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How to Create a B2B or B2C Marketing Persona

Unicorns are to Pokemon Go as the Mona Lisa is to skateboarding. What’s the correlation? Absolutely nothing. Are you confused yet? This is exactly how your audience feels when you’re attempting to make a connection between your brand and their lives without a single clue as to who they are, what they need, or what they’re looking for. In order for your marketing to be sustainable and effective, you need to understand who it is you’re talking to and identify the ‘why’ to create messaging that resonates with them. This is where your user personas come in to save the day.

Your user personas are more than just an educated guess of who your buyers are. They’re a detailed profile tailored to each type of buyer based on real users and real feedback.

First, let’s look at the key differentiators between B2B and B2C buying process:

Business-to-Business (B2B)

  • Buyers typically make collective decisions as a company, weighing out the pros and cons of the available solutions to their issues
  • There are no impulse purchases
  • They rely on value-driven, educational content to help make decisions
  • Need to establish trust and credibility before purchase

Business-to-Consumer (B2C)

  • Purchases are typically based on an individual decision
  • Purchases are more emotive, and less logical
  • Make purchases based on their own perceptions, wants and needs
  • Purchases can be impulsive

What a B2B Marketing Persona Looks Like

Here’s an example persona we’ve created for an imaginary managed IT services provider. One of their core users is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a mid-sized company:

B2B Marketing Persona


B2B Persona -2

Breakdown of the B2B Marketing Persona Components

  • Photo & Name
    Use a fictional name and photo to help you visualize your user.
  • Job Title
    Identify their role in their company.
  • Background
    You need some insight to this user. What are their characteristics? What are some of their daily habits? These will help gain a deeper understanding of your user to better understand their behaviors.
  • Motivators
    You need to know what it is they’re trying to accomplish in their role. Map out their typical responsibilities, goals, and core objectives.
  • Needs
    What it is they require to accomplish their tasks and reach their goals? This information will help you outline the core functions and features you need for your website.
  • Challenges / Pain Points
    What are some of their most frustrating challenges they face while trying to accomplish their goals and objectives in their role?
  • Deterrences
    What would prevent them from purchasing? Why would they go with other vendors instead of yours?

Find out how to apply your user persona for your B2B marketing here.

What a B2C Marketing Persona Looks Like

Here’s a fictitious marketing persona for a coffee shop. One of their core customers is the on-the-go college student.

Breakdown of the B2C Marketing Persona Components

  • Photo & Name
    Use a fictional name and photo to help you visualize your buyer.
  • Personal Background
    Though your personas are fictional, they are based on quantitative and qualitative research. Identify their age, marital status, location, education, career information, or any other information that allows you to better empathize with your target.
  • A Day in the Life…
    Describe the daily routines, personality characteristics, and habits of your buyer. Be as specific and detailed as possible.
  • Finances
    By describing financial information such as: spending habits, income, and the preferred method of payment may influence your business’ services, website structure, marketing campaigns, and more.
  • Online Behaviors
    Are they on social media? Do they prefer to shop online or in-store? It’s important to know how tech-savvy they are to understand what features your website may need to offer, how you will communicate with them, and what channels you need to be on.
  • What They’re Looking For
    What are they truly looking for? How does your product or service fit into their lives? Defining what their needs are will help you map out the type of content for your website, the layout, as well as the core functions.
  • What Influences Them
    In order to create marketing messages and roll out advertisements that are effective, it’s important to understand who and where your users get their information from.
  • Hopes and Dreams
    Hopes and dreams are the things that your user wants or needs, both personally and professionally. Understanding wants and needs allows us to create more targeted content, and may even lead to the development of additional products or services as you identify gaps in your current offering.  
  • Worries and Fears
    Understanding the internal and external fears of our persona will allow you to empathize with them. This will allow you to craft messages that alleviates this fear, and may even evoke an emotional connection.
  • Brand Affinities
    Which brands do they love? Understanding which brands each persona is drawn to will lend tons of insight to the types of messaging, imagery, and the other types of interactions that work with their favorite brands.
  • Quote
    With each persona, provide a short quote that captures what the persona is all about, their attitude – either in general, or towards our products or services.

While user personas can be a tedious task, it’s critical to the future of your sales and marketing, as well as your product development. You’ll be able to uncover hidden sales opportunities, identify marketing campaigns, and strengthen your messaging across all your marketing efforts because you know exactly who you’re talking to.

Now that you have a deeper understanding of your buyers, let’s find out how to use them! Check out our Ways to Use Buyer Personas in B2B Marketing or 5 Ways to Apply User Personas to B2C Digital Marketing.

Now that you’ve created your marketing personas, it’s time to use them to optimize your website to increase sales, drive more traffic, and attain your business goals. Download your free toolkit here.

Web Design personas toolkit