In one day we receive much more information than a person received a hundred years ago in his entire life. A lifetime would not be enough to read all these contents.
By force of circumstances we have to defend ourselves. We have all become expert information selectors. In a fraction of a second we decide whether it is worth opening or scrolling that email, that article, that post on a social media. On what basis does this selection take place? One would say “I choose the most important”. But it is an imprecise explanation. If that were the case, we would all have followed closely the Indian elections (1 billion voters, the largest democracy in the world) or the evolution of global warming. No, the importance … is not important. Neither is the ‘freshness’ of the information. or the authority of the source. What really makes us decide whether to read content is its relevance: how much does this content matter to me reading it. “I read this content”, we say to ourselves, “because it talks about me, because it is ‘made especially for me’.
The first rule of communication
Being relevant is therefore the first rule of communication, especially in a B2B context. The center of communication is the recipient, not the issuer. If you read this text it is probably because it is about you. If it were just about us, you probably wouldn’t have gotten to this line. To be relevant upstream of the communication there must be drastic choices. I cannot be relevant to everyone: I have to get a precise picture of the recipient of my communication. I need to know precisely ‘for whom’ I am writing.
The ‘buyer persona’
We at Valuelead encourage our customers not only to select their interlocutor but to paint him with a wealth of details. We are not talking about the target (male, 30-50 years old, high school education, manager, lives in a big city) but about ‘buyer persona’. We urge the customer to draw a portrait as defined as possible of his ideal interlocutor (and therefore potential customer): What car does he drive, what kind of house he lives in, what sport he does or would like to do….
The paradox of verisimilitude
By doing so, do we not risk reducing the effectiveness of the message by narrowing the goal? No. A novelist dedicates pages and pages to outline the protagonist with a thousand unique details. Yet despite this, indeed precisely for this reason, we identify with him. This paradox was analyzed by Daniel Kahneman, the ‘father’ of behavioral economics and Nobel laureate in Economics. Kahneman and Tverski in Thoughts slow and fast, reported an experiment that we propose again with some modifications: Based on this description “Linda, thirty-one years old, she is single, very intelligent and outspoken. She graduated in philosophy. As a student she was very interested in the problems of discrimination and social justice, and she also participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations “; having to indicate the most probable alternative among the following: 1) Linda is a militant of a feminist movement, 2) Linda is a teacher, 3) Linda is a teacher and militant in a feminist movement, most of the subjects chose the third without hesitation. Yet the number of female teachers and militants is a fraction of the number of female teachers (perhaps less than 1% one might think). You ‘sound’ to us ‘more likely’ simply because it is plausible. A woman could identify with this character even if she does not teach or even if she is not a feminist or has no degree in philosophy.
There is no relevance without ‘buyer persona’
In practice, having a precise image of the recipient of the communication, what we at Valuelead call ‘buyer persona’, helps immensely in the selection of themes and their treatment and extends instead of restricting it, the number of people who ‘find themselves’ in the communication. . But it’s not just this. We dare to say that without investing time in defining the buyer persona (its attributes must not be chosen at random: they must be as relevant as possible … relevant to the purposes of what we want to offer or sell) it is not likely that our communication will be considered relevant .