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How to Write to Your Customer When They Aren't Your End User



Warning: This issue may be controversial - Note: This is what's working for me and is very much industry-dependent.


I've been training a few B2B writers and one of the biggest challenges they face when it comes to messaging and content is: How do we write to our customers when we have multiple decision makers in the buying process all with different pain points and goals?


It’s been drilled into marketers’ heads that B2B buying decisions are made by committees compared to B2C buying decisions being made by individuals.

 

Yes your B2B customers often have to run decisions by many of their colleagues before committing to a purchase -

 

And because typically the End user is not the buyer, traditional marketing will tell you to create content that speaks to the various stakeholders within your target organisation....

 

But while you should find a way to tailor your messaging strategy so that it speaks to everyone in the buying process you don't need to write for everyone.

 

In fact, I'd say you only need to write to one person.


Here's what I propose:


1. Identify and segment your primary and secondary audiences

 

There's a popular design phrase: Design for the User, Position for the Buyer.

 

Your B2B buying group can consist of between 6 and 10 people you'll want to identify your End User and the Key Decision Makers.


Identify your End User:

This is your user, the individual who will ultimately use your product to perform their job. While they may have little to no influence over which product the company buys they have a specific set of goals that are based on emotional needs.


Identify The Leader: This may include the Company’s Management Team or Executive Leadership. Their buying decisions are often based on the bigger company objectives and focus on the logical side of the buying decisions ie: how your product will give the company a competitive advantage, cut costs or boost output.


Identify the Key Decision Maker:

The Buyer: the person who wields influence across the buying journey. This person often manages your product’s end users. They have different goals and needs than the end-user and rely heavily on aligning with business objectives.


For example:

Computer software -

User: The employees who use the software on a day-to-day basis

Buyer: The IT department or senior management.

 

Healthcare products, Medical devices -

Users: Patients and Doctors

Buyers: Insurance providers, Government agencies, Hospital administrators.

 

Children's products - toys, clothes

Users: Children

Buyers: Parents or guardians.


3. Find a common problem, benefit and objectives within the buying groups

Users often want something that will eliminate the tedious or complex aspects of what they do day-to-day.

 

Leaders have objectives such as how to make each user more productive or save the company money.


List them and highlight any shared and common insights.

 

  • What problems are your users experiencing that cause a problem for the buyer?

  • What is their main goal? (Do they want to impress the boss? Out perform their competitor?)

  • How does your service help solve your buyers’ challenges? (how will your services make their lives easier.)


4. Write to the BUYER, not the USER

Rather than trying to write to each seperate group make your message easier and write for The Buyer.

 

Consider how your product can help them overcome these common challenges and lead them to a shared outcome.

 

Here's Why 

The Buyer is your middle person who bridges the gap between the user and the rest of the purchasing committee - they're most likely the ones doing all the research. They are the balance between logical and emotional buying decisions.

 

You can attract their attention by speaking directly to their pain points and showing them the value they're going to receive - you can make them your product’s biggest champions.

 

Top Tip: You'll want to show them how your solution will make them look like heroes to their bosses.



 5. Put it in a Story

 

Maybe your solution can help cut costs, speed up production, automate a tedious task, or improve safety, but instead of talking about technical details, and processes share case studies, customer testimonials, and stories that add the logical and emotional elements.

 

Tailor your message to the buyer's leaders' fear or objectives and put the desired outcome in your end user's hands.


Let me show you:



In HP's ad they identify the end user (People Using the Photocopier) but its message addresses the Leaders' fears of losing to their competitors.


TLDR:

Identify: Individuals in the organisation who are part of the buying decision.

 

Find Their Triggers - What is the pain point that gets so bad an organisation decides it must take action to fix it?

 

Discover What's Important to the Organization. What's on their priority list when they whittle down their options for various solutions

 

Target their Buyer with a story: Highlight their Leader's and Buyers common problems and fears and show the ideal outcome in their End User's Life.


And that's a wrap.


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