Uses of buyer personas in B2B marketing automation

This post was inspired by an article written by Jayson Demers in January titled “Are you using your B2B marketing personas effectively“.

In this article we talk about how B2B marketing automation software can be used to model B2B marketing personas (we call them B2B buyer personas in Selasdia).

A B2B buyer persona is a model of the attributes of a potential customer.

Some attributes that can be used include:

  1. Job role (for example, CMO, CTO, CEO, CIO)
  2. Areas of interest (for example, ERP, BPM or Big Data)
  3. Seniority (for example, MD, President)
  4. Location (for example, UK, India, USA)
  5. Company size and vertical (for example, KPMG, Pharma Companies, Telcos)

Take for example the following use case:

Tally is a popular vendor of financial accounting software in India.  They sell accounting software to CA (Chartered Accountants) in India.  They are also an ERP vendor, and in that market, they probably need to reach out to CIOs of firms.

So, there are two B2B buyer personas that need to be modeled for Tally.  The first is the persona of a buyer of financial software.  The second is of a buyer of ERP tools.

Buyer Persona 1 – Buyer of financial accounting packages

  1. Job role: CA, Chartered Accountant
  2. Areas of interest: Finance, Financial Software
  3. Seniority: Senior, Junior, Trainee
  4. Location: India
  5. Company size and vertical:  Financial

Buyer Persona 2 – Buyer of ERP tools

  1. Job role: CIO
  2. Areas of interest: Financial ERP
  3. Seniority: VP, SVP, AVP, MD, Director, President
  4. Location: India
  5. Company size and vertical:  All

B2B marketing automation systems like Selasdia allow you to model the buyer persona very concretely in software, and can use those models to identify potential customers.

Here are some screenshots of these models in Selasdia.

Model of Persona 1:  Screenshot of part of a model capturing the first and third attributes of a buyer persona (job role and seniority) in Selasdia.


Model of Persona 1:  Screenshot showing the modeling of the second attribute (areas of interest).



Similarly, for Persona 2 (buyers of ERP products), the first and third attributes (job role and seniority) can be modeled rather bluntly as follows:



The location can be modeled as well.  The following screenshot shows you how you would model the location of a persona.



Once the buyer persona is complete, a B2B marketing tool can do many things with it.

It can highlight inquiries from people who fit the persona of a buyer.

It can score prospects according to their fit to the model, and automatically construct ranked lists of prospects.

It can also discover information streams that need to be plugged into.

Here, we show you some interesting analyses that can be performed on the persona of a marketer and on that of a CMO!


Firstly, here’s is a list of information sources that marketers get their content from.



You can see that many marketers get their information about marketing from Hubspot, Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today and B2C.

It is also interesting to observe Marketing Land’s move up the rankings (the rankings on the right-hand side are for the last 30 days).

Secondly, here’s a list of the top hashtags that marketers use:



In the last 30 days, they have had an unusual affinity for #wlw.  I wonder if that stands for WeightLossWednesday or WishListWednesday.  Oh well, that reminds me, I need to lose weight; I’ll put that on my wish list.

Thirdly, here is a list of people marketers mention often!



It’s interesting to see that Eloqua and Pardot seem to be dropping out of the race if you go by these numbers.

But these numbers are not the only numbers we need to look at.  We diced the same numbers for CMOs and it’s interesting to see that the world looks very different sometimes for a CMO.

Now, please bear in mind that we didn’t have enough data to run an accurate study on CMOs so the rankings must be taken with a pinch of salt (whoever is shown as ranking first could well have in reality ranked last).




So, what’s with Youtube and CMOs???!!!  I have to start making more videos!

Also interesting is the fact that Forbes scores very highly with CMOs!  These guys seem to like Forbes disproportionately more than other marketers!

CMOs’ hashtags also spring a few surprises.


CMOs seem to be disproportionately into #marketingautomation and a lot less into #custserv.

How do you use this data?  Take a look at the tags on this blog post!

Grrr, I’ve just realized that half the blog tags I’ve ever used were totally worthless!

Well, no, not really.  We know from this analysis what tags people use.  We don’t know what tags they search for.  More on that later.

Finally, let’s take a look at the people CMOs talk about (there was very little data for this, so the rankings could be off by a lot, so if you’re not high on the ranking list, please don’t take offence!!!)



Now, I’m going to have to go make friends with Jon Miller.  Hi Jon!



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