MSP Buyer Persona
MSP Buyer Persona
MSP Buyer Persona
Images Above: Meet our B2B MSP Buyer Personas "Executive Edward, Sales Stewart, Technical Ted." (Download below)
I recently was tasked to validate our B2B buyer managed IT personas to evaluate our current go-to-market strategy. In the past when it came to personas, we’ve thought about these at a high level. While it was a start, we certainly had room to dig deeper to learn about our buyers.
Service is one of the things that is most important to Collabrance, and personas helps us find ways to better connect with our audiences to provide them with a true experience that is customer-focused.
Who are you selling to? What are you buyer’s characteristics? Who are your buyers as an ‘individual?’ What are the traits of your decision makers?
Personas are a generalization of your buyers… who they are, what interests them, what keeps them up at night, what they value, etc.
I’ve found there doesn’t seem to be a right or wrong way to pursue them, but exploring your buyer personas is worth your time. You can make assumptions, but if you’re really invested in making your personas accurate, it’s best to ask your contacts yourself!
Using personas gives you a clearer understanding of your decision makers and helps you adjust your buyer journey. Personas can provide an understanding of your buyers in terms of their goals, values and interests.
Personas are especially valuable when you’re generating content to help you speak their language. The better you understand your buyer audience, the better you can connect with them and provide them with a superior experience. In addition to content and what terms and phrases they might use, you might find information that might help you make more strategic decisions like what type of devices they prefer, what eNewsletters they follow, which social media platforms they use for work, etc.
I reached out to several vendor partners of ours to see if they might have a starting place, or something we could use to compare information. Oddly, I found that many companies don’t have documented personas. Even some marketing companies who have created personas for MSP end-users, didn’t have personas for their own buyers (but agreed they should)! Many personally expressed interest and requested follow-up on our results.
On my quest to explore MSP personas, I gladly thought this was an opportunity to share information with the IT channel, good/bad, right/wrong, silly/serious, etc.!
I made some general upfront ‘hypotheses’ of what I would assume each buyer persona would look like. This helped me clarify my vision of how and where I could use the information in our go-to-market strategy. However, given the importance of how I wanted to use the personas, I knew I needed to validate the information with actual contacts. (I would later find that some of my assumptions were right, but some were wrong!) What’s most important is uncovering what information you think is going to be helpful to help paint a ‘day in the life’ of your buyer and decision makers.
You can have 1 persona, or multiple. You can have buyer personas and customer personas. You can have positive personas and/or negative personas. You can have a few questions or dozens you seek answers to. I consulted with some marketing peers to determine which questions were going to most important and useful.
Through interviews and surveys, I was able to gather information to help compile an overall generalization of personas for our MSP executive, sales and technical buyers. I imagine the personas we created today, like the technology industry we serve, will change over time. However, having something documented is worth something and I’ve found helpful in structuring our go-to-market strategy.
Once you have personas ‘categories’ grouped, take the time to analyze them and determine if your content relates or speaks to your audience, and how your personas fit into your buyer journey. Do you have gaps or opportunities to refine your marketing to fit your buyer?
As I rely on subject matter experts to also help share information, providing them upfront with a persona profile helps them remember and highlight who they are trying to connect with on the other end while developing content.
Using personas helps Collabrance better immerse ourselves in what a day-in-the-life is like for our MSP buyers and decision makers so we can best know how to connect and provide them with the information and solutions they need.
If you haven’t explored your buyer personas, it’s worth an exercise. Our next steps are to continuously take the information gathered and incorporate it into our buyer journey and content to enhance the experience we can provide to users.
As a psychology major… people, behaviors, communication – all of these fascinate me and I love getting to know people better and finding ways to enhance ways to connect with them. In my opinion, marketing is all about finding ways to connect with others. It’s amazing the things you can discover about people and the things you can learn about them and creating personas is a great way to get to better know your contacts. At Collabrance, we are definitely a relationship-based business who value our partners as a true extension of our team. Personas provide us the opportunity to strengthen current relationships and build new ones.
I hope you enjoy the generalized MSP personas we’ve developed for executive, sales and technical buyers. Hopefully you find something you can relate to, enjoy!
Brittney Stepanek, Strategic Marketing Director for Collabrance, is responsible for helping build relationships and brand awareness through strategic marketing initiatives. Before working at Collabrance, Brittney joined GreatAmerica in 2012 doing marketing for the Office Equipment Group. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Iowa.