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How to identify your buyers and the content they want

Are your marketing materials delivering the results you want? If not, it could be because they are focused more on the solutions your organization offers rather than addressing your buyer’s needs. It’s common to fall into a trap of simply listing the benefits and features of your solution, but it’s the buyer who should be at the center of it all.

Why? Check out this post on using buyer prototypes to develop your content marketing strategy. In a nutshell, knowing your buyer enables you to create powerful marketing content that touches on their motivating factors and priorities, and addresses their concerns. Keep in mind, you have less than 30 seconds, on average, to convince a potential buyer you have the right solution.

How do you identify your buyers? While it may help to include demographics – sex, household income, marital status, etc. – this will delve a layer deeper, examining the who, what, when, where, why, and how (not in that order) of your buyer and the buying process.
1. WHY do certain buyers invest in your brand or solution? What priorities are driving them to consider a solution like yours? Identify the major problems or objectives your buyer has, leaving out the problem your business solves. This is where you identify the back story. In other words, before they began searching for the type solution you offer, what events, occurrences, thoughts, triggered the search. This is also where you would identify life stages. Where is your buyer in their career or life that might elicit a purchase?
2. HOW does your buyer determine success? What outcomes (using your solution) does your buyer associate with success? Successes can range from increasing revenue by 25 percent, looking and feeling better, impressing friends, saving time, and the list goes on. How will your solution lead them to victory? Being able to answer this will enable you to paint the picture for them. Make it easy for them to visualize success using your solution.
3. WHAT might stand in their way? What causes your buyer to choose your competitor? This not only helps you identify and address buyer concerns, it also identifies any obstacles they perceive to be present. Barriers can include negative connotations or misconceptions of your industry, a spouse’s approval (or disapproval), needs vs. wants, even negative experiences buyers may have had with your competitors.
4. WHERE do your buyers look for solutions? Are there publications, reporters, columnists, online forums or people they trust? How can you leverage these resources?
5. WHO along your buyer’s roadmap has the biggest impact on your buyer’s decision to purchase? Who and what influence their decision at each stage? This also helps you identify the key decision maker. For instance, a personal assistant may be tasked to do initial research on a solution (barrier one), which they then present to their boss who will ultimately make the decision (barrier two).

Once you’ve identified your buyers, don’t stop there. Actually talking to a few will help you refine your personas and marketing strategy. The next post will cover how to connect with buyers to gain insights.

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