In the pages of Alan Cooper’s The Inmates Are Running the Asylum, we find the first usage of the term “buyer persona.” Through this, he was stating the contrast between the needs, expectations, and goals of buyers and users.
His mention of buyer personas was a caution to businesses to separate customers into two categories—the “before purchase” buyer persona and the “after purchase” user persona.
Although the primary goal for both types of personas is identical, it is apparent that sales teams need very different insights than marketing teams.
As buyer personas have developed to include some of the principles Cooper originated, this evolution has also conveyed ideas that are counterproductive for marketers. These practices have led to bloated personas that miss the key insights marketers need.
When you know what triggers your buyer’s decision to prioritize investment in a solution like the one your organization offers, you have discovered the first of five Buying Insights that will help you align your marketing strategies with your buyer’s expectations.
Insight 1 – Priority Initiative
The Priority Initiative insight explains the most compelling reason that buyers decide to invest in a solution similar to the one your organization offers, and why others are content with the status quo.
Marketers use this insight to define, defend, and execute strategies that resonate with buyers at the earliest stages in their decision.
Insight 2 – Success Factors
The Success Factors insight explains the operational or personal results that your buyer persona exacts from purchasing a solution like yours.
Through this insight, you would know precisely which risks are most worrisome and how your buyers describe the rewards of achieving control.
Insight 3 – Perceived Barriers
Perceived Barriers is often referred to as the “bad news” insight because it tells you what prevents buyers from considering your solution, as well as why some believe that your competitors have a better approach.
When you know where the barriers are and who’s behind them, you know what you need to do to reassure your buyer that your company or solution will help achieve their Priority Initiative and Success Factors.
Insight 4 – Buyer’s Journey
This insight reveals the behind-the-scenes story about the work your buyers do to evaluate options, eliminate contenders, and settle on their final choice.
Through this insight, you will know which of several influencers is involved at each phase of the decision, what they did to arrive at their conclusions, and how much influence each of them has over the decision.
Insight 5 – Decision Criteria
Through Decision Criteria, you will learn about the specific attributes of your product, service, or solution that buyers evaluate as they compare alternative approaches.
Decision Criteria insights reveals when buyers are not satisfied with benefits-oriented marketing materials, and that companies that communicate facts are more likely to gain their buyers’ trust.