Buyer personas are an essential component of any inbound marketing campaign. Without them, all of your efforts could fall on deaf ears. Businesses that have adopted persona strategies are seeing significant boosts in ROI, and developing a better understanding of their customers.
Personas represent “semi-fictional” profiles of your ideal customers. This means something different to everyone, based on their business goals:
- People who generate the most revenue
- People who get along with your team
- People whose projects challenge you
- People who share your beliefs or convictions
- People who are passionate about what you do
These profiles are made up of existing customer data, anecdotal observations, industry research and more. The goal in creating a persona is to better adapt your efforts to the preferences of your ideal customer, and large companies often have multiple to create a clearer picture of their buyer demographics.
Whatever type of buyer you're looking for, a clear-cut persona will help you bring more of them on board. The value of a strong buyer persona is undeniable -- here are 12 stats to back them up.
The Impact of a Strong Buyer Persona
- Using buyer personas in an email campaign improved open rate by 2x and clickthrough rate by 5x. MLT Creative
- Behaviorally targeted ads are twice as effective as non-targeted ads. HiP
- Using marketing personas made websites 2-5 times more effective and easier to use by targeted users. HubSpot
- Personalized emails Improve clickthrough rates by 14%, conversion rates by 10%, and drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. HubSpot
- Skytap, a self-service provider of cloud automation solutions, implemented a targeted content marketing strategy and saw the following results:
124% increased sales leads
55% increase in organic search traffic
97% increase in online leads
210% increase in North American site traffic. HubSpot
- According to Mark W. Schaefer, 3-4 personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales. Business Grow
- Buyers are 48% more likely to consider solution providers that personalize their marketing to address their specific business issues. ITSMA
- 81% of buyers will pay a premium for industry experience and industry-specific solutions. ITSMA
- 44% of B2B marketers use buyer personas, creating a mix of opportunity and competition. Boardview
- 93% of companies who exceed lead and revenue goals segment their database by buyer persona. MarketingInsiderGroup
- Persona based content increased customer engagement almost six-fold when targeting cold leads (10% versus 58%). Boardview
- A MarketingSherpa case study found that buyer personas added the following value:
a 900% increase in length of visit,
a 171% increase in marketing-generated revenue,
a 111% increase in email open rate,
and a 100% increase in the number of pages visited. Act-On
Edit: BONUS STATS!
- In the case of Intel, buyer personas surpassed campaign benchmarks by 75%. They were more cost efficient than the average campaign by 48%. DemandGen Report
- In the case of Thomson Reuter, buyer personas contributed to a 175% increase in revenue attributed to marketing, 10% increase in leads sent to sales, and a 72% reduction in lead conversion time. DemandGen Report
Creating a Strong B2B Buyer Persona
Buyer personas simply make sense. They help you to find your best customers and vice versa, but only when created correctly. A sloppy buyer persona, based on qualities that don’t reflect your buyers’ true perspective, can do more harm than good by isolating your content from those that might engage with it.
Be sure to do plenty of research when creating personas for your business. To accomplish this, try:
- Interviewing your customers
- Interviewing your team
- Studying your existing contacts
A common mistake made by B2B companies is to assume that their primary buyer persona is always the CEO of a prospective company. Many people equate the primary buyer persona with the decision maker. But more often than not, this “decision maker” isn’t the one looking at your content. You should focus more on the actual users of your products and services and tailor your content to address their pain points with relevant content.
Looking to implement buyer personas and not sure where to start? Check out our Ultimate Buyer Persona Guide for Beginners. This guide will walk you through the basics, and it even comes with some templates to give you a head start.
(Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and was updated in February 2021 to reflect modern marketing tactics.)