B2B marketing is regularly wasted on those activities that do not aim at influencing decision-making. Research shows that the companies which facilitate a customer-centric approach (exhibiting a close understanding of the customer decision journey); witness a significant boost in sales and customer retention. Here arises the need to gain an insight into the buyer persona for understanding his needs and requirements. Further, to ensure that you are on the right track to understand the customer’s buying behavior, you just need to consider the following points:
1. Mapping the customer’s decision journey
If you have a small number of customers, then you must engage with them directly, in order to understand their decision making process. However if you have hundreds or thousands of customers then a more quantitative approach can be utilized, such as using market research surveys. You can also get feedback from other stakeholders, including logistics providers, operations and sales team and so on. From all these sources, you will gain an insight into the factors influencing the customer’s purchase decision making.
2. Don’t Rely Completely On Demographics
Usually the B2B sales strategies are based on demographic data such as the age, gender, responsibilities, professional role etc. no doubt that these data inform about the potential customer but the problem with demographics is that they fail to explain the buying decision of the customers. As mentioned above that ascertaining buyer persona is necessary to reach out to the right audience, therefore to really understand the customer’s decision-making journey, you need to start interacting with your target customer base and ask the following questions:
■ What is the priority initiative to search for a product or service?
■ What barriers do they perceive in making a purchase?
■ What are their expectations to buy from you?
■ What is their entire decision journey?
3. Segmenting Your Audience
In order to gain an accurate picture of your audience’s buying process, you need to segment your audience. By segmenting your audience, you will discover a whole new set of stakeholders that you hadn’t been previously aware of. One of the effective ways to understand your audience is to segment them on the basis of their profession. Customers from different profession have different decision making process and buying behavior.
4. Don’t underrate the impact of culture & language
Language and culture are the most significant variables in marketing that cannot be ignored while identifying the buyer persona. International Brands require resources to be invested in understanding the buyer behavior and its impacts on decision making. If you are unable to determine the subtle differences in attitudes, values and codes of conduct, it can result in breaking your international B2B campaign. Thus, the opportunity cost for not developing multi-cultural persona’s will lead to huge losses.
For ensuring the successful implementation of international marketing campaign, you need to delve deep into the buyer persona. This is the only way to target the right audience at the right time and with the right product/service.
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