Akoonu Research Reveals Buyer Personas and Buyer’s Journey Maps Provide Rich Audience Insights that Improve Quality Content Creation

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82% of surveyed B2B marketers who have built buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps said that their personas and journey maps give them in-depth insights to guide their creation of quality content.

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Akoonu, Inc.™, a marketing strategy platform that empowers marketers to execute successful buyer-centric marketing, today released the results of a survey of 100 B2B marketers on buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps, including how they impact audience understanding and content marketing. The research compares the responses of marketers who have built personas and journey maps versus those who have not, and pinpoints challenges to using them organizationally. Survey highlights include:

-82% of respondents who have built buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps said that their personas and journey maps give them in-depth insights to guide their creation of quality content.
-91% of respondents who have built buyer personas and journey maps agreed that their organization has an in-depth understanding of their buying audience, such as their goals, fears, challenges, and buying roles, compared to just 50% of those who have not built buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps.
-96% of respondents said that personas and journey maps have helped their organization, such as increasing content quality and speed of content creation, while just 4% said they haven’t seen benefits.
-Four times the number of respondents who have built buyer personas and journey maps versus those who have not said they are very confident that the majority of their organization’s content is aligned to the needs and interests of their target buying audiences for each stage of their buying journey.
-Nearly half of respondents said challenges to getting their personas and journey maps used organizationally is their inability to easily share them, or that many within the organization don’t even know they exist.

Buyer Personas and Journey Maps Increase Content Quality

Nearly 90% of respondents said that a deep understanding of their buying audience is critical to creating content that engages their buyers. Respondents were asked what activities they engage in to better understand their buying audience for content creation (respondents could choose more than one option):

-48% said build buyer’s journey maps        
-47% said interview customers        
-47% said interview Sales        
-42% said build buyer personas
-33% said interview internal subject matter experts        
-32% said read trade publications
-27% said interview Client Services
-28% said attend events like webinars and trade shows
-26% said read analyst reports

74% of survey respondents said their organization has built both buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps. Of these, 89% interviewed customers for insights, and 92% interviewed Sales. Also, 96% said that their personas and journey maps have helped their organization, including increasing the quality of their content, increasing the speed at which they plan and create content, increasing engagement and leads from demand generation initiatives, improving sales enablement creation, and informing messaging.

91% of respondents who have built buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps agreed that their organization has an in-depth understanding of their buying audience, such as their goals, fears, challenges, and buying roles, compared to just 50% of those who have not built buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps.

In fact, 82% of respondents who have built buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps said that their personas and journey maps give them in-depth audience insights to guide their creation of quality content.

Also, four times the number of respondents who have built buyer personas and journey maps versus those who have not said they are very confident that the majority of their organization’s content is aligned to the needs and interests of their target buying audiences for each stage of their buying journey.

Of those who have built buyer personas and journey maps, 93% agree that Marketing has a strong understanding of their buying audience’s content preferences for each stage of their buying journey, compared to 65% of those who have not built them.

“For B2B marketers to rise above the noise and effectively connect with their buyers, they must have a truly in-depth understanding of their audiences,” said Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer, CMI, and author of the book Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing. “When done the right way, personas and journey maps arm marketers with these rich audience insights, so they can create targeted, buyer-centric experiences at strategic points along that journey.”

Challenges to Operationalizing Personas and Journey Maps

When asked what challenges they face to getting their personas and journey maps used organizationally, the top challenge, noted by nearly half of respondents, said there is no easy way to share them, or that many within the organization don’t even know they exist. Meanwhile, 25% said that there’s not a strong understanding organizationally of how to use them.

“Buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps are the first essential elements to establishing a buyer-centric marketing strategy, but for them to provide true value they need to be easily shared organizationally and updated on an ongoing basis,” said Jeff Freund, CEO and Founder, Akoonu. “This is where technology can now help. Rather than locking personas and maps away in PowerPoint slides, a platform approach to building and maintaining them activates buyer insights across the organization, while making it quick and easy for marketers to maintain them for freshness and accuracy.”

About this Survey
This survey was conducted online in August 2015. One hundred B2B marketers, Director level and higher who are responsible for or oversee content marketing, were surveyed, with 50% from organization with an annual revenue of $100 million - $999 million and 50% from organizations with an annual revenue of $1 billion or more.

About Akoonu
Akoonu, Inc. ™ is the first marketing strategy platform that empowers B2B marketers to develop and operationalize the essential elements for successful buyer-centric marketing from planning through execution. Our configurable frameworks, workflows, integrations, and collaboration features enable B2B marketers to develop and continually update in-depth buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps that yield rich audience insights, to collaboratively advance their positioning and messaging, and to consistently apply their brand standards. Our platform activates your buyer insights and brand standards organizationally so that everyone across Marketing, Sales, Product, and Services can access, leverage and share them in real-time. As a result, marketers can empower an efficient, high-quality B2B buying journey through a deep understanding of their audience and engaging content that embodies your brand, fuels relationships, motivates your buyers, and drives business growth. For more information, visit http://www.akoonu.com and follow Akoonu @Akoonu.

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Heather Miller
Akoonu
+1 415.689.5722 Ext: 102
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