Developing buyer personas is key to building a compelling sales and marketing strategy and is one of the primary drivers that separates cloud service providers who win market share from those that don’t. New to the idea of buyer personas? Fear not, this is the first article in a four-part series that will get you up to speed on everything MSPs need to know about developing buyer personas in order to succeed in today’s marketplace.

Cloud hosting is a fiercely competitive industry and MSPs that not only survive, but thrive have mastered the art of delivering customizable solutions to a niche market. Success for MSPs requires getting to know your specific market well and then focusing on delivering customized services to meet your target audience’s unique needs. Unfortunately, understanding the formula for success isn’t enough to guarantee the successful execution of your go-to-market strategy. However, buyer personas are an extremely useful tool to help translate theory into action. Because when it comes to achieving your business goals, buyer personas play a critical role in ensuring your marketing message is on point

What are buyer personas?

Buyer personas are the backbone of every customer acquisition and retention strategy. In short, buyer personas are generalized representations of the ideal customer you’re trying to attract. Using market research and real data from your existing customers, these semi-fictional representations summarize your target customer’s demographics, behavior patterns, decision-making criteria, motivations, and goals.

Buyer personas allows organizations to enhance their marketing, achieve hyper-focused targeting and be more influential with their messaging. By having the persona in mind when you create your strategies and campaigns, you build stronger relationships with your audience and become a trusted advisor – and a better marketer.

Developing Buyer Personas

Clearly defining buyer personas for your business is critical to fully understanding what makes your customers and prospects tick – and buy. Buyer personas can be created through research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. You can derive your buyer personas information from a mix of customers, prospects, and those outside your contacts database who might align with your target audience. 

3 Common MSP Buyer Personas

To help you start, we’ve briefly outlined the three most common buyer personas for MSPs. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that these buyer personas should be used as a starting point for your business and  you need to adapt them to fit your niche market.

Buyer Persona 1: Problem Peter

  • Primary Concern: Needs are unmet by current provider. He does not want to be burned again by another MSP.
  • Identifiers: He is reactionary. For Peter, things are very focused: find the problem, see it  and fix it. He won’t go too much beyond that. So you must be proactive.
  • Examples of Needs/Wants: A site goes down or a client's site is slow and he needs to resolve this by switching providers. Or his current project is larger than any he has had in the past.

Buyer Persona 2: Go-Getter Gary

  • Primary Concern: Looking for what is better on the market.
  • Identifiers: Gary is the ‘returns’ guy. He is always looking for the best value for his money – and he wants things fast.
  • Examples of Needs/Wants: Wants quicker support response time or he wants better security and monitoring.

Buyer Persona 3: Loyal Lewis

  • Primary Concern: Happy with his current provider but, due to means beyond the provider’s control, he needs to find a new MSP. But he doesn’t want to.
  • Identifiers: This prospect is loyal, steady… and slow. He values relationships and wants to feel extremely comfortable with any decisions made.
  • Examples of Needs/Wants: Hurricane <insert name> blew out his servers and he needs to find a better solution for backup. Or maybe the previous MSP is closing shop.

Using Buyer Personas

So you’ve met three of the most common MSP buyers. Use this information to your advantage. The key to a great marketing strategy is to keep your buyer personas in mind at every step of your execution. Stay tuned for the following posts in this series where we’ll dive deeper into each common persona and how to sell to them.

Want to learn more about developing buyer personas for your business? At Total Product Marketing, we specialize in marketing for Channel Partners and Cloud Service Providers. Contact us today for help developing a persona-driven marketing strategy that will improve your customer acquisition and retention.