The Power of Ideal Audience Profiles
Have you ever struggled with creating buyer personas?
Feeling confused about who you are actually targeting and why?
In previous roles, I always struggled with the advice given about picking personas: oh, hang on, we have 10 personas, but how do we market to all of them? In marketing, they create personas, but nobody in sales knows about them or finds them useful in the sales process.
Or the advice you should pick a ‘niche’, how do you do that? Well, you can, but then you doubt yourself every other day whether you are in the right niche. It’s not easy to pick a niche unless you are clear from the start on the niche you serve.
You, as the CEO, should know. But often, that's not the case, and you need help. That support is (in general) a struggle for a marketing leader or sales leader. The reason is that there often being pressure to ‘expand’, not ‘constrain’. So they can’t get the correct answer for you.
Well, here’s a framework you should recognise that will make your GTM significantly easier:
You need to create ideal audience profiles.
An ideal audience profile is not a niche; it’s not a persona. It’s a broader lens on who you need to engage within the market and who has a problem you solve, and it can be multiple personas, in theory. As you are speaking to the problems you solve rather than just a persona or niche. When expanding, getting this right helps you focus your marketing and sales efforts and target specific groups or industries.
Remember, it’s all about anti-scaling, doing one step at a time in the right order and focusing on the right areas.
How do you create ideal audience profiles? I’ll use an old version of mine as an example.
- STEP ONE:
Define your goal. I.e. I want to build a successful solopreneur business by helping B2B SaaS/services companies build GTM machines that generate high performance without sacrificing my freedom, doing solely advisory work, or working with inexperienced CEOS.
- STEP TWO:
Who Do You Need To Reach To Accomplish Goal (Broad Audience): VCs, CEOs, and Chairman associated with B2B SaaS companies that currently earn $2-$40M.
- STEP THREE:
Pick 3 Ideal Audience Traits: Experienced, mature, curious leaders. Companies that sell mid-market to enterprise solutions and whose marketing is underperforming lack confidence in their marketing leadership and/or have a chaotic environment. CEOs/Chairman who understand the value of marketing and its relationship to sales
- STEP FOUR:
Create an ideal audience statement: My ideal audience is VCs, CEOs, and CMOs of B2B SaaS /services companies who currently earn $2-$40M selling mid-market enterprise solutions, whose marketing is underperforming, and who understand the value of marketing and alignment. In short, if you could get 100 people in a room and would be high-intent buyers, who would they be (could be multiple personas solving a similar problem)?
- STEP FIVE
Pick 3 Broad Wants of your audience.
1) They want to scale.
2) They want a dependable system they can be confident in.
3) They want help from a GTM expert.
- STEP SIX
Pick 9 Specific Wants
1) “I want to hit my revenue goals.”
2) “I want to design and build an effective team.”
3) “I want to asses my existing team and resources to ensure I have what I need to grow.”
4) “I want a clear vision and playbook for what we’re building and how to build it.”
5) “I want to build a marketing machine that makes our operations more efficient.”
6) “I want a system that produces repeatable, consistent revenue.”
7) “I want help figuring out the complexities of B2B SaaS marketing.”
8) “I want support and help to deal with the stress, challenges, and uncertainty of marketing.”
9) “I want help building our brand in a way that aligns with our product, audience, and goals.”
Today's Action Step
Want to get greater clarity on who to target? Here's how:
1) Re-think the frame that you need ‘personas or a niche (discuss that with marketing).
2) Use the process above to draft your ideal audience statement. You can do this yourself, but it’s worth doing with 2-3 key stakeholders.
3) It will take a few iterations to get right (don’t worry), but it should be easier than pulling 10 buyer personas together.
4) Confirm the ideal audience profile.
5) Once agreed, use this as the starting point of your content strategy, sales enablement and outbound marketing. This is a quick-start process in the anti-scaling mantra; call it anti-personas.
If you do this right, you’ll feel more confident and clear in who is your ideal customer and audience. You'll be able to align marketing and sales with a clear message around your value proposition.
Remember, this will iterate over months (mine on 5th iteration in 14 months). But each time you iterate, it gets you closer to understanding what problems you solve for an audience, not a persona.
See you next week.