B2B Target Market Personas

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 1: Defining And Prioritizing Annual 2018 MARKETING GOALS – So, What Are You Actually Looking to Accomplish This Year?

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 2: B2B Target Market Personas

Step Back and Ask Yourself: Who Am I Really Trying to Reach?

In the B2B world, it can be tricky to nail down exactly who makes up your target audience. Sure, it’s easy enough to list off your dream client companies or the industries they’re in, but who specifically is going to make the decision to hire you? Defining your target audience is not just about a list of companies; instead, you need to be specific about who the decision-makers are. By creating detailed B2B target market personas, you’ll allow yourself to speak directly to the needs and wants of those in charge.

So, what exactly is a target market persona, and why is it especially important in B2B marketing?

Basically, a persona is a representation of a typical person within your target market or audience. It’s a detailed description of an example contact’s background, job responsibilities, likes, goals, challenges and more that makes them who they are and factors into how they make decisions.

Looking at these specifics can really help you understand your potential customers’ needs and enable you to speak to how you can solve their problems. For B2C companies, this is often pretty simple – you have a product that this specific person needs or wants. But as a B2B business, you’re not selling to one person – you’re selling to an entire company. Obviously, the entire company isn’t making the decision to hire you. Instead, one person or a small group of people within that larger company will be pulling the trigger. That’s who you need to tailor your messaging to, but it can be difficult to get started.

How do you begin to develop B2B target market personas, then?

We recently went through this exercise again (it’s important to constantly look at your personas to refine them and make edits as your business changes), and we found the best way to start is by using your current customers for the initial framework.

(By the way, it can really help to have someone outside your own business facilitate this process. If you’d like us to help guide you through, reach out!)

Think about your clients, and pick a few that are pretty different from each other. Maybe they differ based on size, structure or even who your main point of contact is. The key here is to develop a solid group of three to four individuals who are generally representative of your client base.

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 2: B2B Target Market Personas Step Back and Ask Yourself: Who Am I Really Trying to Reach?From there, it’s time to build your personas. Here’s an easy-to-use downloadable template you can use as a worksheet to develop your personas.

These are the main areas we covered and questions to answer about each persona:

1. Background: title, industry, experience level, team reports to
2. Sources for Info: favorite publications, social networks and associations, and how they like to receive info
3. Job role: responsibilities, tools/resources needed, sources of pain/frustration, and how their success is measured

It’s important to be very specific, but if you’re working from a real person, you should also think about additional characteristics to add that may apply to someone similar to them. Work with a few people on your team to develop these personas to make sure you’ve got a well-rounded picture. It can be helpful to give your personas catchy names that describe them, so you’ll have something easy to refer to when developing your marketing strategy and messaging.

Of course, it’s still important to look at the bigger picture, too. Don’t throw out that list of dream client companies – just dig into it a little deeper. You should still develop marketing messaging and content that speaks specifically to target markets – the type of companies you want to hire you or buy your product or service, whether based on industry, location, size, etc. The key here is to use that as a starting place and let the insights gained from developing your target personas help further define and hone your message.

If you do, you’ll be able to start marketing from a solid base – a great foundation to JumpStart your marketing!

Did you miss Part 1 of JumpStart 2018? Read now to get help developing your marketing goals. And keep an eye out for Part 3, all about analyzing your current marketing performance, coming soon.

Defining and Prioritizing Annual 2018 Marketing Goals

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 1: Defining And Prioritizing Annual 2018 MARKETING GOALS – So, What Are You Actually Looking to Accomplish This Year?

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 1: Defining and Prioritizing Annual 2018 Marketing Goals

So, What Are You Actually Looking to Accomplish This Year?

Welcome to JUMPSTART 2018! JUMPSTART 2018 is your marketing roadmap created by the experts at Pomerantz Marketing to help you kick your marketing into high gear in 2018. For more information about this series, visit https://pomagency.com/jumpstart/. And read on for Step 1: Defining And Prioritizing Annual 2018 Marketing Goals

With a new year comes the opportunity for new goals. Now’s your chance to really figure out what you need to focus on to make your marketing the best its ever been.

But defining and prioritizing your annual 2018 marketing goals can seem daunting – after all, there are so many channels to focus on, tons of tools available, countless people to answer to and things are constantly changing. Where do you start? How do you ensure your goals are helping you and not just making your job harder?

The experts at Pomerantz know how to help you answer those questions and create a plan for defining and prioritizing your marketing goals – it’s what we do! Here are some valuable tips to help you get your head around your goals. (pssst…don’t want to try it on your own? Reach out to our team now for help. Just fill out the form on the bottom of that page, and we’ll be in touch ASAP!)

Be Specific

It’s not enough to just say, “I want MORE” or “I want BETTER.” Sure, that may capture the general idea of what you want, but it’s not an achievable target. Isn’t half the fun of goals crossing them off your list once they’ve been reached? So put a number to it. Instead of just wanting MORE leads and sales or BETTER Google rankings and social media presence, define it.

Look to the Past

One of the best ways to start when it comes to defining goals is to look to your past performance. If you’ve been getting two leads a month for the past year, it’s not super realistic to think you can immediately jump to 100 a month. Back that number down a bit. What number seems realistic?

Think about what you’ve had to do in the past to get to where you are now. Are you willing and ready to contribute that amount of work and money multiple times over to achieve that goal?

Make it Challenging but Achievable

Still want to reach 100 leads a month? Think about how you can incrementally, realistically get there. Maybe state that you want to be getting 100 a month by the end of the year (and make sure you have the budget to back it up!) or by next year. Or if your company is growing and you have the budget to add to your support (internal or outsourced), hire the help you need.

Either way, make sure you’re thinking through how achievable your goals are. Goals need to challenge you and encourage you to work hard. But if they’re totally out of reach, you won’t put that much effort into it, knowing you’ll never reach them.

Start Big and Work Backward

Sticking with the 100 leads example, if you set that as your big goal for the year, create smaller goals that will contribute to its achievement. Perhaps you want to rank #1 for a few specific keywords that will drive potential leads to your site. Or maybe you want to provide three new, well-designed sales tools to your sales team to bring in leads.

Whatever your BIG GOAL for 2018 is, add a few supporting goals to help you get there. You’ll be making progress and have something to check off your list as the year passes.

Choose Goals that Get You Excited

Working toward a goal you don’t really care about won’t be nearly as successful as working on something in which you’re invested. Being authentic and true to your passions will lead to a much better result. Don’t just choose something because it sounds impressive to your bosses – they’re not the ones who’ll be working on it day in and day out. Find a way to align your passions to the ultimate business goals of your company.

Get the Team on Board

Finally, share that excitement! Get the team into the challenge and make sure you have their buy-in before you push a huge goal onto their plates. Being clear about your expectations of their involvement in achieving the goal will help them understand why they’re important to the process. You could even help them define their own goals in relation to your company’s larger goals.
On the flip side (and referenced above), you’ll also need to get your bosses, board or whomever you answer to invested in your goal. You’ll need their support (in finances, time or staffing) to meet your goal, and you want them to be just as excited about that target as you are.

Figure Out What Comes First

If you only set one big goal for the year and create smaller, supporting goals, prioritizing shouldn’t be too difficult. But if you have two, three or even four big goals (we don’t recommend having much more than that unless you have a whole lot of support), it can be challenging to know where to start.

Look at your whole list – does one jump out and scream, “Me first!” Maybe you recognize that it will give you the greatest return in the least amount of time, or maybe it’s the one your company is counting on the most. It could just be the one that gets your wheels turning – the one you immediately have the most ideas and excitement for.

You should also look at the day-to-day tasks you know need resources, and figure out which goal can fit in most easily to the resources you have available. Finally, you may just need to multitask and/or delegate. And if your goals are already overwhelming you, it’s time to go back to the beginning and refine that list. Or just hire more help!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of JUMPSTART 2018, where we’ll be talking all about target audiences!

Tracking and Proving That Your B2B Marketing Plan Works - Marketing That Doesn't Suck - Pomerantz Marketing

Marketing that Doesn’t Suck: Part 5

Tracking and Proving That Your B2B Marketing Plan Works - Marketing That Doesn't Suck - Pomerantz Marketing

Example #5: Tracking and Proving That Your B2B Marketing Plan Works

It takes a lot of time and effort to set up a successful B2B marketing plan, so once you’ve got those building blocks in place, track that success and prove that your strategy is solid. The most successful marketers are able to show what their strategy has achieved for their companies, and even more importantly, fix and improve on what could be better. Despite this, less than half of B2B marketers use analytics effectively.

With the tools available today, from Google Analytics to marketing automation software to call tracking, there are countless ways to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. It’s easy to get busy with the day-to-day implementation and planning, but tracking is important. Make sure that your team formalizes what it measures, and set up metrics for both overall performance, such as YTD numbers, as well as metrics for individual program or specific campaign performance.

Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of metrics that you could be (should be) giving your attention. You can track everything from form fill-outs on your website, content downloads, demo requests and event sign-ups to calls via tracking numbers, which emails work better (try A/B testing a couple of different versions) and which banner ads or remarketing campaigns are succeeding. Successful marketers stay aware of the metrics that matter to their businesses, and they use the tools available to them to analyze and shift their strategies.

That leads to the second, and most important, part of this message: once you know what is and isn’t working, tweak and change your B2B marketing strategy and plans based on the data gathered. What’s the point in learning something isn’t working if you don’t make it better?

Constant improvement should be a key component of your B2B marketing plan. By measuring and paying attention to the metrics, you’ll see where you have gaps in your strategy or where a campaign has missed the mark. You can also show what is working, and apply the strategy behind those wins to other areas. This will allow you to align your strategy with industry benchmarks and meet the demands of marketplace.

This also means that you’ll spend your money wisely, refocusing resources where you know you’ll succeed. Your budget will thank you, and so will your CEO! Proving the value of your work also proves the value of you and your entire marketing team. Sounds like a win!

 

Need help tracking and proving the success of your B2B marketing campaign?

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Businesses That Give in to the Chaos and Don’t Implement a B2B Marketing Strategy - Marketing that Sucks - Pomerantz Marketing

Marketing that Sucks: Part 5

Businesses That Give in to the Chaos and Don’t Implement a B2B Marketing Strategy - Marketing that Sucks - Pomerantz Marketing

Example #5: Businesses That Give in to the Chaos and Don’t Implement a B2B Marketing Strategy

If you’re in charge of your company’s B2B marketing strategy, you know how complicated it can be to get it right. After all, you’re not just trying to convince one guy to buy this one product. You have to prove the worth of your company’s service or product to multiple people on different teams within your target market (or markets!). Many companies find it difficult to nail it all down, so they just end up making marketing mistakes and wasting money. This is why you need a B2B marketing strategy that takes into account the many factors that go into a sale or new contract.

A successful B2B marketing plan should start with basics and build from there. So what are those basics? Here are four building blocks that should be part of every B2B company’s marketing strategy:

1. Know your audience.

What’s the point of trying to sell your business if you don’t know the buyer? B2C companies can often identify their target easily, but like I mentioned above, in the B2B world you’re selling to various decision makers in multiple industries. So think it through, and write it down. Pay attention to everyone in the decision chain, and note what makes each one different. What’s important to the procurement department may not matter to the CEO or the end user of your product or service.

2. Provide value to that audience.

Once you’ve fine-tuned your list of audience members, think about what they want or need to hear. Some members of the audience may care about cost savings while another just wants a product that’s easy to use. Your marketing messages should reflect these various perspectives.

3. Explain how your offerings are unique.

Match your company’s strengths and differentiators to those value messages. You’re not just telling your audience what they want to hear – you’re explaining why your company is the one that can deliver.

4. Convert that message into new leads…and new business.

Your message resonated with your target audience – congrats! But now what? You need a solid platform in place to convert that into concrete leads. That could be a) a well-designed responsive website, b) a sales team supported by stellar marketing materials, c) a social media presence that makes it easy to get in touch, or d) all of the above (and more)!

That sounds like quite a lot of balls to keep up in the air at once, doesn’t it? Add to that brand positioning, content marketing, event marketing, and all of the other pieces that go into a comprehensive B2B marketing strategy, and it’s beyond overwhelming. Don’t be that company that ends up in marketing chaos. Get started on your strategy, and reach out to the experts (I’m raising my hand!) if you need help.

 

Don’t Let Your Company’s Marketing Suck (and stop being mean to your Marketing Manager).

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Small Business Coaching for Small Business Owners - Pomerantz Marketing

Small Business Coaching Helped Me Maintain My Sanity

As a small business owner, I needed business coaching to maintain my sanity and to fuel my drive. I started my marketing agency in my 20s after working as the right hand to the owner of a small agency. I was relatively clueless about what it really takes to be a small business owner. Now I have 20 years — two freaking decades —of successfully riding the rollercoaster of small business ownership. Let me tell you, it ain’t for the faint of heart. Eating what you kill is a whole lot different than getting a guaranteed bi-weekly paycheck direct deposited into your bank account. The way I’ve learned to cope over the years is due, in large part, to seeking out and working with various small business coaches. This has made such a significant difference in my personal and business life, that I decided to become a small business coach in order to help other small business owners in, what can be, a very isolating, lonely journey.

My main coach provided me with a hybrid of life and business coaching. This made the most significant difference in my world because when you’re a small business owner, business and life are one. About seven years ago, I started studying with him to become a certified coach. This process took me several years to complete  because it wasn’t a quickie online certification program. I trained with him one-on-one, took tests and wrote papers. I was also supervised while coaching three clients — all small business owners — for several months. It wasn’t easy fitting this training program into my life but I discovered that I love coaching small business owners. It lights me up inside. Small business owners desperately need a strategic support system. I know this because I am one. The fact that I now have years of experience successfully running my own business and I am still living it every day, makes me uniquely qualified to be a highly effective business coach.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been working with a handful of small business coaching clients. I look for clients who really want to work on both themselves and their businesses because I know you cannot move the needle in one area without the other. I am no financial whiz but I do know what every business owner should know about their numbers. I also know when it make sense to tap an expert for more skilled financial guidance.

My core strength as a small business coach is that I can quickly assess a small business owner and their business situation and identify what’s getting in their way of peace and success. Then, I can help them systematically optimize their situation in order to make it work better and achieve their business and life goals. Most importantly, while all of this is going on, I provide small business owners with a much needed strategic support system. I’m not a spouse, family or friend. I am a small business coach whose entire purpose is to listen and help them maximize their personal and business potential.

If you are or know a small business owner who could use a small business coach, please reach out or share my information. I’d be happy to schedule a complimentary consultation to see if there is potential for a good fit.

Small Business Coaching for Small Business Owners - Pomerantz Marketing

Flying-by-the-Seat-of-Your-Pants Without Marketing Goals & Objectives  - Pomerantz Marketing

Marketing that Sucks: Part 3

Example #3: Flying-by-the-Seat-of-Your-Pants Without Marketing Goals & Objectives

Marketing without clearly identifying marketing goals and objectives is not only pointless but a big waste of money. Yet it’s amazing how many companies — of all shapes and sizes — are doing things this way. It’s not their fault, really. Most marketing departments are operating in a state of perpetual overwhelm and simply reacting to the deluge of random initiatives that land on their plate. Maybe they started the year with a list of strategic goals but, more often than not, they haven’t looked at this list in months.

What is the secret to keeping your company’s marketing goals and objectives top-of-mind even with all the one-off requests and initiatives that come your way? We say use your marketing goals and objectives as the navigational system for your marketing program. Keep them front and center in your workday. And, when random, miscellaneous projects come your way, ask in a direct yet always nice manner how this fits in with your company’s marketing goals and objectives. Maybe even cut and paste them for easy reference. This doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to do things that aren’t on course but it’s a way of helping to keep your marketing goals and objectives front and center for everyone in your company so you can continuously steer your efforts in the defined direction. You may even want to keep a log of the initiatives you tackled that weren’t on track along with any notes about their effectiveness.

Now what if you’re a company that is running your marketing without any goals and objectives? None. Zilch. You’re just doing stuff and hoping for the best and maybe not even monitoring the results of your efforts. The message to you is STOP! This is just no way to market in today’s day and age. It’s a huge waste of time and money. Find yourself a strategic marketing partner — ahem, like us — to guide a discussion with the key stakeholders in your company about what they want your marketing to achieve. A good strategic marketing partner knows how to ask the hard questions in order to define realistic, achievable marketing goals and objectives. They will also have the chops to create a strategic marketing plan that is aligned with your goals, objectives and, most importantly, budget. And, they can help you “police” your marketing program so that it stays on course with the marketing goals and objectives that were defined.

 

Don’t Let Your Company’s Marketing Suck.

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