Make Every Word Matter (and Make Sure Your Buyer Personas Tell You How)

island vacationThere’s a wonderful Mark Twain quote that goes like this “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.”

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Topics: Advertising, B2B, B2B marketing, buyer persona, Buyer Personas, Buying Criteria, content marketing, Content Marketing, Good Use of Personas, marketing strategy, messaging and positioning, Positioning & Messaging, sales enablement, Uncategorized

Buyer personas get personal

Working on a buyer persona for a chief information officer last week, my client listed the predictable pain points on the flip chart -- shrinking budgets, conflicting priorities, legacy solutions that are difficult to integrate but costly to replace.

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Topics: Advertising, B2B, Buyer Personas, Buying Criteria, Positioning & Messaging, Public Relations, Technology Buyers

Choose words carefully to reach personas

I spend a lot of time trying to convince people that a marketer's primary job is to develop buyer personas and think like the customer. Why is this so hard? Because personas are not included in anyone's job description. Nope, marketing is measured by how much stuff it produces and so that's what it does - developing endless data sheets, demos and presentations that talk about the product. Inevitably this manic activity misses the point -- that marketing is meant to motivate a buying influencer to take the next step in the decision process, and that we can't motivate people we don't know.

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Topics: Advertising, B2B, Buyer Personas, Buying Criteria, Product Marketing Redefined, Public Relations, Writing

Resolutions for a prosperous 2007

I wish you a new year filled with joy, prosperity, and successful marketing initiatives. For those who want a roadmap, here are the ten rules from the Effective Product Marketing seminar restated in the form of resolutions. Perhaps one or more of these will inspire you.

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Topics: Advertising, B2B, Positioning & Messaging, Product Marketing Redefined, Sales people, Writing

News feeds listen to the market for you

The best way to get to know your buyers costs nothing and takes no effort whatsoever. Establish a news feed (Google offers one, for instance) based on the keywords you think matter to your buyers. Set your preferences to get a daily email  with links to any new web content and blogs published on that subject. If you notice that there is a lot of information you don't want, refine the keywords until you see valuable results.

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Topics: Advertising, B2B, Market Research, Positioning & Messaging, Public Relations, Software, Technology Buyers

More companies should talk turkey

As I was preparing my Mary's free range turkey for the oven I saw this notice on the wrapper:

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Topics: Advertising, Good Use of Personas, Positioning & Messaging, Public Relations

Checklist marketing is such a waste

While scanning the latest issue of Dwell Magazine this morning I saw an interesting CaesarStone sink that might work in our new bathroom. So I went to the advertised web page to find the "all-new Embellish collection". Nothing. I saw the CaeserStone in a store last week and they didn't have this new kind. I really want more info. Hmmm. If it's "all new" maybe there's something in the "Latest News" tab. Nope. So I click on the "Products" tab. Still nothing about Embellish. I see that there's a toll-free number in the ad, but it's the weekend and tomorrow I've got other things to do.

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Topics: Advertising, Launch, Who Needs This

Solution marketing should mean something

I'm looking for support for a new rule that restricts marketers from using the trendy "solution marketing" term until they can demonstrate that they know what problems their buyers want to solve. I don't know how this rule gets implemented, of course, but isn't everyone tired of the idea that a solution is just an internally convenient combination of products and services? How many marketers have used Microsoft Word to perform a "Find and Replace" function, substituting "solution" for "product" and, presto, the company is selling solutions!

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Topics: Advertising, B2B, Product Marketing Redefined, Public Relations, Technology Buyers

Targeting the raised-by-apes persona

Websites are popping up to teach basic skills that I was sure everyone learned from Mom. I'm obviously wrong, because several very popular new sites are delivering videos on subjects like how to brush your teeth or use the shower. Wait, don't rush to click through, the instructor for the shower video is the fully-clothed 79-year-old man who started the site, VideoJug, when he couldn't remember how to change a flat tire. But don't dismiss him as some crazy old coot either. How to fold a t-shirt in two seconds has been viewed 76,000 times.

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Topics: Advertising, Product Marketing Redefined, Public Relations, Who Needs This


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