What's a B2B Persona Platform, and why do I need one?

Does your business deal with a Rubik's cube of enterprise customer complexity? Verticals, titles, sizes, geos, channels, psychographics and mindsets.

Layer on all the various departments and business units that might be building use-case-specific personas for marketing, sales, products, services and experiences, and you've got an explosion of complexity on your hands. 

While marketers can create an infinite number of personalized messages for an infinite number of customer segments, that's taking the easy way out. You're not helping the rest of the organization, since your product, service, and experience groups don't have that luxury. 

It's essential to prioritize and focus on your best-fit customer... then create a very small number of personas that every department can build on. 

Think of this "master set" of personas as a platform. They are linked together by a mindset, and provide high-level information on the messages and experiences that will drive repurchase and loyalty. Then each department builds on this foundation over time. How does Role A move through the lifecycle? What digital experience is the right one? How does it vary from Role B? 

Apple is a great example of focus. Their target? People who think different. How many unique personas do they need? Not many. Basically a couple variations on a single theme -- Apple consumers are also an enterprise's employees who demand that the IT department allow them to BYOD (bring your own device). That's what has fueled Apple's growth in the enterprise (40% YOY growth as of the last reported statistic in 2016). 

Apple's best-fit customer might be someone who buys Apple for themselves, and is also an employee of a large company, ideally one that has a design focus. They are both a user and an advocate. There's Role A. Role B would be the IT department who's responsible for either enterprise-wide technology purchases, or passing the rule that employees can use their own devices. 

From here, you can define each role's lifecycle -- the consumer who buys either online or in store, gets support at the Genius bar, etc. OR the enterprise IT customer who moves through a different, more personalized experience. And yes, there will be a lot of added detail and perhaps some variations... but Apple's laser focus on a mindset links it all together. 

But wait! (you might say)... Apple sells to a lot more types of people than these two! Yes, you're right. My 75-year old mother loves her iPhone. But we're talking "center of the bullseye" here. Against what type of customer will you design your end-to-end customer experience? If you get that right, others will follow. 

There you go. The first company to hit $1T in value and (I may be wrong, but) I'd bet they don't have more than 4 priority personas. 

Join our upcoming webinar

If you need to solve for an explosion of customer complexity, join us for our upcoming webinar. We'll go through our 3-part recipe for simplifying and focusing your efforts on your best fit customer. Click here to register.