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Using B2B Buyer Personas & the Buyer’s Journey in Your Marketing

By: Ed Carr

To the uninitiated, B2B marketing may appear to be a smattering of strategies and tactics coming together in an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-style soup. However, experts know that effective marketing is laser-focused and more like an artisanal baked good than a haphazard soup, requiring precision and a tried-and-true recipe that ensures quality and repeatability. The B2B buyer’s journey and buyer personas are critical aspects of this carefully constructed process. They give you valuable insight into your audience and provide a roadmap and foundation for your marketing efforts. This is especially important when defining your brand positioning and messaging.

While almost any B2B marketer worth their salt will swear by the buyer’s journey, some marketers think that B2B buyer personas are a mixed bag. Either they believe their personas have helped align marketing and sales teams in identifying a target market and the relevant decision-makers, or they feel they’ve wasted their time and never reference B2B buyer personas once they create them. But we want to help you understand why both are vital to your marketing strategy and how to make both effective.

Let’s dig into the details and look at creating a B2B buyer’s journey and building buyer personas you’ll actually use:

What is the B2B Buyer’s Journey?

The B2B buyer’s journey is the process potential customers go through before purchasing. Understanding the buyer’s journey is crucial for businesses to effectively tailor their marketing and sales strategies. Providing the right information and support at each stage can guide potential customers toward purchasing and ultimately improve your sales success.

The Buyer’s Journey Stages

There are three stages in the usual buyer’s journey. These buyer’s journey stages are critical because they help businesses understand where their potential customers are in the buying process. By recognizing which stage a buyer is in, companies can tailor their marketing and sales efforts accordingly. For instance, during the awareness stage, providing educational content can help attract and engage potential customers. Offering detailed product information and comparisons during the consideration stage can help prospects make informed decisions. And during the decision stage, providing personalized offers or incentives can help close the sale. By aligning efforts with the buyer’s journey stages, businesses can better meet the needs and expectations of their potential customers, ultimately leading to more successful conversions and sales.


At this stage, the buyer recognizes they have a problem or a need. They start researching to understand their problem better and identify possible solutions. This is often when they become aware of your product or service through marketing efforts, recommendations, or online searches.


Once the buyer knows their problem and possible solutions, they enter the consideration stage. Here, they evaluate and compare different options to find the best fit for their needs. They might read reviews, compare features, and seek advice from peers or experts.


In the final stage, the buyer has narrowed their options and is ready to purchase. They may need reassurance or additional information to finalize their decision, such as pricing details, support options, or return policies. This is where your sales and marketing efforts can help push them toward choosing your product or service.

Creating a B2B Buyer’s Journey

The first step in creating your B2B buyer’s journey is defining your ideal customers and identifying their touchpoints with your brand. This is where your buyer personas come in handy, which we will discuss later. You’ll also need to develop content that addresses the needs you’ve identified in the buyer’s journey stages, focusing on education, comparison, and decision-making support. Choose the right channels to reach your audience and track and analyze results to refine your strategies.

Foundational research plays a crucial role in this process. By researching, you gain insights into your audience’s demographics, behaviors, pain points, and preferences. This information helps you create accurate buyer personas and understand where your audience is most active online. It also guides content creation by revealing the topics and formats that resonate with your audience. Additionally, research enables you to identify gaps or opportunities in the market, allowing you to develop more targeted and effective strategies.

What Are Buyer Personas?

So, now you know buyer personas can be essential to mapping out your buyer’s journey and that the research you do while creating your buyer’s journey can be used for your buyer personas. But let’s quickly talk about what a buyer persona is.

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on market research and actual data about your existing customers. These personas encompass demographic information, behaviors, motivations, goals, and pain points of different segments of your target audience. Creating buyer personas allows businesses to humanize their target audience, making empathizing with their needs and preferences easier.

There are a few common things found in effective buyer personas:

  • A Fictional Name (something like Manager Midge)
  • Roles & Titles
  • Geography
  • Key Responsibilities
  • Performance Metrics
  • Common Pain Points
  • Topics of Interest
  • What They Value in a Provider Like You
  • Where They Get Their Information or Socialize
  • Education & Experience
  • Social Media Channels

Why Are B2B Buyer Personas Important?

Buyer personas are essential for any company, particularly for marketing and sales teams, as they clearly understand prospective clients. In a dynamic environment where various individuals contribute to campaign strategies, content creation, lead nurturing, and email follow-ups, alignment is crucial. Everyone needs to be on the same page regarding who they are engaging with and what specific topics matter to the prospect.

In B2B sales, the sales cycle tends to be more intricate and protracted than B2C transactions. Multiple decision-makers are typically involved in the process, each with their own set of priorities and concerns. Take, for instance, a technology company selling software to hospitals. If the software impacts patient care, securing buy-in necessitates engagement with various stakeholders such as the Chief Technology Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and potentially clinical staff members. Each stakeholder has distinct interests and requires a tailored approach. This is precisely where buyer personas prove invaluable.

By crafting detailed B2B buyer personas, businesses gain insights into their target audience’s diverse needs, preferences, and pain points. This information enables marketing and sales teams to personalize their messaging, offerings, and engagement strategies for maximum effectiveness. Ultimately, buyer personas streamline communication, enhance customer understanding, and facilitate the delivery of tailored solutions, leading to improved conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

What’s the Difference Between Ideal Customer Profiles & Buyer Personas?

Ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas are both tools used in marketing and sales to understand and target specific segments of the market, but they serve slightly different purposes.

An ICP outlines the characteristics of the companies or organizations that best fit your product or service. It focuses on firmographic details such as industry, company size, revenue, location, and other relevant criteria. ICPs help businesses identify and prioritize which companies to target based on their likelihood to benefit from the offering. They are instrumental in ensuring B2B companies invest their resources in pursuing the most promising leads.

Buyer personas, on the other hand, delve into the individual characteristics, behaviors, motivations, and pain points of the people within the target organizations involved in the buying process.

Creating Buyer Personas that Work

When building buyer personas, you must deeply understand your target audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviors. Let’s explore how to craft detailed B2B buyer personas tailored to your business.

Understand Your Sales Cycle

The first step to creating buyer personas is getting to know your buyer’s journey in and out and understanding everyone involved in the decision-making process.

Identify Important Stakeholders

Look at the decision-makers involved in your B2B buyer’s journey and distill them down to two to five of the most important stakeholders who are always involved.

Research Your Existing Customer Base

Next, analyze your current customer database. Look for patterns and commonalities among your customers. For instance, consider a mid-level executive named Manager Midge. She’s in her late 30s, tech-savvy, and works in the IT department of a medium-sized manufacturing company. Manager Midge is responsible for evaluating and recommending software solutions to streamline operations.

Conduct Interviews & Surveys

Reach out to your customers, prospects, and sales team for insights. Conduct interviews or surveys to gather qualitative and quantitative data. For example, you might discover that Manager Midge is tech-savvy but prefers concise, informative content delivered via email or LinkedIn.

Segment Your Audience

Group your audience into segments based on similarities such as industry, job role, and challenges. For example, Manager Midge represents tech-savvy executives within the manufacturing industry.

Get Specific

Develop detailed profiles for each segment. For Manager Midge, your persona might include:

  • Demographics: Age, job title, company size, industry
  • Goals and Challenges: Manager Midge’s primary goal is to improve operational efficiency through technology adoption, and her challenges include budget constraints and resistance to change within her organization
  • Pain Points: Manager Midge is frustrated by outdated systems that slow down processes and hinder innovation
  • Decision-Making Criteria: Manager Midge prioritizes solutions that offer scalability, ease of integration, and a positive ROI
  • Preferred Content and Channels: Manager Midge prefers concise, informative content delivered via email, LinkedIn, and industry-specific blogs
  • Common Objections: Manager Midge often raises concerns about implementation time and compatibility with existing systems

Validate & Refine

Share your personas with stakeholders and gather feedback to refine them further. Ensure that your personas accurately reflect the needs and preferences of your target audience.

Combining Buyer Personas & the Buyer’s Journey for Effective Marketing

The fusion of buyer personas and the buyer’s journey forms the backbone of a powerful B2B marketing strategy. By delving into the intricacies of your ideal customers through detailed personas and mapping their path from discovery to decision, you unlock the potential to craft tailored, resonant experiences that drive meaningful engagement and conversions.

All of this might sound like a lot of work… and it definitely is! But it’s valuable work and will help you take your marketing from a messy improvised soup to a robust recipe that will ensure people keep coming through the door.

Of course, if you’re looking for a little help, the Sagefrog team is happy to hop in. We can map out your buyer’s journey and create buyer personas to take your B2B marketing to the next level.

Get in touch today, or take a look at our template for creating successful marketing campaigns and get started.

Download the Template