How do you market to the channel? One size fits all? Or do you follow a different approach for each reseller and their role within their particular company?
Delivering a message that resonates with resellers can be a challenge because they’re busy selling, implementing and acquiring new customers. With potentially hundreds of emails to review, they simply don’t have time to engage the vendors that don’t speak to their specific pain points. Vendors that can deliver the right message at the right time, tailored to an individual’s role, will cut through the clutter and connect. A growing number of marketers in the channel are leveraging buyer personas to help deliver timelier, more effective campaigns that don’t get passed over.
What Are Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas are detailed profiles of your ideal customer, developed to better understand who’s being targeted through your marketing efforts. By defining these profiles, your marketing team can better segment your database and tailor your content more effectively. Effective buyer personas include several key components such as demographic information, pain points and company roles. The best buyer personas take this understanding a step further to identify behavior patterns and stages of the buying/evaluation process.
Considering the behavior of your audience is extremely important because timeliness of communication and targeted outreach can determine whether or not emails get opened and read. Behavior can also help you determine the type of content your audience prefers.
A strong understanding of the buying/evaluation cycle can help you deliver relevant content that addresses their needs today. When looking at a list of contacts as a whole, it might seem like a good idea to send generic follow-up information, or announcements regarding helpful updates, but this information may only be relevant to one small portion of your audience. Needs vary at different parts of the buying process. Resellers toward the end of their buying process tend to be more product-focused and respond well to comparative information, while contacts still very early in the process are interested in more educational information and introductory content.
How Buyer Personas Impact Your Marketing
Once you’ve defined your personas, you can pursue a much more deliberate approach to your marketing. Knowing that a persona catches up on email in the afternoon and prefers white papers can help you deliver content that’s more likely to be read at a time the reseller is available, and segmenting your contact lists based on a decision-making persona can help to determine the optimal time to send your next email campaign.
A common pain point for many sales teams is that there’s no standard sales timeline; some deals come in fast and others drag on. Segmenting by buying stage can help remedy this. For a contact that’s almost sales-ready, sending generic, top-of-the-funnel information can slow momentum and actually hinder the sales process. Conversely, sending sales-focused information to a new lead could come across as too forceful and possibly scare them away. It’s important to optimize this process because it keeps the sales pipeline strong and predictable.
It’s also important to remember that buyer personas evolve over time. As your client base increases and new products become available, your audience will also grow. It’s essential to revisit your buyer personas throughout the year and ensure your content’s properly aligned. By tailoring content to specific buying stages, you can expect an increase in engagement from your marketing communication as well as a more streamlined sales process.
Personas Help Align Sales and Marketing
Buyer personas are also extremely valuable to your sales team. Having sales and marketing in agreement over who your audience is and how best to communicate with them not only keeps messaging consistent, but also helps in the preparation of sales presentations, tradeshow events and further communication.
How Agency Ingram Micro Can Help
Partnering with Agency Ingram Micro can help you enter specific markets and target solution providers through our comprehensive programs. Our business intelligence capabilities allow us to focus on precise goals, including acquiring, retaining, winning back and/or growing your targeted customers. We reach deep into solution-provider organizations to communicate to the decision makers and influencers, including technical reps, sales reps, sales management and owners.
Contact your marketing account manager to find out more about these buying personas and how we can help incorporate them into your channel marketing strategy. Together, we can realize the promise of technology.