b158-1Since content is the most important contributing factor for SEO, properly targeting it to a company’s customer personas is essential. Their development of customer personas is of particular importance in the inbound methodology, as Versio2 Managing Partner Stephan Burckhardt explains.

There are many ways of segmenting one’s market. Demographics, value orientation, lifestyle, generational and cultural aspects, and more sophisticated methods have come into and out of fashion for decades. Customer personas bring new, useful dimensions of personality, emotion and “pain-points” (issues of interest and concern) into the picture.

Other questions that need to be considered when creating personas are where they get their information (where do they prefer to go to research), what experience they are looking for when they are researching and shopping, and what typical objections and reservations they might have before purchasing. For an up-to-date view on this subject, read this interview with Tony Zambito who created the buyer persona concept in 2002.

b158-2Personas help to understand and focus on your real-life customers

Since personas create profiles of virtual potential customers in a fleshed-out and three-dimensional manner, often with an actual photo attached, we end up with personas such as “C-level Carl”, “Martha, the Marketer” or “Hesitant Henrietta” that can become common parlance inside marketing and sales departments as well as the board room. A customer-focused company’s entire staff gets to better understand how their particular personas work, what their motivations, values, buying behaviour, and especially their needs and pain points are, all of which help in better serving the customer.

This form of marketing is inherently customer-centric and provides an excellent method for segmentation and targeting. According to a study by HubSpot, the top priority for CEOs today is reaching the right customers.

“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.” 
Zig Ziglar, best selling author & motivational speaker

One important aspect in being successful with this approach is to always include your customer’s emotional needs so you can address them properly. This does not only hold true for female consumers (a cliché), but male B2B customers as well. I am sure the reader can recall an instance or two in which a customer has had all the facts, features and (cost) benefits only to make an “irrational,” emotional decision against a purchase in the end.

Read more about customer personas:

The above article was an extract from Lean Marketing – A Guide for Executives, a 48-page, fully researched and illustrated ebook that focuses on how the latest marketing practices fit with a lean business paradigm, and how inbound marketing provides a perfect solution to help forward looking companies obtain and keep a competitive edge.

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Stephan Burckhardt

This marketing vet is based in Greater Vancouver, Canada. He has worked in B2B marketing in Silicon Valley and Europe, was CEO of a large agency serving B2B startups, trans-nationals, and everything in between. Focus: technology, healthcare, professional services.
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