Creating effective buyer personas: How to humanise your target audience for B2B businesses

Dec 5, 2023

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by | Dec 5, 2023 | Data and Insights, Strategy

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In the world of B2B marketing, success hinges on understanding your target audience. But, how do you get to know the people behind those decision-making titles? The answer lies in creating effective buyer personas. These aren’t just any personas; they’re your secret weapon to connect on a human level. So, put on your detective hat and let’s get to work humanising your B2B audience.

What do we mean by buyer personas?

Buyer personas, sometimes referred to as customer personas or marketing personas, are detailed profiles of your ideal customers. These profiles go beyond the surface-level demographics and job titles. They delve deeper into their challenges, pain points, personality traits and motivations. 

Data-driven insights

In the B2B world, data is king. Start by collecting data and analysing from different sources. This can include CRM data, website analytics, social media insights and audience insights. Here are some of the main data points to consider:

1. Job titles and roles

Identify the key decision makers and influencers within your target companies. Understand their roles, responsibilities and any challenges they face. Remember to take into consideration differentiators between industries; a CTO in a financial institution may have very different pain points to a CTO in a software company. 

2. Pain points and challenges

What keeps your target audience awake at night? Discover their pain points and the obstacles that stand in the way of their success. Whilst interviews are the most direct and effective method to gain insight into paint points, there are many alternative strategies you can employ to gather these insights: 

  • Review your existing customer data: Look for patterns in enquiries or issues that customers have raised.
  • Social media listening: Track social media platforms and industry-specific forums for conversations related to your niche. Look for keywords, hashtags, and discussions that revolve around common pain points or issues. This can be done via desk research or through Social Listening Tools like, Meltwater and Hootsuite
  • Analyse your website analytics to understand user behaviour: Look at which pages receive the most traffic, where users spend the most time, and where they tend to drop off. These patterns can offer insights into user interests and issues.
  • Industry reports and studies: Refer to industry-specific reports, studies, and publications to gather insights into common challenges and trends within your target audience.
  • Competitor analysis: Study your competitors’ products or services and their online reviews and feedback. Identify areas where your competitors may be falling short or where customers express dissatisfaction.
  • Monitor search trends: Use tools like Google Trends to identify trending topics and queries related to your industry. This can help you understand what issues are currently top of mind for your audience.

3. Personality traits

Dive into the psychological aspects of your target audience. DISC profiling is an effective way to understand human behaviour and communication styles. Tools like Crystal Knows allow you to learn about the dominant traits of your target audience, their distinct communication styles and what their preferences may be. Allowing you to create more targeted and persuasive marketing messages. 

4. Communication preferences

Some personalities prefer direct, no-nonsense communication, while others thrive on collaboration and detailed explanations. Knowing these preferences can help you tailor your interactions and know which messaging styles can help you craft resonant content. 

5. Channel preferences

Knowing preferred channels and preferences ensures more effective communication and engagement.

Recently, during a Buyer Persona project for one of our clients we discovered through the use of persona insights platforms such as Audiense and SparkToro that Reddit was a key social platform for their ideal target audience. Used by influencers and key-decision makers this has become a new channel to engage that audience. 

6. Crafting personas

Now that you’ve collected a treasure trove of information, it’s time to craft your personas. Give each persona a name and a face. Describe their background, motivations, and challenges. Incorporate their personality traits and how is best to target them. 

7. Channels

Consider where your personas hang out online. Are they active on LinkedIn? Do they follow industry-specific blogs? Be present where they are.

8. Revisit and update

Creating customer personas isn’t a one-and-done task. Markets evolve, and so do your customers. Regularly revisit and update your personas to ensure they remain relevant.

In B2B marketing, creating effective buyer personas is your strength to connect on a human level. These personas, fueled by data-driven insights, delve deep into pain points, personalities, and communication preferences. By crafting personas, tailoring messaging, and staying agile, you show your target audience that you understand them and ultimately, can help address their challenges. This builds trust, and in the long run, will turn prospects into customers and customers into advocates.

Ready to humanise your B2B audience?
Let us help supercharge your buyer personas.

Further reading

The impact of the strategic skills gap in marketing technology

When conversion tracking goes wrong, everything gets shaky

Leading change: Unpacking the Forrester B2B Summit, North America