In 1958, an advertisement ran in Business Week Magazine that marketers still talk about today. I first became aware of the ad, referred to as “The Man In The Chair“, when I was studying graphic design and art direction twenty years after it was first published. (Click here to view the original ad)
It wasn’t the creative design of the ad that struck me, it was the message. And as I look at it now, I realize it was the first true B2B ad I remember and it’s still relevant for B2B marketing professionals today.
The question asked by “the man in the chair” reminds me of an article B2B Buyer Persona expert Ardath Albee wrote a while back. Ardath described the different perspectives your marketplace may have of your business, from being completely unknown to a company they will advocate for. In the article she proposes “From a marketing perspective, establishing relationships with prospects must also be thought of in some kind of hierarchical fashion. This may run in parallel with buying stages and the level of engagement that can be established and earned along the way.” The ability to move prospects along the sales funnel takes a clear understanding of how they see you – and how they seek out solutions to their business needs.
As much as most of us know it, statements like the ones in the graphic below, help remind us that the B2B marketing content we create for a prospect at the top of the funnel should be quite different than what we provide for those at the bottom of the funnel. And that our most avid customers can become our most believable storytellers.
Our B2B marketing agency in Atlanta has learned almost all we know about creating Buyer Personas from Ardath. We were fortunate to meet and follow Ardath via various social media from the point we first focused our agency on inbound and content marketing. We realized quickly that everyone talks about building Buyer Personas as a critical first step but few experts share the basic steps and best practices for how to get started.
Your company, and mine, could look something like this to our prospects:
In collaboration with Ardath and subsequently with our friends at strategic agency partner, Lynton Web, we developed a FREE tool for helping B2B marketers start building their Buyer Personas. Our tool, Up Close & Persona is available here.
How do your prospects see your business? How do you see them? And how do you make it easier for them to find you when they’re searching for the solutions you provide?
Ask yourself the tough questions the man in the chair asked. Envision him or her now with a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet or a mobile phone. Great questions lead to great ideas, better content marketing and more sales. Do you have the right answers? Do you have the right content at the right time in the right place?