Yesterday I mentioned that if we’re trying to characterise prospects and customers into groups, to focus the mind, it might be a good idea to do it by the type of company, rather than by creating individual human personas. By this I mean grouping customers by the types of specifying and buying processes involved at their company, rather than by company activity.
So, for example, if you’re in the plant automation business, you might need buy-in from all levels at the customer: engineers, technical managers and the technical director or MD. However, depending on the size of customer, that chain might only be two levels …or (perhaps if the sale was a simple machine control to a tiny owner-managed business) there may be only one person involved, and no chain at all. That gives you three classes of customer to account for; some will need three different marketing messages, others just one integrated message.
At the other extreme, you might be in the type of component business where there is no internal specifying and buying chain, and there’s only person you need to convince. In that case, you might like to develop company personas based on other criteria, such as those who are buying the components to use themselves and those who want them as part of an OEM product. However you do it, this is a basic but essential exercise in checking you’re providing the right material for every type of prospect.
You could even combine two different types of classification into a grid, but beware of how quickly you can give yourself a lot of boxes to tick.
Above: Classifying prospects to ensure promotion,
sales support, buying etc are all covered.