Are you using buying groups? If you aren’t yet reaping the benefits of this effective strategy, now is the time to start progressing your audience identification and activation approach.
Identifying B2B buying groups lets you better target, reach, and track the engagement of the people (yes, people not just one person) who matter at your target companies. There are many ways to identify the buying groups in your audience. Using intent data can help you simplify the process and give you deeper insight along the way.
What are buying groups?
Buying groups are important in a variety of ways, but the first step is to understand what they are and their purpose. Buying groups are exactly what they sound like: a group of individuals involved in a purchase decision process. Nowadays, more than one buyer is almost always involved in making a B2B purchase decision. In fact, most B2B buying decisions involve at least four people. Identifying and engaging all the individuals who participate in the buying process and impact the purchase decision, the buying group, is critical when trying to boost conversions through the funnel.
In addition, the key personas within buying groups have different roles, and they’re influential at various stages of the funnel. For example, if you’re buying a technology solution for your firm, you should consult and discuss this with various departments and your team members before investing in it. You can’t make this type of decision on your own. Instead, it’s essential to gain confirmation from all team members (personas) who might be affected by this decision.
Now, let’s dig into the ways in which intent data helps marketers identify B2B buying groups.
Effective ways to identify B2B buying groups with intent data
Did you know that according to Gartner, your target buyers spend 27% doing independent research online? What may come as a surprise is that buyers spend more time doing research than communicating with sales reps. What’s really interesting is that they’re devoting nearly a quarter of their time during the buying process to meeting with their buying group. This shows how engaged the modern buying group is. Getting in front of each member of the group will give you an edge against your competition.
To effectively reach and engage modern and empowered B2B buyers, you need to have deep insights about your target audience segments. In the past, marketers had to wait for the buyer to complete a set of actions in order to understand the prospect’s interest. However, today, with the help of buyer intent data signals, you can track prospect movement and prioritize outreach.
Now, how can you successfully identify buying groups with intent data?
1. Designing audience framework: To identify buying groups, you should begin by designing an audience framework, which should provide a detailed overview of your target market segments and sub-levels including regions, industries, business types, and the key personas involved. The audience framework plays an important role because it provides an answer to the most important question of who the buyer is.
Furthermore, in order to plan a successful audience framework, you should start by identifying your target audience. To do this, you’ll need the right combination of browsing patterns, online activities, email clicks, content downloads, and site visits within your intent data stream. An intent data-driven audience framework helps when developing a uniform organizational definition of your primary target audience.
2. Defining key personas: In general, intent data offers a comprehensive picture of a buyer’s needs, interests, and pain points, which in turn, define personas from target audience segments. You can define personas by the various job roles and business positions individuals hold. Then, the next step is to capture the emotive, functional, decision processes, and behavioral attributes in order to gain clarity about key personas.
Also, it’s important to remember that a persona can have one or more of the following roles in a B2B buying process: a champion, influencer, decision-maker, user, and/or ratifier. When there are too many personas to target, quantitative and qualitative metrics such as the number of personas and new or known personas can help prioritize which personas require immediate attention.
3. Understanding buyer needs: Use intent data to determine which businesses or enterprises are best suited for their solutions. Once you understand what your buyers want and/or need, you can curate personalized solutions to accelerate engagement and conversions.
Not only should you consider the buying needs of their primary decision-maker, but also the entire group including their key personas. Knowing the needs of your personas is pivotal when pushing a buying group across the sales funnel.
Additionally, when buyers browse various online sites, they often gain knowledge and form opinions about different products or services. During this process, they also leave digital footprints which are often referred to as buyer intent data. This can help you understand where your buyers are within the purchasing process.