Inbound Marketing Persona Targeting for Manufacturing Companies

Get personal with your inbound marketing.

You know who your target customers are — engineers, procurement professionals, MROs, and research and development teams.

But what do you really know about them? What makes them excited to get up in the morning? What do they need to accomplish by the end of their workdays? What are their habits? Their challenges? Their passions?

Answering these questions is the key to understanding the most important question of all — what are they looking for in a potential supplier?

At Thomas, we understand today’s industrial and B2B buyers better than anyone, as we’ve been helping them do their jobs for more than 120 years. Armed with this insight, we can align your content marketing program to meet the specific needs of your target customers, forging better connections — and more leads — in the process.

Every day for more than 120 years, we have helped industrial and B2B buyers do their jobs and connect with suppliers. Today, Thomasnet.com is home to the most active network of buyers on the planet, with a supplier evaluation happening every two seconds.

All this activity produces millions of real-time data points, which we pore through and thoroughly analyze. We’ve also held thousands of conversations with buyers, and have executed tens of thousands of digital marketing campaigns on their behalf. In addition, in 2017, we commissioned one of the most comprehensive studies of industrial buying behavior ever.

All of this data gives us an unparalleled understanding of the habits and processes that drive today’s buying decision makers, and everything we’ve learned goes into crafting highly targeted, fully customized content marketing programs for our clients.

Nobody else has the perspective we have, and nobody else can help deliver the connections you need.

Persona Overview

A persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.

Design Engineers

CAD software is perpetually open on their desktop so they can create new components and assemblies. They care about form, fit and function. They are problem solvers of the highest order.

Procurement Managers/Buyers

These folks are the Holy Grail. They hold the purse strings and have a high level of input into the final supplier for projects. Their main concerns are cost, lead time, and ongoing deliverability.

Plant/MRO Managers

Their life is divided into planned shut downs and the pure anarchy of emergency repairs. Theirs is a life of stress. You need to help them stock what they need for both possible good and bad days.

You never thought this deeply about what your targeted customer personas need — did you? This is just scratching the surface. To be able to effectively market to your prospects, you need to truly understand their needs, job requirements and habits.

What is persona targeting?

It’s the practice of putting your potential customers first and bring them to your company with targeted campaigns based on their wants, needs, and pain points. Through this strategy, you’ll bring your ideal customers to life with personas, a semi-fictional representation based on market research, which helps you frame your marketing strategy.

Why should I segment my customers?

You should bucket your customers into primary job functions — design engineer, buyer, procurement manager, MRO, etc. You can further breakdown by industry and region if need.

What’s an example of a persona for industrial companies?

Penny is a 30-year-old procurement manager at an aerospace company. She’s not an engineer but can read prints and understands the technical aspects. She prefers to use a desktop computer at work and is very active on LinkedIn. Her job looks something like this: After getting the bill of materials from an engineer, she needs to research and contact suppliers, gather technical and product information, including certifications. From there, she’ll put out RFIs after creating a shortlist then negotiates price and delivery before buying the part.

How do I target my different customers?

Let’s use the above example. If Penny is one of your targets, you’ll be sure to have an updated website that shows off your company’s products and services — and make it easy to submit RFQs when she is ready. You could set up targeted LinkedIn ads as part of your social media strategy to drive to your content that’s focused on her industry trends and your capabilities to stay top of mind when she’s ready to buy.

Get more targeted leads.