasis on Account-Based Marketing (ABM). In ABM, marketers explicitly focus marketing tactics on a group of specific accounts, so there’s a closer link to sales at the very beginning of the process.
Here’s a cartoon I created earlier this year about buyer personas that say more about the marketing team than about the buyer.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on working with buyer personas and account-based marketing.