Every smart marketer uses B2B buyer personas to drive their messaging so it resonates with prospects.
However, they often forget to think about these personas when trying to engage their customers after the deal is signed.
To turn customers into vocal and passionate brand advocates, marketers need to be able to speak their customer’s unique language and find out what really motivates long-term loyalty.
Over the past few months, we’ve explained how brands can make deeper connections with seven distinct B2B advocate personas in different industries—from the passionate IT pro, to the dedicated educator.
Below we’re sharing a few quick tips for making sure your customer marketing efforts hit home with these specific advocate types. To learn more about engaging different advocate personas, download a free, industry-specific ebook here.
Programmers and developers are the quiet, focused and dedicated individuals that have their eyes glued to a computer screen 24/7 as they create and tweak code. However, this introverted group is quite opinionated. They care deeply about craftsmanship and gaining clout amongst their peers.
How to approach them: Give them a platform to share their strong opinions and connect with others in their field. But you will have to gain at least some level of understanding of their difficult work in order to deliver relevant messages and build trust. And remember the Golden Rule: no marketing fluff.
The HR professional
Dedicated, sociable and extraverted are three words that would describe most HR pros. Because they have far more empathy than the average Joe, they are the epitome of the ‘people person.’ But they’re busy. Really busy. So you’ll have to work hard to get their attention.
How to approach them: Use e-mail reminders and phone calls to reach out to this group, but be respectful their schedules. Stress how you can help in areas that matter most to them, like boosting their professional profile and gaining more industry knowledge. Oh, and don’t forget to add a little cheer to their day, because they sometimes have to deal with pretty intense (or depressing) matters.
The Sales professional
‘Always Be Closing’ is this group’s mantra. Sales can be a cut-throat, highly competitive, and stress-filled business. It requires someone who’s great at persuading others, can lay on the charm, and is always on. So, how can you get a salesperson’s guard down long enough to connect with them?
How to approach them: Play to their competitive nature, and make your marketing fun by gamifying every experience you can. If there’s any persona that’s inclined to want to climb to the top of a leaderboard, it’s sales reps. Just make sure to keep your communications short. This group won’t waste their valuable time reading long emails or in-depth whitepapers.
The IT professional
They’re shy and less assertive than others, but their work is integral to the functioning of any company. Their top concerns are security, staying out of the spotlight, feeling appreciated and not wasting time on meaningless conversations.
How to approach them: Understand how to speak their language, and show them that their work and skills are recognized. But do so in a more reserved manner. Don’t be afraid to have some fun, too. Star Wars versus Star Trek: go! Those six words alone will get your IT advocates jumping! And remember the golden rule: no marketing fluff.
Executives are ambitious, balanced, and motivated by growth. Yet somehow they are less stressed than other managerial types because of their ability to effectively manage the demands of their job. This also means they’re good at effectively tuning out marketing messages they don’t think are relevant.
How to approach them: Try to understand what is most important to an executive and how you can best and most efficiently deliver it to them. Anything that will help them grow their company’s bottom line will catch their interest. However, you’ll have to offer them creative rewards that money can’t buy if you really want to get them hooked.
The Project Manager
There’s no “i” in “team” and, coincidentally, none in “project manager” or “consultant” either. This persona is focused on the success of the entire team, which in turn reflects on their personal success. Despite their busy schedules, this group will take the time to interact with you—if you show them value right away.
How to approach them: This tech savvy bunch is always looking for ways to be more efficient. Offer up specific, timely and relevant information and they’ll appreciate your efforts. Don’t be afraid to ask this perceptive bunch for their opinions and feedback so you can get to know what really makes them tick. And don’t forget to inject a quick bit of fun into the mix, too.
Educators are perhaps the most selfless of all the advocate types. They work tirelessly to perfect their lesson plans, inspire students and share their knowledge. For them, it’s not about climbing a corporate ladder, but following their true passion.
How to approach them: When reaching out to educators, remember to work around their schedules and never interrupt their precious classroom time. They will appreciate the chance to get recognized and connect with their peers after hours, though. If you can find ways to make them feel appreciated, and offer them rewards that appeal to their altruistic nature, your marketing efforts will get an A+ in their books.
No two advocate groups are alike. What appeals to the salesperson won’t interest a busy executive.
Using B2B buyer personas to create engaging customer marketing campaigns and programs can help turn new customers into happy, successful brand advocates who will be delighted to renew their contracts, buy more products, and sing your company’s praises to their peers to help grow your business.
eBook series: Engaging Your Advocates
This new eBook series explores the art and science behind engaging advocates in different industries, including:
- Insight into the advocate persona (e.g., IT, HR, sales, etc.)
- Key challenges and how to address them
- Ideas from real advocate marketing programs
- Tips from marketers who have experience working with each persona