Most life science companies have embraced a customer-centric approach to business. This means really understanding the customer and marketing solutions to their specific challenges. To do this, you have to truly understand the persona of your target audience. According to LinkedIn, “the true purpose of persona creation is to make buyers feel understood, but the numbers say most of us create personas to make ourselves feel as though we understand buyers.” We use them to confirm what we believe we already know about our target audience.
Truly understanding a customer requires us to know their behavior and drivers, and to talk to them in a language that resonates, not a language that you think resonates. This is where persona-development typically fails. Teams develop personas based on insights from the sales team and years’ worth of experience. In other words, they develop them on other people’s assumptions held about the audience, not on what the audience think and feel.
Personas are at the heart of any marketing strategy. So, if you are basing your personas on potentially incorrect assumptions, then all resulting activity (and marketing budget spent) could be wasted. The only solution is to develop personas based on data.
We recommend using data resulting from three different segments:
- Current customers
- Lost customers/prospects
- Pipeline prospects
Taken from three types of analyses:
- What your audience say motivates them – Rational
- This data is developed from a written survey. From this, you get a ‘rational’ thought through response from your audience.
- What they truly feel motivates them – Emotional
- We use neuro-marketing principles in a phone interview to obtain this data. A neuroscientist asks questions that unlocks the true emotional response. For example, when asked why a prospect never bought an instrument, they usually respond to the rational survey with ‘it was a financial decision’, but when asked in an interview using neuro-marketing, we get a more emotional (‘honest!’) answer
- How they actually behave – Behavioral
- This is based on data from the marketing automation system, Google Analytics, Google Ads etc. We compile a profile based on their online behavior
Taking a data-led approach will give you a true 360° understanding of your target audience.
I know that this sounds expensive, but when you consider the cost of wasting your budget on incorrect assumptions, combined with the lost revenue from potential sales, can you afford not to do this properly? Lay the right foundations from the outset.