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November 7, 2022 (Updated: March 8, 2023)
In the world of marketing and sales, understanding your demographic is crucial. Think about it. Trying to sell to audiences who aren’t interested in your offer is a waste of time and money.undefinedundefinedBut you can find your ideal business-to-business customers using careful demographic and psychographic information in a B2B audience profile. This will help you close more deals and ensure your marketing and sales pitches meet the needs of the people you want to reach. If you’re not sure what to include in your profile, we’ve got you covered. Today, we’ll discuss eight essential components to include in your B2B audience profile in this guide:
When creating a B2B audience profile, consider the size of the companies you’re targeting, which can impact a budget, purchasing decisions, and organizational structure. For instance, a small business may be more likely to buy something on the spot than a big business. And a business with a decentralized way of making decisions may be harder to sell to than one with a centralized decision process.
Segmenting your market by company size can also help you better understand your target audience’s needs so you can tailor your messaging more effectively. By highlighting this information in your business’s audience profile examples teams can categorize your market and understand its unique demands.
In fact, Chron suggests designing unique offers and packages that correspond with different company sizes so that your prospects understand that you can customize a solution for them, no matter the size of their organization. It’s also important to target the right decision-makers within each company. You’ll be astonished at how much more open your prospects are when you take the time to tailor your sales strategy to each individual.
Read more: Audience Profile vs Audience Segmentation: Are They Different?
Geographic location is another crucial element to include in your B2B audience profile. It can affect the culture, business practices, and even the products and services it needs. For example, it’s considered inappropriate in some cultures to haggle over prices. In others, gift-giving is an integral part of doing business.
When creating a B2B audience profile, remember that your customers are individuals, not faceless businesses. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers and lose sight of the people you’re trying to reach. Remember that each company comprises real people with their own needs, motivations, and concerns. If you’re marketing or selling to companies in other countries, ensure you’re familiar with their customs and etiquette. The last thing you want to do is offend your potential customers.
Businesses in different parts of the country may also have other priorities for their marketing budgets. For instance, companies in larger cities may focus more on online marketing, while businesses in smaller towns may prefer a more traditional approach. Besides, businesses in different industries may have different geographic needs.
Some businesses, like construction firms, may need to focus on customers in a geographical area. In contrast, others, like software developers, may be able to reach their customers wherever they may be. When you see how your B2B audience changes according to location, you can better position your marketing efforts to reach the proper people.
The industry vertical your target audience belongs to is also a vital part of your B2B audience profile. A vertical market is niche-specific and includes a cluster of businesses and clients linked to each other. No doubt you’ll recognize common vertical markets like healthcare, education, retail, and technology. With this concept in mind, it’s essential to think about the industry vertical as your team creates B2B audience profiles, as this can impact the specific needs your business’s offers solve.
Think about it this way. A healthcare company will have different needs than a retail company. Your business leads are no different. Their needs will be specific to their business niche. As such, you’ll need to position your marketing and sales messages for each industry vertical relevant to your business or brand. Here are some tips to get your team started with this step:
And if nothing else, the company’s size, geography, and industry vertical are three of the most critical elements to focus on in your B2B audience profile.
Image via 99Firms
The decision-making process is another critical element of B2B audience profiling. How a company makes decisions can impact the type of products and services it purchases, the price it’s willing to pay, and even the timeline for buying. For example, a company with a centralized decision-making approach may be more inclined to buy a product or service as a spur-of-the-moment decision versus one with a lengthy, decentralized decision-making process.
And decision-making in a B2B setting is complex because it involves many people from different parts of the company—each with their own area of expertise. As a result, no person is ever responsible for any individual decision. As a business-to-business marketer, it’s crucial to understand what matters most to your audience during the purchasing decision.
The image above from 99Firms shows that people buying things for their businesses care about the product specifications and how it works. The next most important thing is how the product compares to others, and people want to hear stories of how the product has been successful. You might think product specification is a no-brainer. Of course, people want to know the specs of what they’re buying— that’s common sense, right? But what you might not realize is how crucial product comparisons are during the B2B decision-making process.
Sure, people want to know the nitty-gritty of what they’re buying, but they also want to know how it stacks up against the competition. And that’s why understanding how your potential customers make decisions is so crucial. With this outlined in your B2B audience profile sheet, you can better plan for the types of marketing content your business distributes.
Read more: Creating and Using an Audience Profile Sheet for B2B Marketing
Another component to outline in a B2B audience profile is the budget. The funding affects the type of products and services a company purchases, the price it’s willing to pay, and even the timeline for buying. A company with a large budget may be more likely to buy on impulse than one with a tight budget. And a company with a long-term budget may be more challenging to sell to than one with a shorter timeline. Businesses have a budget for a purpose: to maintain profitability by reducing costs. It’s important to understand this before trying to sell them anything.
Take the tech space, for example—specifically B2B software purchases. According to Trust Radius, a few years ago, everybody talked about how important it was to spend on the latest and greatest software. Companies were scrambling to keep up with the latest trends and update their systems regularly. Today, companies seem to focus more on getting the most out of their existing investments.
That’s a far cry from when companies were eager to spend big bucks on the latest software products. This highlights changes in budget constraints, as companies are now more mindful of how they spend their money regarding software products. With that said, even if your business doesn’t provide software products or services, using a B2B audience profile is beneficial to pin down how potential customers might spend their budgets. With this insight, teams can better plan content to target high-value topics that position your brand as an effective budget solution.
Several factors can influence the final decision regarding B2B purchasing decisions. Here are some examples:
Think about this example. A business is trying to sell a new book on personal development. Marketers must position its book to fulfill a specific need and establish a strategic price point. If the book provides something potential clients find valuable, audiences are likely to be willing to pay more to access it. The business might also make the book release a time-bound offer, with a discounted price point for early purchases. In this way, the B2B audience profile can guide the brand in planning its messaging approaches accordingly.
This is only one example, but you may look at other audience profile examples that align with your company’s content marketing strategy. Be sure to make adjustments in your audience profiling as new trends and marketing data emerge.
Read more: Create an Audience Profile in 7 Steps
Potential business goals and challenges should also be a part of your audience profile and customer persona. For instance, goals can impact the type of products and services a company purchases, the price it’s willing to pay, and even the timeline for buying. This can mean a company with a short-term goal is more likely to buy on impulse than one with a long-term purpose. And a company with a challenging objective may be more difficult to sell to than one with a less demanding goal.
It’s no secret that the business landscape has changed dramatically in the last year. With so much uncertainty in the world, it’s more important than ever for businesses to be able to adapt quickly. When it comes to research and purchasing decisions, this means having up-to-date information. And when you analyze target markets when creating a B2B audience profile, it’s important to account for the goals and challenges your potential customers have. This way, teams can outline content marketing strategies that position your business as the solution.
Image via HubSpot
When discussing audience preferences, there are vital things to remember. First, think about your audiences’ preferred channels. Many B2B audiences prefer to engage with content through online platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. However, it’s essential to highlight preferences in your brand’s B2B audience profile. This makes it easier for content creators and strategists to choose which channels to focus on. For example, if you’re targeting decision-makers, you may want to consider using LinkedIn as your primary channel rather than Twitter. But if you’re targeting a younger audience, Twitter and even Facebook might be the best bets.
Secondly, it’s critical to profile the preferred content types of your target audience. In a B2B, for instance, audiences may favor informative content that educates them on the features of a product or service. As you can see in the HubSpot shot above, 49% of B2B marketers note that LinkedIn is the best social media platform to post their video content. And roughly 28% of those surveyed stated TikTok is the second-best option.
Finally, you’ll want to outline preferred content formats in your brand’s B2B audience profiles. This can help teams plan for different approaches to delivering brand messages to potential customers. For example, take note while profiling of majority preferences for blog content, in-depth articles, eBooks, white papers, and even video or podcast content. And the more data you have about your target market in a B2B audience profile, the better equipped you’ll be when creating content that resonates with them.
Looking for the best content marketing approaches for your business? At CopyPress, we work with you to create a content plan that achieves results. Schedule a strategy call with the team and share your goals. We’ll help you analyze the competition and your content opportunities to develop a plan that improves traffic and increase conversions for your business.
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