Effective inbound marketing is based on one major principle. In order for it to be successful, it then relies on three essential elements. The principle is straightforward:
Encourage the prospective client to want to learn enough about the product or service you are marketing so they want to take action (or a series of actions) and then enable them to take those intended actions easily and without risk. The three elements are these:
- Deliver the right message
- To the right market
- Using the most appropriate media
You know the message(s) you want to deliver, and you know the media you will use to carry your message. The stumbling block is often to do with engaging the right market. Many would-be marketers confuse ‘marketplace’ with ‘market’. Your marketplace might be the petrochemical industry or major heavy engineering manufacturers. It might be to do, specifically, with ergonomics in a manufacturing process or, more broadly, to do with project management. That is your marketplace.
The ‘market’ is made up of people. They are the individual decision-makers and decision-influencers who work in the marketplace. The petrochemical industry will not contribute to your LinkedIn discussion group, neither will a major manufacturing corporation download your white paper on JIT logistics. People do those things. Individuals with personalities, interests, preferences, and prejudices join groups made up of like-minded people who are facing similar challenges, and who share common backgrounds. People who need to improve results and reduce costs, or who just want to stay up to speed with changes in their industry, read studies that might give them a new insight. Individuals head up project teams, and analyze test results. Individuals deliver on corporate goals, and face challenges they must address – in their functional area.
In order to attract those individuals enough so they pay attention to your message, you must speak their language, use their standard terminology, cite examples that they will find meaningful, explore problems that they, actually, contend with as part of their own functional responsibilities.
In marketing, those groups of individuals, for whom you have crafted your functional-specific message are called ‘Buyer Personas’.
When you are creating buyer personas keep in mind you must then offer solutions, or ideas, that will support those Personas in delivering on their own project or study goals. When those individuals recognize the value in your message for them – they will respond. They will make the decisions you want them to make – as long as you make it easy and safe for them to make those decisions. That is the value of creating specific buyer personas for your business. They deliver results.
Your marketing message can only deliver the results you intend if you speak direct to the market – not just the marketplace. When you have explored, and you understand, the specific areas that matter to, say, production managers in heavy engineering plants as opposed to civil engineering project managers you can construct messages that will encourage production managers to make the decisions you want them to make. If you also want to attract project managers you must do the same for them. Your market needs the right message if you want to get the right results, and that is why you study and create ‘Buyer Personas’.
For more information on how to create a buyer persona for your business contact us at MediaWorks.