Tuesday 2¢ – Pain, Need, Aspiration and Trust

In this week’s half-baked Tuesday thought, consultant, author, speaker and splendid podcast host Jay Acunzo inspired me to dive into personas and trust

Lately, I have been doing a lot of messaging work with different clients. In doing this, we need to discover their ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) and buyer and influencer personas.

Often, personas are built based on the pains or problems that need to be solved and the tasks that need to be done. This is a great approach, but in my experience, it tends to narrow the conversation to solving these problems with features and functions.

And, dare I say it, sometimes the opposite happens with an established product, in that the marketer, knowing the features and functions, wants to retrofit pains and tasks to the features of the product. A kind of marketing post-rationalization?

When I was a product owner or product manager, then yes please to user personas that are very focused on the task to be done, and I’d like that in as much detail as possible. But, now, I am not, I am a marketer.

As a marketer, my marketing mantra is, as I have shared once or twice before, that we are here to create Awareness, Revenue, and Trust.

Revenue is the thing most businesses need; nobody can buy a product they are not aware of, and they won’t risk their success on companies they don’t trust.

Sure, having a great product with lots of features and functions builds trust, but, as I shared in last week’s thought, the buyer doesn’t have the time to figure that out on their first pass of the market.

Marketing in a more complex enterprise B2B category is about earning sufficient trust to open the door for us to show them that. To explore those features, tell the product story and dive into the benefits. And, as any good content marketer will tell you, nothing builds trust better than being useful.

When building personas for a messaging and content strategy, I need nuggets that we can develop into something useful that will make us trusted. So, I prefer to think more broadly about their needs and aspirations rather than the narrower approach of pains or jobs to be done that can be solved with a tick-box feature list.

That’s quite a long lead-up to the spark for this post, as a LinkedIn post by Jay Acunzo inspired me to lean into this idea of trust when it comes to personas.

Jay is a consultant, author, speaker and wonderful podcast host. He talks about the trust his prospective customers need to have in him before they invest in his services. Credibility and trust are everything in the advisory business.

But this is a post about B2B marketing personas, and while Jay generously shares his approach (using SparkToro —which I definitely want to use more), it is a great model for his business and well worth sharing – what’s this got to do with us?

Well…. Trust.

Needs and aspirations are great.

But maybe it’s not pains, jobs to be done or needs and aspirations that we need to have as attributes for our personas.

Maybe we need to answer one question:

What can we do to encourage this persona to trust us?

Fancy more of this?

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