How do you change behaviors in Marketing to embrace Persona thinking?

Robin Griffiths

You’ve take the plunge, created your first set of Personas and published them on the corporate intranet and… nothing changes!

The CEO has drunk the ‘persona cool aid’, sales leaders are demanding persona based sales tools, digital marketing says it has to have precise, targeted content by buyer role but everybody in marcoms continues to produce product-centric content! What can you do to change behaviors in the marketing function?

Go-to-Market Messaging Strategies

One approach that is gaining traction in B2B Enterprises is the use of formal documents that set out the approved customer insights and messaging to take a particular proposition to market. These Messaging Strategies are the go to source of content for marketing teams to use in the creation of the entire range of go-to-market materials from sales tools, customer-facing decks, and collateral to web pages and inbound content.

But what does a Messaging Strategy look like? It’s typically a Word document, designed to be a rich source of approved content for taking a specific proposition to market. For multi-product propositions serving a number of industry segments it may run to 50+ pages.

In B2B a Messaging Strategy should cover the following as a minimum:

  • Market segments and business activities – definition of the segments addressed by the proposition and the relevant business activities undertaken by customers
  • Market context – the top themes and drivers in the relevant segments
  • Persona insights – who the target senior decision makers, influencers and users are
  • Workflows – high level descriptions of the relevant workflows for the chosen personas
  • Business challenges / opportunities – the business issues customers face and the associated pain or opportunity
  • Proposition – the product and service capabilities that combine to create the proposition
  • Value messages – how the proposition delivers value to the different target personas
  • Differentiation – reasons for customers to choose this proposition over competing options
  • Elevator Pitch – articulation of the key points of value delivered by the proposition and differentiation

Robin Griffiths

Specialist in proposition development and creator of the Proposition Mapping™ methodology. Robin's career includes Founder and CEO of Force12 Software, and Director of Cambridge Consulting Engineers.