Ditch the personas and leverage insights to connect with your accounts

    November 25, 2019

    headway-5QgIuuBxKwM-unsplashIf you have experience in account-based marketing, you’re probably familiar with the “persona” — the blanket identities your create for the various customers you want to target. Maybe it’s “Mary the CMO”, or “Charles the Chief Information Officer,” or “Victor the VP of Business Development”. 

    Creating those identities is a type of audience analysis, and the intention is to use that persona to create content, email campaigns, social media and events designed to resonate and streamline a path to engagement. Many companies use the technique in their ABM efforts, but it has its shortcomings. 

    Persona marketing limits you to hypotheticals. And in the world of executive engagement, where personalization and relevance is key, it’s just not good enough. 

    Instead, what if you could go beyond the persona and get aggregate insights on the exact executives you are targeting?

    What if you could get this analysis almost instantly, in just a few clicks?

    And what if you could share it with your entire team?

    With BI PRO, you can. 

    This is audience analysis on steroids.

    Say you’re doing an ABM campaign targeting 200 enterprise accounts across multiple industries. 

    Part of the strategy is to engage the CIOs of those accounts in multiple ways, with thought leadership content, executive briefings, executive sponsorship strategy and a regional CIO event series. 

    With persona-based marketing, you’ve historically been limited to educated guesses when it came to what these executives were interested in. With BI PRO, you can access real and relevant information to take the guessing out of the equation. 

    Our platform allows you to identify, create, name and save a “group” of these 200 CIOs. Then, you can discover and analyze what they have in common, from business priorities to hobbies to where they went to school. In this example, your group would look something like this:

    use case 1_image1

    Once you have created your group, you can instantly generate the “Audience Insights” dashboard, which looks like this:

    unse case 1_image 2

    You can see that growth through innovation and automation are top priorities for this group of executives. Golf and running are top hobbies. Most of these CIOs are based in New York, Texas and California, and the gender breakdown is 20% female to 80% male. 

    So, what can you do with this information? 

    What follows are three use cases that allow you to leverage these in-depth insights for maximum impact:

    1. Use the Business Priorities to design communications, content and event agendas that will resonate with this group. For example, these executives are most focused on innovation to drive growth and leveraging automation and AI to drive operational agility. If you want these executives to engage, consider creating an event that pulls together leaders in artificial intelligence for in-depth conversations on the industry as a whole. That will give your target audience access to the most cutting-edge insights, and you gain the reputation as a company that provides value and helps push their businesses forward. That’s a powerful strategy for executive engagement.

    2. Use the Hobbies to guide decisions around social events and executive sponsorship alignment. Golf and running top the list, but skiing and boating are also top interests in this group. You could find the executives on your team who share these common interests and encourage them to engage your prospects in those activities. You could even opt to host a golf tournament, or create a more intimate retreat for the skiers in the group. Either way, it’s a path to promote authentic relationship building without wasting time or money on activities that won’t resonate. 

    3. Use the top Organizations to uncover networking and executive-to-executive relationship building opportunities. GE tops the list of organizations among this group of executives. Perhaps one of the leaders  on your team worked at GE around the same time as one of your target executives. You can leverage that relationship for a warm introduction, which opens the door to bigger opportunities down the road.  

    Once you have this kind of insight into your key accounts, you’ll wonder how you ever worked without it. And that was our goal from the start. We designed BI PRO’s Audience Insights dashboard to help you create more effective marketing programs, more relevant communications and stronger relationships with your most important customers.

    The end game? Helping your front-line sellers close bigger deals, faster.

    To test drive the Audience Analysis dashboard and the rest of BI PRO, click here to schedule a demo

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    Sharon Gillenwater

    About the Author

    Sharon Gillenwater

    Sharon Gillenwater is the founder and editor-in-chief of Boardroom Insiders, which maintains an extensive database of the most in-depth executive profiles on the market, from Fortune 500 companies to independent non-profits, to help sales and marketing professionals build deeper relationships and close more deals with clients. Gillenwater is a long-time marketing consultant with expertise in marketing strategy, account-based marketing, and CXO engagement programs.