It’s in our DNA to understand people – it’s human nature. We make friends, build communities and social connections by understanding others. By finding commonality, shared passions and values. When we try to describe someone to someone else, we talk about their character, their emotions, their state of mind, the things they like and don’t like, how we met them, what they care about and we give context – all of it saved in our amazing brains. The brain updates this over time, every time we meet someone, building layers of knowledge and understanding. It’s phenomenal.

As marketers we’re trained to understand audiences first. Remember all those textbooks! Too easily it gets forgotten and you see the effect on strategy, channel selection, creative, messaging, content and results. Not just the external aspects but the way marketing engages with the rest of your colleagues in sales, customer service, product development and so on. If you don’t know their customers, it undermines the value and credibility of marketing. What’s the role of marketing if it’s not to understand the market? If you don’t know what your audiences want or care about then where do you start? How do you make marketing effective?

As an audience first consultancy, we of course always start there. Whether it’s individual personas in the decision-making unit, or organisational level customer profiles, we look out into the market and bring those insights back into the work we do. We consider context and themes that effect each of these. We drill down into the motivations in their role, the relationship and influence of others and get to the point where we have a very real and valuable persona. We then bring it to life in the real world. With real people and organisations. In B2B especially, personas have a pretty poor reputation. I’m not surprised – after all, personas aren’t any good if they’re distinctly average and that’s generally where organisations go wrong. It’s a lot of work to build good personas – it takes effort and intelligent application of the insights. Many of the ones we see only give you a general view with limited real data, and they take a really long time!

We do things differently. We have our own product called Magnus PI – real-world intelligent personas. Which we use on every strategic project. We create them in only a few weeks with clear insights and practical applications for your marketing strategy. We have input from AI aggregating multiple data points which feed into our personas and we can cover most audiences. The way we build them means that they can be updated as often as a client needs, keeping them relevant and focused on the priorities at the time.

We believe Magnus PI is a huge shift in how B2B organisations need to think about audiences. It’s about putting your audience first. And boy don’t they deserve it!

Alex Brayshaw, Partner at The Magnus Club