How Do B2B Marketers Create Buyer Personas? - eMarketer
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How Do B2B Marketers Create Buyer Personas?

Secondary research and sales data employed to build customer profiles

November 7, 2016 | B2B | Advertising & Marketing

The “buyer persona,” a concept used by businesses to build hypothetical profiles of their ideal customers, is seeing more interest from B2B marketers. How are organizations using these buyer personas in their marketing efforts? And how do they go about constructing them?

US Marketers Whose Content Marketing Plan Is Built on a Buyer Persona Strategy, March 2016 (% of respondents)

Recent surveys show that many marketers are already using buyer personas to help inform activity like content marketing. In a March 2016 survey of US marketers by Pan Communications, 64% of respondents said they had built their content marketing plan using a buyer persona approach.

Buyer personas are playing a key role in the B2B sector, where many are using them to help with content segmentation, a discipline where marketers match their content creation efforts to different groups of target customers. A July 2016 survey of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn found that one-third of respondents had utilized a buyer persona for content segmentation, the second most popular answer.

Types of Content Segmentation Used by B2B Marketers Worldwide*, July 2016 (% of respondents)

When it comes to how B2B organizations construct buyer personas, most rely on a variety of research sources. In a September 2016 study by Annuitas, more than 60% of B2B enterprise marketers surveyed said they used secondary research from analysts or sales team recommendations to develop buyer personas, the two most popular answers. Another 54% said they relied on current customer interviews, while approximately 52% used marketing team recommendations.

Meanwhile, those typically responsible for developing buyer personas are B2B organizations’ product and corporate marketing teams. More than 40% of B2B enterprise marketers in Annuitas’ survey said that product marketers had primary responsibility for developing buyer personas, while more than 39% said primary responsibility fell to the corporate marketing team.

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