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The Sharpest Tool™

How to Use Persona-Based Marketing to Get More Leads

Cheryl McRae
Josh Smith
Corey Quinn, CMO at Scorpion, manages the Corporate Marketing Team and works very closely with our sales team to help get them in front of qualified, motivated leads. In this episode, we discuss the key differences between B2C and B2B marketing and the different stages a consumer or business goes through before purchasing a product or service.

Josh Smith (00:03):

Hello, and welcome to the sharpest tool where we take the sting out of marketing with everything that we bring to the table. My name is Joshua Smith. I have Corey laughing at me in the booth, right.

Corey Quinn (00:16):

The first time I heard that is that

Josh Smith (00:19):

Corey is the chief marketing officer at scorpion. Uh, so and so, which is just awesome in and of itself. And having you in the booth is just, it's super exciting. So, Corey, welcome. Thank you so,

Corey Quinn (00:30):

So much Josh, really excited to be here, really excited. What you guys are up to here with this podcast.

Josh Smith (00:34):

Not only is Corey, the chief marketing officer, which is cool enough in itself, but he's a Forbes contributor. He's had career built in building businesses. And so it's just awesome to have him in the booth. I'm excited for what we're going to be able to talk about today. Um, Corey, Kitman not everybody gets to talk to us CMO of a huge organization. So what does a day look like for a COO?

Corey Quinn (00:55):

Really? So here at scorpion, our focus specifically my team. So at scorpion, my team is corporate marketing. Okay. And I'd say majority of our efforts and time and resource and money, people are focused on helping to support our sales team to be in front of qualified, motivated leads. So as you know, we work with businesses. Scorpion is a B2B business. Uh, typically the businesses that we work with work with consumers, but our focus, especially on my team is helping to make sure that the scorpion brand and scorpion message and how we go to market. And our unique selling proposition is in front of those businesses that we want to do business with. So we do that across each of the four verticals that we operate in, which are legal home services, healthcare and franchise. And so we do that through top of the funnel type marketing, bottom of the funnel type marketing. Those are, those are sort of jargony ways of saying we do a lot of brand based marketing, direct response. We do a mail, internet marketing, um, a lot of different types of marketing specifically to those businesses so that, um, uh, they can call us and get in touch with us so that we can potentially, uh, work with them and help them to grow their business. That's awesome.

Josh Smith (02:09):

It ties right into what we're, what we're going to talk about today, which I'm really excited. I know we got a lot of listeners who handle, for example, commercial work, which is that falls into that B2B or business to business category, right. So why don't you give our listeners a little bit of insight into the difference, the primary difference between what we would call B2C or business to customer consumer versus B2B or business to business? What are the, some of the primary differences are?

Corey Quinn (02:37):

Sure. So when you're thinking about B to C business, consumer, you think of anything from companies that sell soda to mobile apps to, to even automobiles, right? So it's very common. It's that type of commercials and marketing that we see, we hear on the radio all the time. The difference when you look at B2B or business to business type marketing is typically, there's a couple of nuances. Typically you are very targeted in the, uh, in the marketing. You're typically not seeing a lot of B2B type marketing on TV or on the radio. Uh, however, when, when you, uh, when you look at B2B type marketing, some of the, some of the changes, the nuances there is that typically you're looking at software, you're looking at people are selling consulting based services. And in the, in the context of home services, we're looking at things like landscaping businesses or plumbing businesses that want to sell into those businesses themselves.

Corey Quinn (03:34):

And so the nuance there is typically you are dealing with a longer buying cycle, longer selling cycle into those businesses. Sure. And what that means, and what feeds into that is typically you typically are dealing with longer contracts. Sure. Someone who is, uh, you're selling into a residence is going to probably buy maybe a one-year contract when you're selling into a business it's maybe one to three years, the dollar value of that, of that contract can typically be much higher than at a residential level. So as a result of that, you need to market differently to businesses than you would to consumers. Okay.

Josh Smith (04:10):

And what would you say are some of those primary differences in terms of how you would market differently to consumer what's a consumer looking for that a business owner isn't vice-versa?

Corey Quinn (04:19):

Well, the interesting thing is, is that in both cases, we're marketing to humans, right? So we all have wants, we all have needs so on and so forth. I think the major difference in the, between consumers and businesses is typically the contract that we're looking to close on a business level is typically much longer. And the dollar figure, as I mentioned is much greater. So there's typically more at stake. So the psychology of the sale could be a little bit different or it is a little bit different. Yeah. Based on those factors, again, going back to the residential sale, are you going in selling a contract to a homeowner it's maybe a year at the most? So there's little consequences. If it doesn't work out, contrast that with a property, let's say a property manager of a 15 of a business that owns 15 different properties that have a lot of landscape and that needs to be maintained. That's a big contract. That's a big deal. There's a lot of money. There's a lot riding on that decision for that property manager. So the, the dynamic, when you play it out, is that the consideration, the period of time and the amount of information that a property manager would need in order to hire, let's say a landscaping firm is much greater than what a typical residential sort of a homeowner would require for, uh, hiring just a landscaper to come in and manage the lawn

Josh Smith (05:43):

Primarily because there's a lot more at stake. There's a lot, there's a longer contract, more money involved. And all of that, that's exactly right when it comes to the buying funnel or the buying cycle, what do you mean by that? Well, what does that look like

Corey Quinn (05:56):

When we're looking at longer cycles of buying again, that goes back that's related to larger contract values and longer terms. Sure. That it just elongates the buying process. And so that cycle has to do with what is the different stages of buying that everyone goes through yourself, myself, everyone goes through, when they're going to buy or buy a product or service in the case of, let's say the last time maybe you bought a car, you probably didn't make the decision to buy the car and purchasing the car on the same day. Maybe you did. I don't know. But most people begin to realize that they need a new car and they spend a period of time doing research. And then when they've narrowed the universe down to a couple of cars, maybe they'll go to a couple of auto dealership, lots, right. And go drive some and then eventually make a decision. Yeah. So that's sort of an example of the buying

Josh Smith (06:50):

Process. Well, the same thing is true for are the people we're marketing to at scorpion, as well as home service businesses who are selling into other businesses, there's going to be a process of research and there's going to be a process of analysis of the potential options. And then there's going to be a purchase decision. And so that whole process is what you call a buying buying process. And what we've really developed here at scorpion, that's really worked for us is understanding what the process is, the people that we're hoping to do business with, what is the process that they go through in order to make a buying decision when it comes to their website or digital marketing. And why that's important is because it will inform us on where to market scorpion and how to market scorpion throughout that process so that we can make sure that we're, find-able in their, in their journey, if you will, their buyer's journey. And so you would say, you would say scorpion has like an ideal customer, so to speak, right. How important is that to, and why would you say that as important, I guess is kind of more my question for whether it's B to C, B to B, it seems like in today's marketplace, understanding exactly who your customer is, who your person is that you're trying to get your business in front of is really important and can make your marketing efforts that much more effective. Why is that?

Corey Quinn (08:13):

Well, you know, it's, it's, it's a great question. You know, you may just think, well, I'm just going to go market my services and tell people how great I am and share people, share with people, all my, my great Yelp reviews. And that's great. But if you're looking to really get a lot of return out of your marketing to have a really effective marketing, you need to go beyond that. Yeah. Today consumers are marketed from every direction all the time we're over marketed to. So in order to sort of cut through the noise, you need to do the extra research on who you're selling to so that when they hear your message, they will feel like you understand them. Yeah. Right. So at scorpion, we spend a lot of time with our clients, our home services, our legal clients, and understanding who they are, understanding their challenges, understanding their hopes, their fears, as it relates to growing their business so that we can make sure that we are orienting our marketing, such that when they see our message that they say, oh, scorpion is an expert in home service marketing.

Corey Quinn (09:15):

They understand me. Yeah. It's not that they understand marketing. They understand me. And that's a way to cut through all the noise. Sure. Additionally, when you're looking at a B2B situation like we're talking about, there is sort of this longer buying cycle, there's the research phase. And then the, the analysis phase and the purchase phase, by understanding what that cycle is, what that, that process is, will help you as a, as a company, be able to market more effectively throughout that process. For example, we know that people who are interested in scorpion services as a home service business owner, they're very interested in hearing from other business owners that are in home services that have seen success with scorpion. They want to know what their story was. They also want to understand how can we educate them? How can we help them to become smarter about their own marketing? When we're doing that effectively, then we're able to build those relationships such that when they're ready to buy from scorpion, we're able to have that conversation with them. Okay.

Josh Smith (10:18):

Familia, it's a bit of a contrast, right? From the businesses whose marketing efforts consist of, Hey, call us today. And it's like, well, not everybody wants to call you today. People have different needs, different wants they're at different stages. The term persona comes to mind this idea of like the personality of your business. So what exactly is persona development? And what's included in that research.

Corey Quinn (10:42):

Sure. It says, sure. And this is definitely getting into jargony land. And so, you know, uh, definitely marketing, speak CMO talk here. When we talk about persona, it's an idealized version of our buyer. Okay. When we go into a B2B or business to business situation, typically you may have multiple buyers within an organization. You may have someone low level, who's doing research online, trying to find the options of let's say different landscape businesses who can potentially help with a office park, for instance, who may go do research and then provide a list of potential businesses to a decision maker within that organization. So understanding who your sort of your buyer is creating that persona, understanding things like what backgrounds do they have, what typical pain points do they have, what education level even do they have? What are the different things that they consume when they're looking for information?

Corey Quinn (11:35):

Are they reading magazines? Are they reading newspapers or are they only online? Do they check their email? Do they look at text messages, those type of things. I'll give you an example. For instance, within our home services vertical, we know that our typical home service business owner hates reading email. They're much more comfortable on text. So why spend a lot of time focusing on the email channel when it's going to be ineffective? So that, that insight came as a result of doing the research and understanding who our buyer persona is, the way we get that is we actually interview our clients. We ask them questions, like, what were you doing before you started with scorpion? Uh, okay. What made you decide that you needed to make a shift from whatever your current situ or your previous situation was to scorpion and understanding those nuances helps us to, again, map to map our marketing or make sure that our marketing is present, where they are at.

Josh Smith (12:35):

Definitely. And, and curious about the practicality of this for a busy business owner, home services, business owner, maybe it's somebody who just got started. They, they don't have a lot of customers to pull from. What's some practical ways that these business owners can do this research, the sheriffs owner research to identify what the persona, the personality of their ideal client is.

Corey Quinn (12:57):

Sure. Well, it comes through two different basic sources of data. Number one is through interviews. So it's actually interviewing people who you want to sell to asking them questions. What is important about a company that you would hire such as mine, those type of questions. Those are essential because you're getting the answers from the source. Secondarily, you can also do online research. You can research what the typical organization that you're selling into. Like, what is the makeup of that? Like, what are the titles of the people that typically buy your services? Sure. You could even do online surveys. You can hire third parties to survey your typical buyers. That is definitely less interesting. It's helpful, but it's less interesting than actually doing the actual interviews themselves. You always want to try and get the message from the horse's mouth, as they say it's. Sure.

Josh Smith (13:46):

Absolutely. And how does take now taking that information, transitioning it over to the targeting of leads or more, obviously we want more business coming here. How does that translate?

Corey Quinn (13:58):

So when you have a persona mapping, let's say you understand who your buyer is. You understand the process that they go through when they buy, then it's time to start marketing and you understand what the right messages are, the bright pain points that you want to counteract with your messaging and your marketing. So at scorpion, we do two different, primarily two different types of marketing. We do outbound based marketing, which is going out and buying lists of businesses. And then we're sexually doing direct mail, doing cold calls, trying to get in touch with them, um, to begin a conversation with them, to see if there's an opportunity for us to do business. And then secondarily we'll do inbound based marketing, which is making sure that our brand is visible anywhere where our persona, the person we're trying to sell to is looking for our services.

Corey Quinn (14:46):

Got it. Right. So as a result of doing the persona research, we understand, well, how do they buy? Where do they go? And, and many times people go online. Did you research for, let's say internet marketing or website development, such as the scorpion services, same is true for a landscape business. Who's trying to sell more contracts into commercial properties. Those decision-makers in the commercial properties are going to be doing research online. So it's a great place for, let's say landscape businesses who are trying to get more commercial business, to have a presence, right. To be on search engines, to, um, to be on social media. Uh, another big tactic that really works is to have continual what we call thought leadership type content. Okay. Yeah. And what thought leadership content is mapping content, taking content that is high quality that is problem and solution focused and mapping that to the problems that business owners that you're working with, that you want to work with are, are, are feeling right. Sure. So what you're doing in essence, by creating this content that answers the problems are solved the problems for them. It, uh, it does two things. It helps create authority for your business because you know how to solve this, let's say a challenging problem. Sure. It also, if you really do a great job of solving their problem with this content, there's a little bit of reciprocity you create with them. Sure. Right. And so you, you really are able to benefit from distributing that content and gain that in front of them. Sure.

Josh Smith (16:11):

I have an interesting thought. I want to kind of parse out here. You know, we've talked a lot about understanding the persona of our client. How important would you say is it for a business owner and the people working at an organization to embody the same persona of the clients they're trying to target, um, you know, oftentimes birds of a feather flock together, right. People do business with people. They like, you know, and that sort of thing. So how important is it to have people in your organization that embody a very similar persona as that? Or if not, um, what are some ways that business owners and businesses can, uh, connect with, uh, their, the persona of their ideal clients?

Corey Quinn (16:51):

Sure. If you are a home service business that wants to sell into, let's say commercial properties, if you have someone from that world working on your team and having those conversations with those types of businesses, there's going to be a homofeely, there's going to be a lot of natural rapport because they hum

Josh Smith (17:08):

Awfully what's that, what's that? Sorry. Yeah.

Corey Quinn (17:11):

It's going to be a lot of just natural rapport. Got it. Yeah. Just a, just a nice connection because of shared language, shared experience, shared background, what that resource will also bring into your organization is a real deep understanding of the problems and the challenges that a commercial property owner would have absolutely short of that. If you don't have that and many businesses, don't, that's where the persona research comes in. Got it goes back right back to that persona research and understanding what are those challenges? What are those pain points, the businesses that you're trying to sell to, and then reflecting those challenges as well as the solutions to those in your marketing messaging. Got

Josh Smith (17:48):

It. And pain points. I want to dive into that for a minute. What do you find are some of the pain points that you've experienced in the research that you've done for your clients and

Corey Quinn (17:57):

What are some that, uh, these business owners for B2B businesses might be encountering that are consistent across a bunch of all the verticals that you've seen? Sure. So at scorpion, you know, we're in the business of helping other businesses grow through online marketing and websites. Sure. There are a, a lot of internet marketing companies out there, and there are a lot of website development companies out there. Our go to market is understanding what makes us truly different in our DNA? Like how are we showing up differently? What are we, how are we unique? And one of the ways that we do that, a couple of things, number one, we understand that we work really well with businesses who want to win. If you're, if you're a business that has a couple of techs and just a couple of trucks, and you're just happy, we'll, we'll happily do business with you.

Corey Quinn (18:44):

We'll happily help you, but we Excel. And the businesses we work with Excel when they really want to grow when they're, when they are focused on how do I get to the next level? How do I go from five trucks to 15 trucks, to 50 trucks, right? They want to grow. They have that sort of, that, that desire to win. Cause that aligns with our desire. We have a deep desire as a company to win and to grow and to sort of challenge ourselves to continually grow. So knowing that we position ourselves as a company that we want to work with other businesses who want to win, right? So that is, is a, a way to break through the noise in that if you're a company that wants to win, you'll recognize us as one of those types of businesses. Right. And we'll have that connection.

Corey Quinn (19:28):

Uh, another one is that we are very much quality first. So we, we live, we work in an industry where there's a lot of charlatans, a lot of fly by night companies. A lot of the businesses that we acquire are businesses as customers are businesses that have been burned one way or another over the years. And so we don't compete based on price. That's just not the game that we play. We, we could beat based on quality. So we're, uh, we're, we're sort of a high quality leader in the marketplace that comes through our marketing as well. And so we're going to, that's going to speak really well to not the guy or a girl who is looking for a good deal, but is looking for really a lot of value. So that's how we position sort of our mark ourselves in the marketplace in a very, very crowded marketplace. And the good thing is that that helps us, um, because there's not a lot of people saying those messages, there's a lot of low price leader type of stuff in the market. So as a home service business, who's trying to get more commercial contracts understanding what is your positioning in the market? What is, what is different about your business versus others? And how does that align with the wants and the needs of the businesses you're trying to align with? You know, what

Josh Smith (20:35):

The correlation that you see of businesses who understand the persona of their clientele and lead generation versus ones who don't understand, what's the correlation that you've seen between businesses who get that and the rays, the lagging indicator, if you will, of the results that are generated for those companies versus ones who don't have a clear idea of what that looks like.

Corey Quinn (20:57):

It's very, very easy to spend a lot of money doing marketing, especially online. And it's just as easy to waste. A lot of that money very quickly. It's so easy to spend money while you can get lucky by not doing persona research and get some business. If you want to drive the performance of your business, if you're dedicated to growing your business, doing the persona research will translate into more leads and a better sort of economy of leads, the better cost per lead, which will lead to ultimately a better bottom line for your business. Awesome.

Josh Smith (21:32):

Well, Corey, this has been awesome. Super insightful. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day. We'll have to have you back again soon. This is a, this has been great. Good. Thanks. Thank you so much for the opportunity and for all of you listening, if you enjoyed today's episode, definitely hit that subscribe button wherever you might be at. So that way we can continue to bring more of this awesome content your way, and from all of us here at the sharpest tool, we'll catch you next time. Thanks.

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