Building a customer journey map that lays out how your customers work their way from awareness through consideration, purchase and ultimately advocacy is an important first step in understanding how customers buy your product. Now, overlay that path to purchase with a careful consideration of what content your prospects are looking for, when and in what format, and you start to see how important a thoughtful content strategy plan can be.

Task-Based Personas
With the growth of marketing automation, B2B marketers quickly realize that segmentation is one of the most effective ways to increase conversion rates and reduce sales cycles. And while there are many variables one can use to build customer personas, none are more powerful than “task-based” personas.

Task based user personas are designed to shift the way an organization looks at their customer sales channel and how content and tools are developed to help them along their journey. Rather than focus on the individual “user” as part of the persona exercise, we use the “activity” in which groups of like-minded people perform similar tasks and how organizations can develop streamlined journeys to guide their sales and content development strategies. Download Bolin’s task-based persona worksheet to get started.

Look at how a customer approaches the most common and impactful tasks in the larger purchase process, whether the customer is just discovering your company or they are already a loyal customer, to understand what people are looking for and how they are interacting with your brand at all possible touchpoints—including traditional, digital, retail and through third-party interactions.

This exercise will help to ensure that your brand and its larger ecosystem are adequately equipped to meet the needs of each task-based persona. Tracing users’ distinct paths further ensures you act as a valuable resource for customers throughout each phase of the purchase process. It defines what sorts of informational or inspirational content they require to complete their task. As an example, editorial-type content may be more effective in the awareness phase while product comparisons and benchmarking studies become more relevant during the decision making phase.

In the case of complex and high involvement categories, purchase decisions can be further complicated by purchasing teams and procurement, which bring together multiple levels and perspectives, each with their own content requirements. Defining user requirements based on the tasks motivating their behavior is a critical first step in creating market effective marketing and ultimately shortening the sales cycle and increasing conversion.

The Business of it All
Personas lay the groundwork for developing customized experiences for each segment of your audience. And the data says it all: there is a 20% increase in sales when websites deliver a personalized experience. At Bolin, task-based personas are our true north. Our journey mapping process can help you connect with your segments through each step of the decision making process, shortening your sales cycle. Download your task-based persona worksheet and get in touch with us to learn more!