When developing a demand generation program, you may have the best intentions in mind but often skip building a solid foundation for lack of time.
Defining your target audience is THE primary element of your planning and design phase and considered critical to your success because it will impact downstream the messaging, content and tactics.
Key foundation elements to an effective program
- Identify your target audience
- Develop and understand your buyer personas
- Understand their buying cycle
To get started, you might want to describe the various goals and observed behaviour patterns among your potential users and customers. Understanding your buyer persona is critical to driving anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a fictional and broad portrait of your ideal customer. Creating buyer personas will help you get a better understanding of your customers and prospects. This will facilitate tailoring content to their specific needs, behaviors, and concerns. The buyer persona profile will symbolize who the buyers are, what they are trying to achieve, what goals influence their behavior, how they think, when they decide to buy, why they make buying decisions and how and where they buy.
Defining the buyer persona
Your solution needs to fit the needs, motivations and ultimately, resolve your customer’s challenges; therefore it’s important that your messaging addresses these considerations.
Do you know how your customers prefer to be approached? How do they like to consume information and what are their favourite channels? You can increase your program’s traction with a bit of research to choose your buyer persona’s preferred content format and put some thought into the best way for them to process the information.
Your topics need to be engaging and include features that will position your offer in a positive light and be persuasive in order to influence their decision. This exercise requires a thorough analysis of your audience, what attracts their attention, what makes them click and ultimately what motivates them to shortlist solutions or vendors. Each buyer persona’s profile should include information and behaviours surrounding their role, goals, challenges, preferred watering holes, demographics, company, industry, and buying cycle.
This is why defining your buyer persona is such an important foundation element that must be included in your strategy and why the effort will pay off if you provide the right content and message to the right audience, at the right time in their buyer’s journey.
Here are just a few benefits:
- Increases performance and return on investment (ROI) for programs with content based on behaviours obtained through a buyer persona analysis. By knowing what triggers interest, you can improve engagement over the short and longer term.
- Provides an easier path for program development by knowing the context and preferences of your audience to help you create targeted messaging.
- Gain a competitive advantage by addressing your prospect’s needs and influence their decision faster and more often.
Keep in mind that as your program progresses and you acquire business intelligence, you should revisit your buyer persona profiles and adjust them to reflect your new findings. This will help you in the development of targeted messaging, selection of the right content formats and channels. The new buyer has become self-educating, therefore you can take advantage of a your content strategy to reach, advise, interest and ultimately convert into business opportunities.