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Audience Framework – Who's the Buyer?

July 07, 2015 | By Rachel Young

  • Many b-to-b organizations are not in consistent agreement about who their target buying audience is
  • Questioning sales, marketing and product about who they perceive the buyer to be for a single product or solution may offer three different responses
  • The SiriusDecisions Audience Framework helps clients address this misalignment product and, in turn, create cross-functional collaboration

Remember the childhood game of Telephone, where a message is whispered from one player to the next until the final player in the group recites what he or she has heard? The fun in the game was to see how the final message is transformed as it passes through each person, picking up inaccuracies and misinterpretations along the way.

The steps to building success In a similar fashion, many b-to-b organizations lack a consistent understanding of who their target buying audience is. Ask your colleagues in sales, marketing and product who the buyer is for a product or solution, and most likely you’ll get three different answers. The product team might launch an offering for Audience A, while the sales team is spending most of their time on Audience B. No wonder marketing can get confused about the audience for whom they should be creating messaging, content and campaigns!

The SiriusDecisions Audience Framework helps clients to address this common misalignment problem.  For a specified business line or offering, clients can use the Audience Framework to formally define the target segments at multiple audience levels such as industry, region, organization type, buying center and persona.  When conducting an Audience Framework planning session, our clients bring together cross-functional team members to collaborate on audience definition and come to agreement on prioritized segments that require immediate focus from each function.

Developing a uniform organizational understanding of the target audience is a critical first step in the go-to-market process. Audience understanding should not be left to individual interpretation. Adopt a formal audience framework planning, documentation and socialization process to ensure shared insight and alignment across the sales, marketing, and product teams.

Want more insight on b-to-b go-to-market best practices?  For our SiriusDecisions Portfolio Marketing clients, please contact your account team to access the SiriusDecisions Audience Framework and the “Conducting an Audience Framework Planning Session” brief.  If you’re not a client, contact us for more information.

Rachel Young

Rachel Young is a Senior Research Director of Portfolio Marketing at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 20 years of experience in product and solution marketing, demand generation and communications. Follow Rachel on Twitter at @rpyoung_.

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