Personalization is more than just addressing your clients by name. It’s about showing customers that you appreciate them and cultivating stronger connections. This is as true when it comes to B2B marketing. After all, you’re directing your B2B efforts at a potential customer, and it is your job to win them over.
What’s B2B personalization?
Before we delve into the importance of B2B personalization and how you can benefit from it, it’s essential to understand the concept.
B2B personalization is tailoring your communication, offers, and advertising efforts to suit the needs of every B2B client. It means gaining a deep understanding of your potential business clients and then using smart techniques to deliver them quicker, more relevant experiences.
You may be selling a B2B service or product to a company, but there is still a human being on the other end — and that person is a decision-maker who, like everybody else, responds positively or negatively to specific prompts.
According to Brian Solis, chief analyst at Altimeter: “Business buyers don’t go to work and forget what they do as humans. There’s a new normal that blurs the line between B2B and B2C. They just want things personalized.”
Still not convinced? According to Salesforce research, personalization is as vital in winning clients as it is in winning consumers. In their study, 83% of business buyers (Cf. 84% of consumers) said that being treated like a human being and not a number is essential to winning their business.
Moreover, 72% of B2B customers said they expect vendors to understand their needs and personalize engagement to fit them. More business buyers than consumers (81% cf. 79%) said the experience a company delivers is as essential as its services and products. Also, 75% of business buyers predict that by 2020, even before vendors initiate contact, they will be able to foresee what they need and make pertinent suggestions.
Even if B2B customers weren’t demanding such high-level personalization, there are still significant benefits to implementing it. A personalized B2B marketing strategy allows brands to:
- Target customers with high intent
- Use the most suitable channels
- Send the spot-on messages
- Communicate in real-time
- Impact ROI – 79% of businesses that exceeded their revenue goals report having a personalization strategy in place.
Nevertheless, Salesforce shows that many businesses still don’t include B2B customer personalization in their ad campaigns. Just 27% of B2B customers said that companies are genuinely meeting their general experience standards. Even 69% of marketers feel that the industry is getting personalization wrong – although we all agree that it improves prospect relationships.
Optimizing B2B personalization
Need to convince the powers that be in your company to buy into your content personalization efforts? You’re going to have to do better than just saying it’s a good thing. Here are some of the best ways to use – and benefit from – B2B personalization:
In B2B marketing, segmentation is a powerful tactic where you group audiences and people by shared behaviors and attributes (e.g., by industry, company size, funnel stage, stage of relationship). Segmentation allows you to target different groups in your app or on your website, send emails to different audiences, and measure and analyze the differences between groups.
More and more B2B marketers are adopting account-based marketing (ABM) – an alignment between marketing and sales teams – as part of their overall Marcom efforts. ABM complements traditional, short-term lead-generation marketing goals to drive long-term revenue growth.
If you can’t determine who meets specific criteria, you can’t use criteria to create segments. Sometimes, the best way to learn something about an individual is to ask by using surveys as part of your B2B personalization strategy. • Forms against frustration You want to gather as much up-to-date data on your B2B prospects as possible. However, asking them to take time out of their busy schedules to fill out a long form, may lead to frustration and abandonment before you get a conversion. Use personalization to take the information you have in hand and use it prefill forms on your site. If prospects don’t feel they have to repeat themselves, you have a better chance of a conversion right there and then – and of giving them a better experience to remember in the future.
• Increased email engagement
There are three critical types of personalization you can use in your B2B email marketing strategy: personalization at open time, triggered emails, and bulk personalized emails. Keep in mind that email content shouldn’t just indicate your desire to make a sale but show a real understanding of your potential buyer’s needs. If not, your open and click-through rates will suffer, especially if your emails go out in bulk and are based on templates. There are many personalization techniques to make your emails more engaging for prospects.
Build loyalty; prevent bounce
Your B2B prospects want content and website experiences that are relevant to their needs and reflect an understanding of those needs. This secures brand loyalty. They also need to receive tailored content on your website and social media at every stage of the sales funnel. If not, they’ll bounce.
Personalization is as important in B2B marketing as it is in B2C. Offer choices, use personal name wherever possible, and make it clear that you’ve made an effort to understand what applies to them. Lastly, create the right content combined with technology and data to ensure that you offer every prospect precisely what they need when they need it!