The CMO Modern Marketing Guide To Buyer Personas And Buyer Insights Research (Part 1)


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As the 21st century arrived, so did many new digital technologies.  Well over a decade into the new century, we now have a robust digital economy altering economics and business forever.  Enabling globalization on a scale unfathomable before the entrance of the 21st century.  One significant outcome has been the continued evolution of buying behaviors.

This outcome has created an ever-growing need for modern marketers to understand the new face of buyers in the digital economy.  A need CMO’s across the globe are finding essential to developing modern marketing strategies.

CMO Perspective

Understanding the macro-economic changes underway globally represents just one challenge for CMO’s today.  Another is how to understand the impact on buying behaviors within segments and organizations.  CMO’s having insights and perspectives on how organizational and individual behaviors are being reshaped is the first building blocks towards modern marketing.

Understanding The Modern Buyer

To succeed at modern marketing in the 21st century, CMO’s will need to develop deep understanding of the modern buyer.  Increasingly, CMO’s are turning to buyer insights research and buyer persona development.  Acquiring the necessary deep insights about buyers to help shape modern marketing strategies for the future.  And, using buyer personas as a communications platform designed to develop meaningful connection with buyers.

Why should CMO’s consider buyer insights research and buyer persona development in today’s modern marketing world?  The following offers 8 reasons often cited by CMO’s:

  1. Provide answers to complex problems:  Adapting to 21st century modern marketing is challenging for many organizations and CMO’s.  Presenting a host of new challenging problems.  Requiring more accurate answers to problems and issues related to go-to-market strategies, new product launches, digital marketing, customer retention, digital business models, and more.
  2. Improve content marketing effectiveness:  The rise of the digital economy has also resulted in content playing a larger role in decision-making.  CMO’s today are continuing to struggle with effectiveness in their content strategies.  The use of buyer insights research helps define the content buyers will seek and act upon as well as preferred digital media.
  3. Expand beyond segmentation analysis:  The modern marketing CMO of today is expanding analysis of buyers beyond traditional segmentation and profiling approaches.  Seeking to gain deeper perspectives into goals and contextual situations, which influence human, digital, and buying behaviors.
  4. Achieve new customer acquisition growth:  Renewed growth emphasis is occurring in many B2B organizations.  The rise of the digital economy has increased marketing’s role in new customer acquisition and revenue growth strategies.  The modern marketing CMO zeros in on well-defined targets, keen understanding of buyer situational challenges, and the ability to meet the digital information needs of prospective new customers.
  5. Improving overall sales effectiveness:  Enabling the sales organization with insights and conversational abilities aligned with buyers is essential.  Buyers, equipped with well-researched information, are establishing higher threshold for their digital and interaction experience.  Which includes their direct interactions with sales.
  6. Allocate marketing resources efficiently:  With constraints on budgets constantly present, CMO’s today will need to be more informed on where to allocate their resources.  Gaining insights into what truly matters to the modern buyer enables better judgment on where to spend marketing dollars.  There is little room for errors today on making the right choices towards digital and modern marketing strategies. 
  7. Establish customer-centric and inside-out thinking:  CMO’s today are utilizing buyer insights research and the communications platform of buyer personas to establish a common understanding of customers.   Not only for their own department, but taking on a leadership role for providing insights and a common language about modern buyers across the entire organization.  Allowing for consistency in positioning, communications, sales, services, and support from each customer touchpoint in the organization.
  8. Rebranding and reinvention overhauls:  The advent of the digital economy is a significant turning point for many organizations.  Causing the re-evaluation of business models, operational models, products or services, and positioning.  Resulting in B2B organizations doing overhauls related to branding as well as reinventing themselves.

These 8 reasons can surely be added to.  What is clear is the challenge of transitioning to the era of modern marketing.  The success of this transition is predicated on having deep insights and understanding of the modern buyer.

Insights Matters

As the digital economy continues to evolve, it will increase the need to transform to a modern marketing world.  The modern marketing CMO will need insights-based clarity on how to be meaningful to the growing population of modern buyers.  The importance of deep insights and developing enterprise-wide understanding will continue to grow as a fundamental building block of modern marketing.

(This is part 1 of  a new series.  Future articles will focus on how CMO’s today can make the transition to modern marketing through buyer insights research and buyer persona development.)

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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