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82% of B2B Marketers Say Buyer Personas and Journey Maps Guide Quality Content Creation

November 18, 2015
Jeff Freund

Don't just take our word for it. We worked with our research partner to survey 100 B2B marketers from mid to large sized companies, and the overwhelming majority said that their buyer personas and buyer's journey maps improve buyer understanding and content quality.  Here are some highlights from the research:

Nearly 90% of respondents said that a deep understanding of their buying audience is critical to creating content that engages their buyers.  Respondents were asked what activities they engage in to better understand their buying audience for content creation:

  • 48% said build buyer’s journey maps                     
  • 47% said interview customers                   
  • 47% said interview Sales                              
  • 42% said build buyer personas
  • 33% said interview internal subject matter experts                         
  • 32% said read trade publications
  • 27% said interview Client Services
  • 28% said attend events like webinars and trade shows
  • 26% said read analyst reports

74% of survey respondents said their organization has built both buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps.  Of these, 89% interviewed customers for insights, and 92% interviewed Sales.

96% said that their personas and journey maps have helped their organization, including increasing the quality of their content, increasing the speed at which they plan and create content, increasing engagement and leads from demand generation initiatives, improving sales enablement creation, and informing messaging.

Also, 91% of respondents who have built buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps agreed that their organization has an in-depth understanding of their buying audience, such as their goals, fears, challenges, and buying roles, compared to just 50% of those who have not built buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps. 

In fact, 82% of respondents who have built buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps said that their personas and journey maps give them in-depth audience insights to guide their creation of quality content.  

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Further, four times the number of respondents who have built buyer personas and journey maps versus those who have not said they are very confident that the majority of their organization’s content is aligned to the needs and interests of their target buying audiences for each stage of their buying journey.

Of those who have built buyer personas and journey maps, 93% agree that Marketing has a strong understanding of their buying audience’s content preferences for each stage of their buying journey, compared to 65% of those who have not built them.

Says Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer, CMI, and author of the book Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, “For B2B marketers to rise above the noise and effectively connect with their buyers, they must have a truly in-depth understanding of their audiences. When done the right way, personas and journey maps arm marketers with these rich audience insights, so they can create targeted, buyer-centric experiences at strategic points along that journey.” 

When asked what challenges they face to getting their personas and journey maps used organizationally, the top challenge, noted by nearly half of respondents, said there is no easy way to share them, or that many within the organization don’t even know they exist.  Meanwhile, 25% said that there’s not a strong understanding organizationally of how to use them.

Therefore, while buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps provide significant benefits, they need to be easily shared organizationally and updated on an ongoing basis in order to get the most value out of them, and this is where technology can really provide a boost.

To learn best practices for building buyer personas and buyer's journey maps, access our toolkit for successful buyer-centric marketing, which includes detailed how-to-guides and an exmaple buyer persona and buyer's journey map.