Problem Peter: An MSP Example Buyer Persona

Problem Peter: An MSP Example Buyer Persona

MSPs have three main buyer personas. This post provides an in-depth exploration of the example buyer persona Problem Peter and how to sell to him.

Do you really know your target customer? I mean really know them – so much so that you have documented buyer personas that outline your ideal customers’ demographics, behavior patterns, decision-making criteria, motivations, and goals? If you have no idea what buyer personas are – or why they are important – then you are running a costly risk of missing the mark in all of your marketing efforts. In our previous article, Why MSPs Should Be Developing Buyer Personas, you can learn what buyer personas are and why they are critical for a successful marketing strategy. In this post, the second of our four-part series, we will take a deep dive into one example buyer persona for MSPs, Problem Peter, and how to sell to him.

MSP Example Buyer Persona: Problem Peter

Meet our example buyer persona Problem Peter. Peter is male, in his early 40s and is a graduate of his home state college. He married his high school sweetheart and has two kids. Peter loves his steak dinners and is a big fan of his hometown football team. Peter enjoys reading TechCrunch, Wired, and CNET. He is leading the IT department for a fast-growing Software-as-a-Service enterprise. His organization has recently grown from 40 to 100 employees.

Peter is primarily concerned with finding a new MSP to fulfill wants and needs his current provider isn’t addressing. With the rapid growth of his organization and the increasing complexity of his IT needs, Peter feels that his current provider just isn’t up to snuff.  His employees are either turning to Shadow IT because the existing IT infrastructure is failing them, or his network has experienced serious downtime and he needs to resolve this by moving providers. Unfortunately for him, this isn’t the first time he’s been let down by his provider. Which means, he is leery about his other options and does not want to be burned again.

Problem Peter Identifiers

Peter is driven to make assertive decisions quickly and he sees speed and decisiveness as a competitive advantage. Peter likes to seek control in important situations. He will use this control to make fast, logic-based decisions. His behavior is reactionary and he is known to have a limited view of the issues at hand. For him, things are very focused: find problem, fix problem. He won’t go too much beyond that – which is why it is important to persuade him to be proactive. If niceties or red tape are causing inefficiencies, such as a delay in getting to the heart of a technical issue or being put on hold with a provider’s support team during a time of dire need, expect Peter to object. He will be quick to tell you if he doesn’t like the way you do things.

Capturing Problem Peter 

To effectively sell to Problem Peter, you need to answer the question "What makes you and your product the best?" Peter wants to know how you measure up against other MSPs. He will usually have done his homework, so use logic to convince him why he should choose you. And always, always make sure you use factual data and avoid embellishing your offering, as Peter will immediately be turned off if he sees potentially dishonest claims that could leave him high and dry again.

Your best approach with Peter is to provide proof, rational probabilities, and to avoid unsubstantiated claims. Appeal to Peter’s inner competitor. The advantages you offer — and therefore, the advantages he will benefit from — must be stressed.

Putting Your Persona to Work

Now that you have a better understanding of your persona, how do you use the insight you’ve gained about Peter to better accomplish your main goal – to generate leads and convert leads into customers?  There are lots of ways you can use your personas to drive results.

For instance, when you are developing content for marketing to Peter, focus on the following words and metrics: 
●    Best X
●    Proven X
●    Best industry performance
●    Best for X MSP use case 
●    Margin analysis – ROI
●    List brands and logos you work with
●    # of customers
●    # of countries

In terms of marketing tactics, here are four ways you can use the insight you’ve gained about Peter to your advantage: 

1. Comparison charts of your offering contrasting your next best competitors are a strong selling point for Peter to quickly and easily see the advantage of partnering with you.

2. Reallocate your ad spend to customize your Facebook ads and retargeting ads to closely target Peter based on his demographics and the news sources and publications he reads. Use words and images that will appeal to Peter’s competitive nature. Copy such as “We pummel the competition”, or a headline that conveys what makes your offering the best, along with a subheader that communicates the clear advantages of your service, will capture Peter’s attention. 

3. Write customized content, such as an eBook that caters to Peter’s needs and wants and uses the language and buzzwords he is familiar with. For example, an educational ebook that provides fact-based research to explain why your services are superior to others in the market, and how it will make his life easier overseeing his IT department, would be a great tool to capture his attention. (Side note: make sure you promote it using the insights you’ve learned about him as well!).

4. Showcase ROI studies from your other customers to show Peter proof of the hard numbers and facts of the advantages and benefits you can deliver him.

Tailor Your Personas For Your Business

Developing buyer personas for your content marketing strategy isn’t easy. To do it right, you need to collect real data about your customers and prospects and use that information to your advantage. Often times, MSPs think they know their customers, but in fact they are basing their decisions on assumptions. This example buyer persona, the first of three in our series on MSP buyer personas, is meant to give you a foundation to start your own MSP buyer persona research. Use it as a starting point to audit and collect information about your specific target audience to improve your marketing effectiveness. And stay tuned for the next two posts on two more example buyer personas for MSPs.

Want to learn more about maximizing your marketing spend for your business? At Total Product Marketing, we specialize in marketing for Channel Partners and Cloud Service Providers. Contact us today for help developing a persona-driven marketing strategy that will improve your customer acquisition and retention.

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