Having read many articles on persona, their creation, how to use them in inbound marketing i continue to be question the way they are used in B2B marketing.
It seems to me that the focus always seems to be on the person/personality that the organisation are targeting. To me this is the wrong way around.
Having been a fan of Jakob Nielsen for years i remember championing his approach to 'inbound marketing' in 2004 while working in telecoms. To me his approach still makes sense. Ironically the documentation discussed by Jakob hasn't changed much and the context is still the same.
His approach is more focused on the understanding the needs of the searcher/researcher. To me this makes sense when you consider this is about inbound rather than outbound marketing.
By understanding the needs of this searcher/researcher you can provide information to help them sell into their business on your behalf. After all how many Marketing Directors do you really think are researching solutions for their business?
I don't think for a minute that the Marketing Director isn't involved in the decision making process or having final sign off but that is often months after the initial research.
So to take this article from Kissmetrics i would suggest starting from the end and working to the beginning. After all is the sex and age of the persona really the most important factor. I'm not saying that these don't influence but i would hope these are of least influence. After all we are talking about B2B marketing.
Understanding the Buyer’s Needs Buyers are eager to tell you what they need. All you have to do is ask. Basic lead follow-up and nurturing questions can reveal quite a bit. Simple polls and surveys can often reveal a great deal about where the buyer actually is in the process (and whether they have an urgent need for your product or service versus basic curiosity). Even if we don’t know specifically what they need, we can make some blanket statements to apply them to our persona. What would someone in this job typically need from our solution?