As both B2B buyer preferences and information sources continue to evolve, and as the traditionally siloed marcom subsectors of public relations, social media, content marketing, digital marketing and demand generation continue to blend, the need to know intricate details about target audiences is perhap
s more important than ever before. Knowing this to be true, and that “80 percent of the B2B organizations who exceeded their revenue targets last year have buyer personas in action,” RunSafe Security, a provider of cyberhardening technology for industrial control systems and embedded devices and systems, tasked ARPR to research, analyze and draw educated conclusions and inferences about their primary buyers. Specifically, RunSafe was interested in learning more about the responsibilities, motivations, and work and education experiences of current clients and prospects, in which the findings would be packaged into a comprehensive persona book that would help guide all future marketing initiatives.
Having worked with RunSafe Security on a previous project, ARPR was already somewhat familiar with the company’s target vertical markets; however, identifying the primary buyer within each vertical would be a challenging task for two reasons: 1) the habits and preferences of B2B buyers are no longer distinct from those of B2C buyers and 2)each industry could have multiple buyers whose technical and cybersecurity skillsets varied significantly.
To begin, ARPR interviewed RunSafe’s four primary stakeholders – its founder & CEO, CTO, VP of commercial sales and its VP of government sales. All four of these interviewees had many years of experience within RunSafe’s key verticals, and as such, were able to share helpful details, such as job titles, role responsibilities and buying motivations.
ARPR was then given access to several communications between RunSafe and its early adopter customers. The emails each outlined how these companies had heard of RunSafe, what prompted them to adopt the technology and how their initial experiences resulted in immediate ROI. Next, ARPR conducted extensive research into the job titles provided by RunSafe employees. Using LinkedIn, Indeed.com, Careerbuilder.com and other industry-specific resources, ARPR was able to generate an understanding of the education and job experiences required of RunSafe’s target personas, and the responsibilities that they were held accountable for.
To conclude, ARPR performed in-depth research on various social media channels, the websites of existing customers and prospects, industry trade publications and mainstream media stories to capture as much detail as possible on the people who RunSafe sells to. Once all the information was compiled and analyzed, narratives were written and a Persona Book was compiled. This book synthesized all of the findings for sales and marketing to strategically utilize in forthcoming business development efforts.
In total, ARPR helped RunSafe Security identify and learn about nine primary personas – including those in tech, operations, risk management and analyst roles. ARPR also assessed with high confidence the responsibilities, concerns, frustrations, metrics for monitoring success, and the status in the decision-making process, among other criteria, like education and direct reports. Additionally, for each persona, ARPR could highlight the top four qualities most common to that role. For example, we were able to conclude whether or not a person was a good communicator or not, what their technical and business savvy is, and what motivates them most in their career.
Since completing the persona project, the findings have been used to help guide website development, SEO, social media advertising, blog development and media relations. Furthermore, since updating website navigation to better reflect persona preferences, the website has garnered more than a 400 percent increase in both viewers and page views when compared to the previous time period. Currently, the persona book is also used to train new company hires and as a reference for salespersons before they approach new business calls.