Personas and personalisation are all the rage in the B2B world at the moment. We recently created personas of the decision makers from the top 20 global B2B brands (including Microsoft, SAP, UBS, UPS and Accenture) to show you what personas are really all about, and why they’re all the rage.

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How we did it

We began by researching all of the decision makers (CMOs) from the top 20 global B2B brands, their inner circles, and their active social channels. We looked at each of their pains, priorities, motivations and interests, and we established at what stage in the decision making process the members of the inner circle would be most influential on the CMOs. Once this had been established, we were able to create generalised personas where we found that, despite the range of brand sectors, the CMOs had numerous attributes in common.

Emotive Appeal: An example of how to understand and appeal to target individuals’ emotions.

What we Found

Through the development of the personas, we identified 3 overarching attributes.

  1. Data-Driven Marketing

75% of CMOs see data led marketing as a main business priority. Data driven marketing allows for a clearer, more detailed picture of your audience which, in turn, improves the success of your marketing communications.

At its core, data-driven marketing centres on a vision of driving value by engaging customers more effectively. By using data for segmentation and personalisation, measurement and optimisation, marketers are looking to create innovative, insight led ways to interact with customers and prospects.

These CMOs ultimately want to get closer to their audience and data inspired persona building and planning is just one of the ways they are doing it.

  1. Marketing to Drive Sales

70% of CMOs would like to better harmonise their marketing and sales process. No longer the heads of the arts and crafts department CMOs being more and more recognised as a key driver of growth and sales and they want to make that process even better.

Prospects’ buying habits and interactions with brands have been completely transformed by the volume of information made available on websites and social networks. Marketing needs to have a wider and further reach which in turn is transforming the ways that marketing and sales teams work together to drive revenue.

When targets have a wealth of information at their fingertips their touch point with sales comes much later on in the buying process, meaning sales has a lot less visibility into future revenue. This is really where marketing comes into its own as it effectively “owns” the relationship with early-stage prospects, it is often the best place for sales to find out about future revenue trends.

Harmonising Marketing and sales can:

•          Improve lead flow whilst generating high quality sales pipeline

•          Ensure there is a clear ROI for marketing activities

•          Help forecast marketing’s future impact on revenue

  1. Social Marketing – Which Channel?

CMOs are focusing not just on the reach of their content, but also the quality of their seeding. What’s the point of blowing 50% of your marketing budget on a LinkedIn campaign if only 60% of your audience have LinkedIn and only 40% of them are ‘active’ users? CMOs now want to know about the nature of their audience’s interaction with their marketing communications to make sure their message reaching their key decision makers and influencers at the right time and in the right place.

How this information can be used.

These persona attributes are fundamental to understanding your audience. They allow you to segment your audience and directly target your products relevant to their needs – to speak their language.

We use these identified persona attributes to help navigate our client’s sales and marketing teams, to make more personalised, targeted first contacts.

To find out more about personas, marketing planning and what we do at Unrival, you can visit here.

Coming up:

Keep an eye out for the next Brainwave which will feature 5 of the ‘most beautiful’ data visualisation images, and we explore why data visualisation is seen as ‘the future’ of big data.