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Turbocharge Your Buyer Personas With The 5 Rings Of Buying Insight

By Beth HendersonComments

Turbocharge Your Buyer Personas With The 5 Rings Of Buying Insight

Every brand would love to know exactly who their customers are.

From what they love about their job, to what makes them want to stick their head in the water cooler — and why they buy from one supplier and not another.

Well, a buyer persona is the next best thing.

It draws on detailed data to create a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer.

Most brands will create a number of buyer personas, each one representing a different segment of their audience.

Why? Because your brand doesn’t have just one ideal customer’.

Creating these ‘ideal customers’ are hugely helpful in enabling you to target the right messages at the right people with laser-like focus.

Get inside your customers’ heads…

A strong, detailed buyer persona is not unlike getting inside the head of a prospective customer.

Remember, there is no such thing as too much detail.

According to HubSpot, detailed buyer personas can also help brands to “determine where to focus your time, guide product development, and allow for alignment across the organisation”.

Cut short, your buyer persona’s are essential to targeting the right visitors, leads and customers. People who are actually valuable to your brand.

Otherwise, what’s the point?

Get personal to create your personas

We’ve already discussed how to create a B2B buyer persona — they are created as a result of gathering highly relevant data.

This data comes from asking a number of detailed questions, but it goes way beyond where they live or how much they earn.

This time it’s personal.

  • What are their everyday challenges?
  • What keeps them awake at night?
  • What makes them get up in the morning?
  • What motivates the decisions they make?

Based on telling insights, personas enable you to understand the really important stuff —like why people do what they do.

The 5 Rings of Buying InsighT

Developing buyer personas takes time and research.

But to help brands along the way marketer Adele Revella, CEO of the Buyer Persona Institute and author of Buyer Personas, conceived the ‘5 Rings of Buying Insight’ concept.

Buyer insight

In the words of Revella...

“Buyer personas often begin with a Buyer Persona Profile that describes the buyer, but for messaging we need to understand how buyers approach the decision we want to influence. We call this part the 5 Rings of Buying Insight, which generally depicts about 20 different key thoughts taken from direct interviews with your buyers.”

“The 5 Rings of Insight tell you what triggers the buyer’s interest, how they define success, their barriers or obstacles to purchase, their decision criteria, and the buyer’s journey.”

The 5 Rings of Buying Insight are based on 5 — count ‘em — fundamental rules that reveal how, when and why the buyer engages with you:

1. Priority Initiatives

What causes buyers to invest in a solution like yours and how are they different from buyers who remain attached to the status quo?

Don’t confuse these with pain points.

Instead, they are three to 5 problems or objectives your buyer persona dedicates time, budget and resource to without any regard to your business or product. They believe that these initiatives have the most significant influence on their job performance.

The key here, is to understand why this is a priority.

As an example, Revella says, “You could guess that the marketing executive buyer persona has pain in the area of marketing metrics and campaign automation. But an insightful buyer persona would tell you which marketing executives are most (and least) receptive to your marketing automation solution and why”.

Be insightful, understand why!

2. Success Factors

What operational or personal results does your buyer persona expect from purchasing this solution?

In short, how will this benefit my brand?

Similar to the capabilities of your solution, success factors look at the benefits of choosing your brand. But they do so in much more depth, and from the buyer’s perspective.

They consider the tangible and intangible rewards buyer personas associate with success, providing you with a statement of your buyers’ key expectations.

As Revella says, “For example, you might currently emphasise your solution's impact on cost reduction, but an insightful buyer persona would identify the category and degree of cost reduction that buyers anticipate”.

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3. Perceived barriers

What concerns cause your buyer to believe that your solution or company is not their best option?

A.K.A the “bad news insight”.

Buying insight

Perceived barriers tell you why your buyer wouldn’t buy from you, and what factors would prompt them to question if your solution is capable of helping them achieve their Success Factors.

Not addressing these barriers will have consequences.

Brands need to use these to fuel their content. This means reassuring buyers and demonstrating your ability to identify, understand, and proactively address these perceived obstacles.

4. The buyer's journey

Reveals the behind-the-scenes story at each phase of the evaluation.

Depending on the buyer’s stage within the buyer’s journey, they are going to have very different needs.

Mapping out the journey highlights how buyers are evaluating solutions, the process they go through, and the types of content they look for.

Use this to understand where your resources will have the most impact.

As Revella says, to help you prioritise your marketing investments, you need to know which resources the buyer trusts at each step of their decision making...

“A marketing executive would not rely on the same resources for decisions about web conferencing and off-site event planning.”

5. Decision criteria

Which aspects of the competing offerings do your buyers perceive as most critical, and what do they expect from each one?

Decision Criteria directly informs your marketing message and your content.

It clarifies the buyer’s most important questions and the answers they are seeking — as well as the specific features they will use when comparing and evaluating solutions.

Revella shares the example that, “if the buyer wants a solution that is ‘easy-to-use’, the Decision Criteria Insight specifies which aspects of the solution this persona expects to be ‘easy to use’ and how they determine which solution is the easiest”.

It’s time to focus your buyer personas and predict behaviour with accuracy.

Start to understand how, when and why they make decisions, and you can crack your buyer personas.

Answer me this

To sum up Buying Insight, put yourself in your buyer's head and answer these 5 questions…

  • What is my main priority?
  • What is the benefit of this solution?
  • Why choose another company?
  • What do I really need?
  • What do I expect?

While you have a ponder on this, why not download our free 43-page eBook to get the latest insights in B2B blogging and how this can increase leads to your website?

You know you want to...

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