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

New Rules of Marketing Available Live

Marketers interested in online marketing, thought leadership and PR need to check out the recently announced Pragmatic Marketing seminar, the New Rules of Marketing. The seminar is led by David Meerman Scott, noted author and one of my favorite marketing experts. If you are looking for ways to reach your buyers directly using blogs, viral marketing, podcasts, video, search engine marketing and online thought-leadership, get yourself registered soon. David's book, the New Rules of Marketing and PR, is leading Amazon’s charts in the marketing category, and he's using the New Rules to get the word out about this seminar. So I’m expecting that these workshops (available in locations throughout the U.S. will be selling out rapidly.

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Topics: B2B, Public Relations

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

Seeking a market-driven employer

The beginning of a new year often inspires people to make big changes, and thus my email box is filling up with inquiries from marketers looking for new and better jobs. The key question -- how to find a company whose management is serious about being market-driven and thinking like the customer?

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Topics: B2B, Product Marketing Redefined, Public Relations

YOU are TIME Magazine's Person of the Year

Did you hear that TIME Magazine just named YOU its Person of the Year? Yessiree, after much consideration, TIME decided that YOU were "more influential this year, for good or ill," than anyone else in the whole world, including such auspicious nominees as George W. Bush, Kim Jong II, and Hugo Chavez. Are you surprised to learn that YOU contributed as much to the outcome of 2006 as did past recipients Charles Lindbergh, Pope John Paul II or Rudy Giuliani in 1927, 1994 and 2001, respectively?

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Topics: B2B, Public Relations, Writing

Do you really want progress?

Progress is supposed to be a good thing, but have you noticed that people have a built-in resistance to any opportunity that requires change? I just saw a story about a TV network that gave a homeless man $100,000 and within a year he was penniless again. They intentionally chose someone who wasn't insane or addicted to drugs and alcohol, and for a while he did get an apartment, buy a truck, and live almost like a normal person. I say "almost normal" because he refused three job offers and found it more comfortable to sleep on the floor than his bed. There are a lot of aspects to this sad story, but it struck me that resistance to change is built into people's very DNA, even when the opportunity is overwhelming positive. Could it be, then, that the ability to recognize progress and embrace change is the hallmark of successful companies and people?

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Topics: B2B, Positioning & Messaging, Public Relations, 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

What the bleep is a buyer persona

Thank you for asking – this is definitely my favorite topic.

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Topics: B2B, Buying Criteria, Market Research, Positioning & Messaging, Public Relations, Technology Buyers, Writing

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

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