Prevent Demand Generation Failure with Buyer Personas


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Recently, Adam Needles, Left Brain Marketing’s VP of Demand Generation Strategy, posted a thought provoking article entitled Why Do (Well-intentioned) B2B Demand Generation Efforts Fail? on the organization’s blog. If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend doing so. Adam gives us a good sense of the numbers and dollars being invested in demand generation and marketing automation. Pointing out however that the success rate is still low and using his words: “a pretty dismal state”.

In the article, Adam lays out three reasons why failure exists:

  • Your plan is not built around your target buyer
  • You are focus on lead quantity not lead quality
  • You don’t frame your demand generation plans in terms of the “reverse funnel math”

What resonates throughout these three reasons is the need to build demand generation strategy around the B2B buyer. Acquiring a deep understand of your target buyer and their buying process. Adam makes a great statement here:

“What I’m advocating for is a complete realignment of your B2B demand generation processes around the buyer – literally making every point of communication and contact focused on and driven by the needs and behaviors of the buyer in his/her buyer-education process.”

I couldn’t agree more!

This begs the question by many of – how do I do this? No, really, how can you really do this?!?!?

As many of you know from reading my articles before, I am a big advocate of buyer personas and exactly for the purpose Adam has stated. The buyer persona development process, if done with this purpose in mind and not as a customer profiling or segmentation exercise only, can serve as the means to achieve this complete realignment of B2B demand generation and content marketing around your target buyer – in this case – your target buyer persona.

If you want to prevent failure in demand generation strategy, then investing in an organization-wide effort to arrive at a robust and deep understanding of your target buyer persona is the means to do so. Adam says it best on why:

“This needs to come first. There are many reasons why we fail in our B2B demand generation efforts, but often at the core – or closely related to another reason for failure – is this fundamental point (Failure #1: Your plan is not built around your target buyer). Too often B2B demand generation plans are not built around the modern B2B buyer and his/her information consumption needs.”

On January 27, 2011, I will be speaking for the CustomerThink Thought Leadership Summit entitled B2B Digital Marketing: The Future Starts Now ( and addressing the topics of demand generation and buyer personas. Here, I will present a story related to increasing demand generation and how buyer personas can play a role. I encourage you to register to hear a great line up of speakers and topics.

My hope is to answer the question of how do I do this – no really – how can you do this??!!??

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tony Zambito
Tony is the founder and leading authority in buyer insights for B2B Marketing and Sales. In 2001, Tony founded the concept of "buyer persona" and established the first buyer persona development methodology. This innovation has helped leading companies gain a deeper understanding of their buyers resulting in revenue performance. Tony has empowered Fortune 100 organizations with operationalizing buyer personas to communicate deep buyer insights that tell the story of their buyer. He holds a B.S. in Business and an M.B.A. in Marketing Management.


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