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Identify the right strategy to reach your target audience

In a previous blog post, I wrote about the importance of knowing your target audience and recommended an easy, two-pronged approach: market research and buyer personas. Several people have asked me since, “What’s next?”

The answer is simple—next, you want to reach your target audience with the right messages at the right time. A great framework to use is the buyer journey, a.k.a. customer journey or buying process. By anchoring your marketing strategy with the buyer journey, your customer is your North Star. The framework I turn to consists of five (intuitively named) stages:

The Need and Discover stages are where you move your buyers into your sales funnel via demand and lead generation campaigns. In the Evaluate and Buy stages, you’ll nurture your buyers down the sales funnel by accelerating engagement with them and pitching a winning solution. In the Use stage, your target has become your customer, so you do your best to keep them satisfied and retained while sharing their success stories.

You’ll want to A) map your buyer personas to the stages of the buyer journey, B) align your marketing assets with the buyer personas within each stage, then C) push them out with the right marketing touch points for those buyers. Sound complicated? I’ll admit, it is—but with a little time and discipline, you can develop impactful, highly-effective marketing campaigns.

Enough academic talk already—time for an example!

A) Your target audience consists primarily of IT professionals. From the work you did on buyer personas, you know that they are a highly strategic persona deeply involved in the first three stages. IT pros are effectively the subject matter experts for technology purchases. Also, are you targeting business decision makers such as line of business leaders, finance, or procurement? They play a much larger role during the Buy stage.

B) Based on your personas research, you know IT pros respond very well to analyst reports, webinars, eBooks, whitepapers, and how-to demos. Have you taken inventory of all your marketing assets and determined which ones have the highest impact to buyers, and in what stage? What gaps do you have, and are you prioritizing your content creation to align with the buyer journey?

C) You know that your IT pro audience responds well to nurture emails, social media ads, as well as syndicated content on tech sites. Use your marketing tools to push out the right assets for each stage of the journey, such as webinars for the Discover stage or demos for the Evaluate stage. Business decision makers typically appreciate assets such as ROI calculators and executive briefings.

Investing the time to thoughtfully fill out this framework is a proven way to craft a winning marketing strategy. If this still seems daunting, you don’t have to do it alone.

Contact us and let’s talk strategy.

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