Inbound MARKETING Strategy development and persona definition


Our inbound marketing strategy GamePlan is a blueprint for implementing inbound in your business. The process involves workshops, research, content and brand development. And the focus is your customers. So persona definition is a vital component. Not only how your buyer persona operates in their professional role. We'll also consider what they do and where they play as a private individual too.
The result is a strategy to deliver more website traffic. More qualified leads. And more customers and referrals. It will include an illustration of a 90-day inbound marketing plan. The recommendations will respond to your longer-term goals and timelines; the outcomes you need to grow your business.
Every quarter we will review priorities, set new targets and agree on expectations. We will set goals that relate to your sales funnel and financial goals. So we will create a pulse on your marketing and design a process for continual improvement.


Brand development that helps create content that 'speaks' to your buyers

Many B2B businesses think of "brand" as their logo and the colours on their site. But a B2B brand means more than that. The best business brands represent everything the company stands for. They reflect what their customers are looking for. What they understand about the enterprise.

A good brand will help you stand out from the eternal sameness of traditional B2B marketing. A place where laundry lists of product or service features and benefits are the usual fare.

A strong brand is shorthand for the value and reputation of a company. Quality, reliability, and expertise in the brand and peoples' perception of it, for example.

A B2B brand is a central rather than marginal element of your value proposition. But, for businesses that have not considered their brand from this perspective before, this can seem a little daunting.

And an external agency cannot develop a company's brand alone. They can’t ask a few questions, disappear, and then return ("ta-da") with a brand expression that is meaningful.

So we created a brand development workshop. This forms part of our initial inbound marketing strategy work with every new client. It involves key employees getting to the heart of your company's DNA to reach consensus around your brand expression

The GamePlan output includes:

  • Core propositions
  • Reasons to believe those propositions
  • Brand values and essence
  • Brand personality 


Three hours | Equinet Office or remotely

The three-hour brand development workshop is an essential component of an inbound strategy blueprint. The aim is to discover and analyse emerging themes, to develop expressions that communicate your company‘s DNA, and to reach consensus around your core messaging.

From the data compiled during this session, Equinet will develop and circulates an initial draft output then, further to feedback, refine a final version that everyone approves. This final output is a cohesive expression that encapsulates who the company is, what it does, and why it does it.

All workshops are managed in-person or remotely (or a combination of both) at our facilities constructed specifically for this type of event.

Persona Definition Process: Successful marketing begins with the customer

To create compelling and relevant content that resonates with your target audience, we need to consider you persona definition. Buyer personas are representations of your target customers based on real-world information and educated guesses. Their likes, dislikes, habits, behaviours, motivations and concerns, as well as their job function, where they spend time online, decision criteria, and more.

Our process involves persona questionnaires, a workshop (underpinned by the collated answers to the questionnaires), interviews with your salespeople and, where possible, existing customers.

During this process, we incorporate the Buyer Persona Institute's 'Five Rings of Buyer Insight™.

  1. Change Drivers: What causes buyers to invest in solutions like yours, and what is different about buyers who are satisfied with the status quo?

  2. Success Factors: What operational or personal results does your buyer persona expect to achieve by purchasing this solution?

  3. Perceived Barriers: What concerns cause your buyer to believe that your solution or company is not their best option?

  4. Decision Criteria: Which aspects of the competing products, services, solutions or company do your buyer perceive as most critical, and what are their expectations for each?

  5. Buyer's Journey: This insight reveals details about who and what impacts your buyer as they evaluate their options and select one. 

First, we scope out a top-level sketch, beyond the usual demographics, and once we’ve identified the general profiles, we ask questions that help identify their pain points, needs, and challenges.

The GamePlan output includes:

  • Draft output for review prior to design
  • Up to two fully designed profiles in 7-page templates
  • Recommendations for future Persona Development


Three hours | Equinet Office or remotely

Our process for developing your primary personas involves persona questionnaires, a three-hour persona workshop (underpinned by the collated answers to the questionnaires), and interviews with your salespeople and, where possible, existing customers.

As with the brand messaging workshop, the process involves your key employees and part of the Equinet team (Strategy, Creative, Content). The aim is to discover, plot and analyse the primary personas involved in purchasing your products or services.

This work is critical, as all of the content on your website, in your blogs and your eBooks needs to be created with the interests, fears and aspirations of these personas in mind. They are the foundation on which your content is built, so they need to be solid.

FREE eBook: Guide to Developing Buyer Personas

Download your copy now

Establishing a foundation for content creation

The information and solutions your prospects are searching for will vary according to where they are in the buying cycle. So content intended to generate awareness is different from content designed to convert leads to customers.

Awareness (What do I need?): Your prospect becomes aware they have a need and has expressed symptoms of a potential problem or opportunity.

Consideration (What are my options?): Your prospect has defined and given a name to their problem or opportunity and starts reviewing their options, assessing which may best meet their needs, eliminating those that don't.

Decision (Why should I buy now - from you?): Having narrowed the field in the decision stage a person has defined their solution, strategy, method, or approach and is ready to make a decision.

Using what we learnt about your brand and what we now know about your buyer personas we will identify the types of content and best channels to deliver them for each stage of the buying cycle.

By considering your content in these terms - cognisant of buyer persona and lifecycle stage – we will create synopses for cornerstone content that will resonate with your audience and move prospects through the buying process.

Prior to the content workshop, we will carry out a content audit of existing assets looking for opportunities to repurpose them within the new framework. And we will create a blog calendar mapping out ideas for blog posts over the next quarter.

The GamePlan output includes:

  • Awareness stage eBook synopsis 
  • Consideration stage eBook synopsis
  • Decision stage offer recommendations
  • Primary keyword research and top 25 for implementation
  • 12 optimised blog titles
  • Recommendations for repurposed content
  • Proposed Blog and Social training programme
content creation


Three hours | Equinet Office or remotely

The Awareness and Consideration stage cornerstone content synopses include overall theme and purpose, structure and chapters, working title and associated keywords and ssociated blog post titles

The workshop also covers existing content assets and how they could be used in an inbound programme. Primary keyword research results. A content calendar and requirement for blog and social media training.

Your website is the central hub of your online existence

When it comes to website redesign, many businesses fail to focus on the most important consideration: your site needs to be about your customer first, not your services, features and benefits.

There are pre-requisites for a website today without which you would struggle to remain competitive: being responsive and optimised for mobile, sound security, fast page load time, to name just a few.

But ideally, your site will also be set up for ‘smart content’ - where different experiences get served up to each persona at the right stage in their buying cycle.

You have three options regarding your website, assuming you are committed to a move to HubSpot.

Keep your existing website: Choosing this option requires that you have a site that is accessible, up to date and fit for purpose. We would have a candid conversation with you in this regard before agreeing on an inbound strategy engagement.

A website redesign on the HubSpot CMS: The HubSpot CMS has been developed from the ground up to work harmoniously with HubSpot‘s full-funnel sales and marketing solutions. With it, your content is optimised for search, responsive to any device, and you can deliver customised experiences for different visitors depending on who they are and what they have previously done.

Take a growth driven design approach: In many ways, the traditional web design playbook is broken. It can leave you vulnerable to multiple risks and often does not produce optimal results. Growth-Driven Design is the new gold standard for delivering results and bringing measurable business value through web design. It is a smarter, agile and data-driven approach that minimises the pitfalls of traditional web design.

The GamePlan output includes:

  • Review of your existing website and closest competitors
  • A benchmark report
  • Your wishlist and backlog
  • Quantitative and qualitative research output
  • New sitemap and wireframes
  • Design concepts for principle pages
website redesign


Three hours | Equinet Office or remotely

The website redesign workshop is informed by the approach you choose. Whether you are keeping your existing site, redesigning your site on the HubSpot CMS or taking a growth driven design approach, the purpose of the website workshop is to find the best solution for generating more traffic, leads and sales.

The first step is always benchmarking your current metrics. Next, we need to determine your goals. No matter your approach, we need to consider your conversion paths, your blog and incorporate the HubSpot tools to maximum benefit.

Whether the choice is a website redesign or growth driven design, we will present initial design concepts and focus on layout, functional flow, site structure and ascertain the requirement for content, images and infographics.

FREE eBook: Guide to Developing an Inbound Strategy

Download your copy now

Defining the opportunity to close the loop between sales and marketing

Inbound marketing generates inbound leads. Having a strategy for responding to those leads is an important consideration. But this is not without challenges. Unless you are already generating leads in this way, you will need to review how your Sales team are going to respond to them.

Without a well-planned process for handling them, those leads can be at risk. A more traditional sales process is not ideal for closing inbound marketing generated leads. And only focusing on bottom-of-the-funnel leads risks leaving money on the table.

You need a more refined process that ensures you are working the right leads at the right time, and in the right way. With a good inbound process, you will connect with leads earlier - for example, when they have downloaded content from your website. These leads are more engaged and more educated than most outbound leads.

How you do that is the differentiator. Inbound matches the way modern buyers buy, accounting for the shift of power, from the seller to the buyer. 

It is important to align your sales process with the buyer’s journey, and not the other way around. Communicating in a way that’s appropriate for the context is important, and with Inbound, Sales has access to insight that will help them empathise and better qualify opportunities.

During a Sales Workshop, we will demonstrate the methodology.

Identify: This is part of the awareness stage in the buyer’s journey where you identify potential customers and convert them from strangers to leads.

Connect: During this phase, you take actions to qualify leads and move through the awareness stage to the consideration stage.

Explore: As your qualified leads start to engage with your content in the consideration stage, you can start to explore their needs deeper and identify sales opportunities.

Advise: Sale opportunities allow you to advise leads on the best solution while they are in the decision phase of the buyer’s journey, which in turn, hopefully, results in converting them to a customer.

The GamePlan output includes:

  • Plan for implementing a Pilot Scheme
  • Recap on your social selling opportunities
  • Summarise your goals for traffic, leads and sales
  • Scope for creating templates
  • Plan for CRM integration
  • Proposed training programme


Three hours | Equinet Office or remotely

Equinet have developed a sales workshop to help explore and identify opportunities to establish an inbound sales strategy for your business. During the process we will be looking for opportunities to help you:

  • Develop an SLA between Marketing and Sales
  • Review the sales process for your business
  • Opportunities to implement the HubSpot CRM 
  • Review template and sales collateral opportunities
  • Explore rational for a Pilot Scheme
  • Explore the value of ‘social selling’ 
  • The value of a reference showreel video

Book an Inbound Marketing Consultation

Looking for feedback on your set-up and want to know if inbound marketing will grow your business? Take the first step and arrange a 30-minute consultation at a time to suit you.

Book now