5 Steps to Create a Winning Audience-Centric Marketing Strategy
Can you remember your last bad date? And having an unengaging conversation because the date rambled on about themselves without asking about you?
To be attractive, you have to be interested in the other person. In marketing, it should be a no-brainer that to make a company attractive, you have to center your go-to-market strategy around buyers.
In a recent study, SiriusDecisions found that marketing leaders consistently ranked the need to shift from a product-centric to audience-centric model among their top five priorities.
Being audience-centric benefits organizations in many ways, from increased sales productivity and improved alignment between sales and marketing to revenue growth. Honing in on audience segments opens the door for better customer engagement, whether higher response rates, conversion rates and more.
Yet, one third of marketers polled said that a lack of buyer insights is one of their biggest challenges. Buying behaviors and preferences can be elusive for many companies, so it’s important to gather these insights. Above all, companies need to build strategy around what buyers want, not what the company’s product line dictates.
Making this change might sound daunting, especially considering the challenge of aligning everyone internally. How do you actually go about creating an audience-centric GTM strategy, transforming existing processes? Here are five steps to get you started.
1. Rank the Audience
In every campaign, it’s essential to consider who your target audience is. How big is your market? What are the potential market segments, and where are they located? Consider the different industries, company types and account profiles to really drill down.
Then, prioritize potential audiences based on where the best opportunities for results and growth are, and create an architecture that reflects your business model and market approach.
2. Know Your Buyer
Once you’ve clarified your audience, figure out who is actually involved in the buying process. This step is key in shifting from a product-based to persona-based approach. How can you forge meaningful connections?
Develop buyer personas, focusing on the topics, challenges and initiatives that customers care most about. Knowing these specific details means that you can develop the most relevant content possible, closely aligned with buyers’ wants and needs.
3. Pinpoint Customer Needs
Seemingly buyer-centric approaches can still fall into the trap of defining the buyer’s need based on the benefits of your offering. Tempting as it may be, don’t start strategizing by focusing on why your products are so great. Instead, dive into understanding what buyers truly need.
There are three general categories of needs — organizational, functional and individual — that might drive a buyer or add business value. Buyers are asking themselves: “What will help solve a business issue?” “How can I fix an operational problem?” “how can I perform my job better?” Differentiate common needs from unique desires, so you can group together similar segments.
4. Map Your Portfolio to Buyers
Next, start thinking about the features of your products. Ask yourself, “How can our various products and services best fit the buyers’ needs?”
List all of the different offerings in your portfolio, as well as their many benefits. Map out the connections — all the places where some feature of your product solves a customer’s challenge.
5. Determine Pathways to Market
The final piece of this puzzle is thinking about how your target audience will buy the products.
Understanding buying patterns is critical to determine the best routes to market, as well as sales and marketing strategies. The campaign planning process should take those buying patterns into account and determine the fundamental assets that are required to activate a campaign in each program family.
From prioritizing your audience to understanding buying patterns, following these five steps will set you on the right path to creating a successful audience-centric GTM strategy, helping you avoid bad “first dates” with customers in the future and ensuring long-term relationships.