A Buyer Persona is a semi-fictional representation of an ideal customer used to understand customer needs, desires, and behaviors. Used well, it helps to improve our products, services, and processes, making it a strategic tool for decision-making.
The market is constantly changing, and how commercial and operational activities are developed must be adapted to be competitive. In addition, a business-to-business (B2B) relationship differs from a business-to-consumer (B2C) relationship, so correctly identifying the Buyer Persona and understanding the critical differences between each guide how to improve their experience. Here we will talk about those differences and how to use them to define business rules.
- Why build Buyer Personas?
- What are the key differences between a B2B Buyer Persona and a B2C Buyer Persona?
- What are some strategies for each type of Buyer Persona?
Why build Buyer Personas?
Customers are the most valuable asset of a business, and thanks to them, we have cash flow and increase our value in the market. Investing enough resources to understand them is essential, as this will give us the information we need to improve as a company.
A Buyer Persona is a tool that gathers demographic, psychographic, and attitudinal information about each type of customer, thus determining the key factors that influence their purchasing decisions.
>>4 key factors in creating a successful Buyer Persona<<
We must use everything we know to define the right strategies to give each person the desired experience and increase the probability of generating a prospect and a sale. Building a Buyer Persona will help this knowledge to be summarized and consolidated for efficient understanding, communication, planning, and decision-making.
What are the key differences between a B2B Buyer Persona and a B2C Buyer Persona?
The purpose of having a tangible document on the profile of an ideal customer is to familiarize ourselves with the surrounding context, allowing us to customize business strategies, products, services, and processes. However, there are differences between a B2B and a B2C profile that must be considered because of their impact on the design of the experience.
What are some strategies for each type of Buyer Persona?
The Buyer Persona is a document that should be used constantly. It depends on each business how robust or how rudimentary this tool becomes. Having more knowledge about the jobs to be done and the expectations and pain points of each one should give us an idea about the right value proposition according to their profile. If we are not using it in this way, we are not going to generate any impact on their experience.
>>What is the Buyer Persona for, and how can I create one?<<
Each department should study its customers, listen to them and use the feedback to identify opportunities for improvement. Below, I share some ideas on strategically using this document; however, the best way to learn how to use it is to carry out the exercise with a multidisciplinary team and then analyze the results to define action paths.
A strategic exercise that can be carried out from the customers' point of view is to understand the business model and determine if our value proposition is economically viable, technically feasible, and desirable to the customers. Communication, sales, distribution, and service channels should be defined according to each profile's expectations and pain points. As examples:
- A B2B Buyer Persona prefers to be informed through commercial advisors, may use business e-commerce to automate monthly purchases and delivery days according to a contract, and may be offered a personalized service channel to resolve inconveniences.
- A B2C Buyer Persona requires informative and audiovisual content. 70% look for an advisor after searching online and want convenient payment options and delivery or pickup facilities at points of sale.
A value curve analysis is also an exercise that can help us identify critical elements, facilitating decision-making regarding the investments needed to match or surpass the competition strategically.
Marketing and sales cannot happen on a mass scale like in the 1960s. Today, personalization is one of the main ways to guarantee an extraordinary experience for our customers. Monthly plans must consider customers' preferred channels, web schedules, and finances. As examples:
- A B2B Buyer Persona has a defined budget. Promotions and marketing should build relationships to generate trust and establish prices and discounts by purchase volume and contract term. These should be variable according to the type of industry and size of the company. In addition, communication must generate traceable information through formal channels such as email or LinkedIn, where omnichannel becomes an important issue, even for using other means of communication such as WhatsApp.
- A B2C Buyer Persona has monthly expenses that compromise their wallet. Although credit is one of their options, they seek to fulfill their emotional and social jobs to be done. Promotion and marketing strategies should be focused on attraction, so they should be aligned with influencers, budget, and timing on the web so that they and the ads reach the right channel, at the right time, and to the right person.
A Customer Journey or Service Blueprint is a complement to Buyer Personas. These tools map the buying process for each type of customer, allowing you to identify the touch points, moments of truth, and internal processes that need to be standardized to optimize service quality.
Process mapping is a way to generate a guide on how to sequentially carry out tasks to meet the objectives of internal and external customers. Processes consider who is responsible for each activity, the information inputs, resources, outputs, and systems needed to make the workflow as smooth as possible. They seek to reduce errors, bottlenecks, and rework through standardization and automation. As examples:
- A B2B Buyer Persona may require emergency supply, agile negotiation, or immediate service. Defining business rules and automation so that the customer can self-manage their needs is a great help in making requests during out-of-office hours; this is only possible when we have a clear idea of what information is needed, the capacity in terms of resources and the availability of our inventories.
- A B2C Buyer Persona can find alternative or substitute products with our competitors. Automated follow-ups through preferred communication channels are a way to increase the probability of the sale. In addition, automating promotions and discounts help free up our consultants' schedules to focus on improving their relationship with customers and make decisions based on pre-established criteria to make their Journey faster. These strategies seek to incentivize sales efficiently.
Defining indicators is a way to assess the health and success of our business. With them, we can measure the outcome of a new strategy to change the approach as we move towards or away in an agile way.
In summary, B2B and B2C Buyer Personas differ in their objectives, decision-making processes, motivations, and purchasing channels. A clear understanding of these differences allows us to create a strategy, innovate services and products for positive experiences and optimize our metrics. Increasing retention, increasing sales, and decreasing costs depend on how capable our business is of making decisions agile and focused on the expectations of our Buyer Personas.