Understanding Buyer Personas: The Human Side

The Human Side
The Human Side
Reposted from @acooze:

What’s the right way to think about “buyer personas”? I’m discussing that topic in a series of guest-blog posts at Acooze.com, content marketing consultants from Melbourne, Australia.

Building and understanding buyer personas is important because as you understand the personas you’re dealing with, you can begin to understand their pain points.

Then you need to create benefit statements that correspond to those pain points. Benefits statements become the key messaging units of the content. But first, you’ve got to begin creating and then mapping the various personas.

Different people in your target accounts are going to have different concerns. And accordingly, they’ll be searching for answers to different kinds of questions.

I thought I’d provide example that shows you how marketing and sales can work together to craft useful personas. Then discuss how “content” could map to those personas…

Read more: The Human Side of the Buyer Persona.

I’m @johnbugay

Understanding Buyer Personas: Two sides of the coin

Buyer Personas: two sides of a coinReposted from @acooze, @learningeloqua:

What’s the right way to think about “buyer personas”? I’m discussing that topic in a series of guest-blog posts at Acooze.com.

You have to be able to identify your buyer persona in two ways. First, you must know them from their own perspective – get them to say “I am a person who …” (and you need this kind of feedback ideally from a representative sample of them, or from your salespeople’s understanding of them). That’s the human side.

Second, you must be able to access them within your data. That’s the technical side. A lot of content marketing advice exists about the first, but it seems like information on the second is a bit harder to find.

Getting your buyer personas right is like burning both ends of a candle. And if you’re not making a connection in the middle, you’re going to run into some difficulty.

Read more: Buyer Personas, A Collision of Human and Technology

I’m @johnbugay

The 2000-person Twitter “speed bump”

Speed BumpIt took me a while to figure out the Twitter “speed bump”.

Once you get to 2000 people whom you’re “following” (or somewhere in that vicinity), Twitter won’t let you follow more people until your ratio of following-to-followers comes to within about 10% (I don’t have the precise numbers, and the way Twitter works, they’re not important).

My understanding is that this “speed bump” was put into place in order to inhibit spam accounts. That’s fair.

I had found that following people was a good, though imprecise, way to get followers.

The “speed-bump”, which everyone encounters at that “following 2000” level, does have a workaround, and that is the “unfollow” feature. You can do that one or two at a time, or you can use one of a number of tools, including “justunfollow” and “manageflitter”, that let you locate and unfollow the people you don’t need to follow any more.

So for newer Twitter users, just be aware that the speed bump exists, and it can be gotten over. In the last several days, I’ve unfollowed several hundred accounts, which has freed up space for me to follow new people.

Like the “speed bump” that slows down traffic in the parking lot, if you take it slow and resolve to get over it one axle at a time, the “speed bump” is no more than just a minor annoyance.

I’m @johnbugay

@ Clayton Kendall for a day

I’d like to thank the good folks at Clayton Kendall, who had me in for a “work-for-a-day” kind of second interview. I’ve applied for an Email Marketing Manager position with them, and I was one of three candidates to be invited back for a day. I was given several “tasks” to do, which involved providing some marketing strategies and other written tests. I think I did well.

I’ll let you know!

@johnbugay

Conjunction of planets?

I am out with the kids on the evening of May 26, to see the conjunction of planets (this is the best night to see this). There has not been a cloud in the sky all day, until just recently, when the only clouds that have appeared all day have shown up in the west.

20130526-200913.jpg

Caution: Heavy Lifting on the IT Side of Marketing

Alan Pringle @scriptorium has put together an article that could have been subtitled, “The Technical Side of Content Management: 11 Questions to Ask”.

When IT is MIA, content strategy crumbles.

Based on “hard experience”, he makes the following personnel-based observation:

Among those authoring content, have at least two tech-savvy employees who are the main points of contact with the IT department. These technical liaisons collect information about performance issues and other problems and then work with the IT group to solve the issues. Don’t play the I’m just a writer and don’t want to be bothered with the technical details card and leave all the heavy lifting to the IT group.

He notes, “Having a primary IT resource for content processes is a logical approach, but there needs to be a secondary resource who is more than just a backup in name only. The secondary resource should be well-versed in the tools and participate in basic maintenance to develop a working knowledge of the system.”

At this point, I just want to point out the line on my résumé where it says I was “marketing liaison with MIS/IT”. I’m a guy who can handle the heavy lifting on the IT side of the Marketing house.

Do you know someone who needs help with that?

I’m @johnbugay.

Link between Marketing and Technology enables greater ROI tracking

Marketers and TechnologyB-to-B Magazine highlighted the growing link between “marketing” and “technology”, and the competitive advantage that the linkage brings, at its kickoff to the Internet Week conference in New York.

Sheryl Pattek, VP-principal analyst at Forrester Research, said that the ability to track marketing ROI through technology is the most important change contributing to the evolution of the marketing profession. Generally speaking:

Marketers and information technology departments are joined at the hip today, with IT leaving behind its singular focus on back-office operations and increasingly enabling customer information and service … “Five years ago we had only a handful of people handling our website,” said Eduardo Conrado, senior VP-marketing and IT at Motorola Solutions. “Today, 18% to 20% of the entire marketing staff is working on technology enablement for marketing, sales and customers.”

That kind of technology includes the means to deal with “a newcomer to the world of IT villains, [as a] Deluge O’Data floods enterprises mercilessly. If directed and channeled for good, however, this surprising life form could transform the enterprise landscape and bring new growth.”

Out of a corner: “Learning a lot”

Jim Fixx's Second Book of Running
Getting out of a corner
I used to be a runner. I don’t run anymore, but I still walk, because I’m a lot heavier now than I was when I was 20. I’ve still got good, pain-free knees, and I’d like to try to keep them that way. But one part of my methodology seems to be the same now as it was then: whenever I wanted to learn how to do something, I bought a book about it.

That’s how it worked when I started running. I wanted to know “the right way” to do things.

Back then, there was a “Complete Book of Running”, by a writer named Jim Fixx. As the graphic nearby shows, Fixx then went on to write a “Second Book of Running”. Here’s the problem, though, as he stated it. If you’re going to write a “complete book” of something, there ought not to be a need for a “second book”. Thus, his foreword carried the title “Out of a Corner”.

He needed to explain the need for this second book in the light of his first. That’s how it worked then, and that’s how it works now. I need to explain my way out of a corner.

One of the first things I did, upon entering the ranks of the “available” (in a business sense), was to start a blog, “Learning Eloqua”. After all, that’s what I do. In another part of my world, I’m a team-member of a highly-regarded and widely-read theology blog, Triablogue. I’m accustomed to waking up at 3:00 AM and pumping out a fully-developed, well-thought-out blog article by 4:30 AM.

But in the process of “Learning Eloqua”, I stumbled upon (can’t get away from it) a lot of other things that I needed to learn. I stumbled upon Twitter, and through Twitter, I have been tripping over things left and right.

One of my deepest sorrows (in a business sense) is that, by the time I figured out that I needed an Eloqua certification, I was no longer in a position to get one. So it was to my great joy that a similar kind of certification, a HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification was available for free through Hubspot’s website. (HT: Brenda Stoltz at Ariad Partners).

Now, in this case, “free” doesn’t mean “cheap”. There are nine hour-long video lessons, and a 50-question test (which I have not yet attempted) in order to become certified.

So far, I’ve been able to bring myself up-to-date with web (keyword) optimization, blogging (in a business sense), and as I write this, “social media”. On tap are “content with a purpose”, “the anatomy of a landing page”, “the conversion process”, “closing” and “cultivating delighted customers”.

Looking at Eloqua’s Topliners community, I can still see that there are many gaps in what I (and apparently many others) still need to know. But I’m nudging things forward.

The bottom line is, I’m still “Learning Eloqua”, and I still hope to work with that blog. Lord willing, I’ll have an opportunity to work for an Eloqua-using company, on an Eloqua-using team. But if not, wherever I go will find me “learning a lot”, in a mode of continuous improvement.

Back when I was learning to run, there were a couple of “running” songs that would go through my mind. “Running on Empty” and “Running Against the Wind”. Sometimes it still seems like that. Some things don’t change.

Keep on moving forward, in spite of the obstacles.

Twitter and me

Twitter LogoIf you follow me on any of the “social media”, you’ve likely seen a lot from me, in the form of re-tweets and six-second Vine videos.

A couple of articles inspired me:

The New Résumé: It’s 140 Characters
Subhead: Some Recruiters, Job Seekers Turn to Twitter, but Format Is a Challenge; Six-Second Video Goes Viral

How to Tweet Your Way to Your Dream Job
Subhead: Three Out of Four People are in Constant Job-Search Mode and, Increasingly, Twitter is Their Tool of Choice. Here’s How to Make 140 Characters Work for You.

Here’s my 140 character résumé, give or take:

@johnbugay: Email marketing, marketing automation, Eloqua user. Marketing manager, copywriter, content, data analysis, segmentation.