The Buyer Matrix: Mapping Your B2B Tech Product Features to Market Problems
Many B2B technology companies have a hard time speaking to the real market problems their product or service solves. They love to lead with the technical features and competencies of their product — which makes sense, since they’ve worked hard to create it! However, when launched into the marketplace, those technical capabilities often leave your buyer lost in a sea of jargon that’s not only hard to understand, but impossible for them to relate to.
Enter the buyer matrix. A Buyer Matrix is term for aligning features of your product to the needs of the marketplace that solves real problems your buyers are trying to solve. We have a very practical way of mapping product features into buyer matrixSM. In fact, we just retooled our own capabilities to be more market- and problem-focused, so it’s the perfect way to show you the process. It’s illustrated best in this image of a mind map we created.
It looks complicated, even though the process of creating it is actually pretty simple, so let’s break it down into three easy steps: Customers, Problems, and Solutions.
1. Customers: Identify your target audience(s).
These are your buyer personas, starting with their title. We identified about seven buyer personas in total. Many shared a common title or position within different company types (SMB, enterprise, startup, growth-stage). You’ll probably have more than one. For instance, within the small-to-mid-size business category, our personas are a CEO, and a marketing lead and a sales lead (both Director or VP-level).
2. Problems: Document the problems they face.
If you know your customers, this should be easy. If not, ask them. Talk to them directly and find out what keeps them up at night. They will be happy to tell you.
What we found is that most of our buyers had similar problems: the need to look “bigger” than they were, trouble articulating what they and their product do, a lack of sales leads, difficulty attracting investment, an underdeveloped marketing department (or no marketing department at all), and a few others.
3. Solutions: Frame these problems into a solutions-driven narrative.
Once we understood the common problems our personas were facing, we reflected those back to them through our web copy. For instance, the problem our buyer is trying to solve isn’t that their website is outdated; it’s that they need an online presence that communicates the sophistication of their solution to prospective buyers. We created narratives around these issues and how our capabilities contribute to solving them.
After mapping our buyer matrix, everything else fell into place. Instead of promoting our ability to provide website design, digital marketing, content strategy, or PR and strategic communications, we created solutions such as “Launch our product”, “Fill the funnel”, “Put us on the map”, “Tackle a big project” and “Make us look bigger than we are”.
These are the problems our market faces time and time again, and we use a combination of several of our capabilities to solve those problems for them. There are lots of web designers out there, but not many that can purposefully design a website to capture sales leads, present a clearly-articulated brand message, increase search visibility, and make a company more attractive to potential clients and investors.