I have been working in the engineering software industry since 2009. One pain point hindering a proper B2B sales and marketing alignment was always omnipresent: the lack of diligence around the business critical concept of persona (buyer or user). The concept of CPO; Chief Personas Officer; could totally solve the usual lack of alignment between sales vs. marketing vs. product vs. CLIENT.
As explained on the Hubspot blog, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. I don’t want to re-explain the whole concept of buyer persona, but what you need to know is that, if well-executed, the exercise of defining buyer/user persona will just:
- Make your marketing actions more targeted and significantly more powerful,
- Raise the marketing credibility to an acceptable level for the sales department (God knows this problem of credibility is an issue),
- Make your customers feel listened to and considered,
- Become the cornerstone of your CRM approach,
- Stop evaluating “by rule of thumb” what the customer/prospect wants to read, under which format, etc.
Why will I be focusing on this concept today?
A lot of marketers (believe me) have no idea of the customer/prospect pain points. They organize trade show, draft email campaigns, plan social media campaigns but have no idea of what the prospect/customer actually needs. It is a particularly big problem in the engineering world, where the targeted personas are among the most rational and busy people that I have met in my professional life. They want something concrete, on par with their reality, or they will just turn down your offer and never read about you again.
A Chief Personas Officer would work at the corner of sales & marketing, reporting to the VP of sales & marketing and be in touch with product management, product marketing, sales and corporate marketing. This would be a solution for many reasons: