BMI: Tuesday Marketing Notes (Number 173—May 19th, 2009)
|How to Eliminate the Sales/Marketing Disconnect With CRM-FM
Read More >>
|80% of Sales Lead Generation Costs Wasted Due to Lack of Lead Development
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On-Demand CRM Marketing Campaigns, With CRM-FM
Read More >>
|Where On-Demand CRM Meets Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know
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Are You Really Reaching Your Reader?
20 Questions to Consider
Michele Linn, Linn Communications
Getting a clear picture of your ideal reader is one of the most important things you can do when crafting any B2B marketing content, such as white papers, case studies, feature articles and email newsletters.
Understanding your ideal reader is especially critical in the post-marketing era, which Eric Gagnon has discussed in recent issues of BMI’s Tuesday Marketing Notes. Content will be king, and the only way you are going to capture attention is by focusing on issues that are important to your reader (not what you think is important), using words that are familiar (not overused or technical jargon) and distributing it in places where your reader is searching.
You may think, "I know my target audience. It's the VP of operations at Fortune 100 companies." While these types of details are a start, to be truly effective, there is a lot more information you need to know.
Many writing and marketing experts suggest developing a persona of your ideal buyer and then writing directly to that person. If you are unfamiliar with a persona, it is a detailed description of your ideal buyer that puts a face and personality with an otherwise nebulous group of individuals (e.g. “soccer mom”). I love using personas when writing because my tone is much more conversational. In addition, I constantly ask myself, "Does this person care about this information?” which helps to focus my thoughts.
It is likely that you will have multiple personas for each of your solutions, such as the decision maker, the influencer and the user. All have different needs and experiences, and your marketing needs to address each group specifically.
To help you build your buyer personas and create content that really speaks to your reader, here some questions you should answer.
There are lots of questions you (hopefully) already know the answer to:
• What is the person's title?
• What industry does he work in?
• What size company does he work for?
• Does he reside in a specific geography?
But you also want to understand what makes this person tick:
• Is he very busy and likes only high-level detail, or is he curious and likes lots of facts?
• What keeps him up at night?
• What challenges does he wish you could fix?
• What gets him really excited?
• Who does he trust? Who influences his decisions?
• What motivates him to take action?
Create a mental image of this person by asking these types of questions:
• Is the reader typically male or female?
• What is his general age?
It's also helpful to learn about his familiarity with the subject:
• How technical is he?
• How familiar is he with the general solution you are writing about?
• What word or phrases does he use to describe the issues he's facing?
• What is his role in the buying process? Is he a decision maker, champion or influencer?
Lastly, it's useful to understand his online behavior:
• Where does he search for information?
• Does he interact on certain forums?
• What blogs does he follow?
• Which social media tools does he use (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc)?
The more time you take to understand your ideal reader, the more focused and engaging your marketing communications will be.
Michele Linn (http://www.linncommunications.com/) is a freelance marketing writer specializing in white papers, research reports, feature articles, case studies, and other B2B communications. Her business is devoted to making the job of B2B marketers easier by producing buyer-focused content and providing insights on how they can market it. She is also a founding member and frequent contributor to the Savvy B2B Marketing blog (http://savvyb2bmarketing.com/blog). Send her an email (email@example.com) or follow her on Twitter (http://twitter.com/michelelinn)