As the old ways of Marketing fail, people try and find ways to prop them up. Hence Personas were developed. Here is a way to take mass marketing and try and give it some focus. So let's take say the average Joe or Josephine in Finance (let's assume we sell accounting systems) and try and define them.
This is against the background of today's Enterprise B2B reality that Advertising does not work, or your Marketing department looks like it has run out of ideas. Email marketing has been killed off through GDPR, did anybody actually read the emails anyway? And cold calling does not work. This is for two reasons; 1. The tech now exists to stop all of this, Ad blockers, you send me an unsolicited email and I just create a rule that means that all your emails from now on will go into the bin. The same with cold callers, I just block them using standard iPhone technology. I must admit like adverts, cold callers must be living in some 1980s bubble. The second reason is, that actually nobody is interested. We are all too busy and your message, however well crafted, written by the best agency, with the best photos has become noise. One of the great skills we have learned is the fact, today, we can filter out all the corporate rubbish.
The problem, often isn't the persona but the fact that what people are trying to do is target people with something nobody is interested in. Corporate marketing.
All corporate marketing is the same. It's like the brochure of the past. How great you are, how you are number one, how you only have the same features that everybody else say they have. The thing is it just becomes noise. Gary Vee calls this is the attention economy. We are ALL vying for the attention of people. You may think you are the best product in the world, but do does everybody else and that is the mistake. While you think you can target that person in Finance and how they WILL want to talk with you as your whatever it is is the best. They are also been targeted by all your competitors.
Budweiser the beer talk about "share of throat" as they understand they are not competing just with other beers, but Coke, Water, Coffee.
Personas don't work for sales people as it's time for them to show the world the one differentiator that all companies have. Something that none of your competitors have and that is your people.
Activate and empower your people (that includes Sales, Marketing, Procurement, HR, Supply Chain) to talk on Social Media with their own voice and you will be unstoppable. I don't mean stuff these people's social channels with boring corporate content, empower them, coach them, mentor them and your competition won't know what has hit them.
What percentage of your salesforce uses the marketing generated personas your team builds? 50%, 60%? Let me ask the question differently. What percent of the salesforce uses marketing generated personas on a regular basis to help with their sales planning? If you are like most organizations, the answer is between 20% – 30%. Research shows that 70% of sales reps do not use marketing generated personas. Put in different terms. A large portion of your marketing content budget is being wasted on content that sales reps does not use. This doesn’t have to be the case. SBI has worked with hundreds of clients that have this issue. Below is what we found.