The Evolution of Persona-Based Marketing

The Evolution of Persona-Based Marketing

March 14, 2017

At the risk of dating myself, we’re going to take a trip down memory lane today. Let’s jump in the way-back machine and look at the business application journey since the 1990s. It’s interesting to see the evolution of business applications that companies have used over the years to run their business. When looking at accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, contact management, customer service, or any other functional software, there was one thing in common: everything was siloed.

Eventually this practice was looked at and the realization was made that we can conduct business more effectively if these systems talked to each other. Low and behold, along came the concept of integrating everything. Companies started looking at how they can manage their CRM platforms and integrating it into their ERP/Accounting systems to have a better view of leads through purchase. Great idea, but it was a tedious and costly process.

The cloud revolution started in the CRM and ERP/Accounting spaces in the early 2000s. Salesforce and NetSuite were innovators in this space and started putting CRM and Accounting data online, giving you access to this data anywhere. Of course, there were many nay-sayers that didn’t like that “crazy idea” of putting all financial transactions out there for all to see and to grab.

In my view, NetSuite was truly the mother ship of business transactions in the cloud, as they took on the hardest task and functionality to build – accounting. Like they always said, accounting is sticky, and if I own the core transaction with an invoice, everything else around the core ERP is just an additional add-on. While many people thought that NetSuite was just a Cloud ERP system, most don’t realize that it actually started by capturing a lead from a web form and tracking that lead/contact all the way through to the transaction. Offering an end-to-end solution was a revolutionary concept at the time. My friend Rob Israch, CMO at Tipalti and former NetSuite CMO, helped take the concept of tracking marketing impact to another level. In many ways, this was the birth of marketing technology (MarTech) and marketing automation.

So, the background information above is important to note because many MarTech apps and platforms came to life through this evolution. Great marketing automation organizations, such as Marketo, took the concept of tracking and managing a lead at the front end and following it through the entire buyer journey, to the next level.

Yet, have you ever wondered what the common denominator is between all these systems? You guessed it…DATA!!

If business applications are the engines that power companies, data is the fuel that runs these engines. The hot trend now in the MarTech space is Account Based Marketing (ABM). This concept simply focuses on the best accounts to target and market to. However, we always get the same questions – within those accounts, who are the people that I am actually marketing to? What do I know about them? What messages will resonate with them and help continue them along their buyer’s journey?

This is where the next evolution is, and something I like to call Persona Based Marketing, or PBM. Wouldn’t it be nice to know a little more about the person I am about to engage with in a multimillion dollar transaction?

Well, I’m here to tell you that you can, and we have the same common denominator again – data. At WealthEngine, we are here to help you learn more about individuals to help you better find, engage, and understand your prospects. Personalize your marketing and enhance your ABM journey through some Persona Based Marketing today.

Until next time!

Today’s thought is a guest post from our very own Omar Sary. Omar is our Vice President of Business Development. He’s also our resident evangelist on all things marketing automation. To reach out to Omar, contact him at

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