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How Marketing to Buyer Types Addresses Customer Concerns Better than Mere Personas

Ray Baird

In our last installment of this series, we discussed how companies can and should use purpose, vision, and mission to attract new talent, inspire and retain current employees, and provide strategic clarity for your brand.

Today we will focus on how companies create emotional bonds with their audience using advanced buyer-type strategy.

Most healthcare marketers currently use persona to help define and prioritize their audiences. Many marketers are also using personas to determine content messaging, timing and direction. But this is somewhat limiting and too general - it doesn’t take into account where they are in the buying cycle - which changes everything.

Have you heard of buyer-type marketing?

Because we’re talking about something much different with buyer-type strategy. During the last decade, buyers have become more sophisticated and more discriminating when it comes to how and when to engage depending on where they are in the journey to purchase. Consider how customers digest information differently – someone who is making a decision to buy insurance vs. someone who needs to select a healthcare provider. Marketing and messaging strategies are more effective if we address each persona based on their stage in the buying cycle.

There are three main buyer types to utilize when strategizing your marketing. Below, we'll look at the differences between each and how your brand should interact based on each type's needs.

Buyer Type 1: Solution Buyer
This buyer requires high involvement and prefers high touch. Solution buyers tend to have a long sales cycle. They require a consultative sales and branded-experience approach. Prepare to be hands on.

Your content strategy should include thought leadership and educational material. Case studies and testimonials are critical to success with this buyer.

Buyer Type 2: Packaged Buyer
You can expect medium involvement from this buyer. Package your products or tailor your solutions. The packaged buyer has a shorter sales cycle than the solution buyer.

To be successful with this buyer, you’ll want to customize content with demonstrations, free trials, and documentation to help justify the ultimate purchase.

This audience tends to consult with other current users so your social strategy needs to be strong. This buyer will care that others have had a good experience with your brand.

Buyer Type 3: Transactional Buyer
This is the least involved buyer type—the no thrills buyer. They want the quickest and easiest way to purchase at the best cost. When it comes to marketing and messaging, simple is better for this target. They will react to ROI models or applications and rationale relating to risk reduction.

And the user experience on your site can be the deciding factor for transactional buyers—so you'll need to hit that out of the park right from the start.

 

Now that you’re familiar with buyer types, you can see how using personas to guide your branded experience is not enough.

Marketers need to change their mindset to address the demands and expectations of their audiences as it relates to where they exist in their journey to purchase.

Then there's customization. Marketers need to personalize content and messaging in order to build a stronger emotional connection. If your current strategy is not hitting the mark, give this approach a shot and start building brand preference.

Next in the series: More on developing rich content and measuring brand performance.