Understand that B2B Customers are Human
B2B buying involves more emotions than most marketers assume. Customers are making complex decisions that may put their job at risk, negatively impact their organization or cause distrust with other stakeholders when it comes to allocating budgets in the future.
Marketers must do a better job at recognizing the human elements that are involved throughout the entire B2B customer experience. But, why are so many marketers still narrowly focusing their customer understanding efforts on roles and titles?
Personas are a foundational tool to deliver differentiated customer experiences and help diverse buying groups come to a consensus when making complex decisions. Yet, so many B2B personas fail to recognize three critical things:
- B2B customers are human and therefore, more than JUST their title
- Just because two customers have the same title does not mean they have the same motivations, attitudes and needs
- B2B customers make decisions together. There is not one single role that has all of the control over making decisions
So, what are marketers missing when it comes to developing a comprehensive understanding of their customers?
Determine the Psychographics of B2B Customers
Instead of creating a laundry list of everything that a specific role is responsible for, focus also on the psychographics of customers. Psychographics provide the WHY behind the behaviors customers exhibit and the thought process behind the decisions they make. To incorporate more psychographic details into your B2B persona strategy, ask the following questions:
- What does the stakeholder need to perform at their personal best?
- What keeps the stakeholder motivated at work?
- What keeps this stakeholder up at night?
- What are the stakeholder’s key organizational relationships?
- What sources of information influence the stakeholder in both their personal and professional life?
- What are the stakeholders attitudes and opinions towards products, solutions or services that you offer?
Use Personas to Drive Consensus
B2B persona development doesn’t just end with understanding the psychographics of your customers. In order to truly understand how decisions are made, you must identify the commonalities and differences between each persona within the buying group. Determine where their values, motivations and attitudes overlap, as well as, possible points of contention and disagreement.
Marketers must prioritize delivering positive customer experiences throughout every touchpoint in the customer journey and without personas that capture the psychographic elements of your customers, you might have a difficult time doing so.