How to Use Personalization in Your B2B Marketing Campaigns
As companies embrace further digitalization, the fight for buyers’’ attention and loyalty is fiercer than ever. So if you want to stay ahead of the competition, there’s one critical aspect of marketing that you need to master for your campaigns: personalization.
According to a report by Econsultancy, 80% of companies see a significant increase in sales after implementing a personalization strategy across their b2b marketing and sales efforts.
This shows the importance of prioritizing personalization in any campaign — relevance is now the name of the game, and may as well be the one thing that would get any prospect to convert. This is true particularly when you’re a B2B company battling it out in an already saturated market, trying to reach out to as many customers as you possibly can.
In this post, we’ll take a deeper dive into why B2B personalization matters, and the tools you can use to make your products and services more enticing for your customers.
What is B2B personalization?
B2B personalization involves the use of a more customized approach in reaching out to a target audience. Those emails you may have received about a custom meal plan, or limited-time offers for services sent to you via SMS? These are just some common forms of targeted marketing that most of us experience almost every day.
For B2B marketing, similar types of personalization tactics can be used to meet customers in their buyer’s journey to boost brand engagement and sales!
Why is personalization necessary for B2B companies?
Personalization builds trust.
With a ton of brands competing for customers’ attention, it’s easy to forget a fundamental pillar of customer experience: trust. Personalizing your approach lets a customer know that you care about understanding their needs and addressing their pain points. When they feel that they are more than just numbers on a sales report, customers will stay loyal and may even become advocates of your brand.
Personalization accelerates the buyer journey.
From the awareness stage all the way to the decision stage, personalization ensures that you’re able to connect with the customer right where they are in their journey. But ironic as it may sound, not rushing them throughout their journey actually accelerates the sales cycle. This means treating every interaction with careful consideration to the buyer’s needs. For example, bombarding them with content in the early stages may tick them off; those entering the cycle at a much later stage would need to be engaged through other ways because they are already aware of what your brand offers.
Personalization increases engagement across marketing channels.
At this point, you may be employing different marketing platforms to increase your reach online. However, not all marketing channels may be applicable or the most efficient for your company to use,, and a single strategy may not necessarily be effective for all other platforms you use. This is because you may have varying audiences on each channel — tailoring your messaging based on the channel used could have a great impact on how your target audiences perceive your brand.
How Can You Start With Personalization?
Speaking of digital channels, determining which one to prioritize for personalized marketing can be quite tricky. And if you’re looking to jumpstart a revamped campaign soon, it will be useful to assess which tools in your arsenal would drive the most results.
Here are the most common digital channels that you can leverage for your B2B marketing campaign personalization efforts:
Your website serves as a one-stop location for everything related to your brand. Websites are considered to be supercharged tools that can propel any marketing campaign to greater heights — as long as they’re created and managed right.
With around 50% of SMB and mid-market leads coming from this channel, website personalization is one technique that can dramatically increase your conversion rate. Compared to having only generic website content, website personalization can boost lead generation by roughly 50–300 percent. As for lead nurturing, leads in the pipeline can be shown personalized content depending on which pipeline stage they’re currently in when they visit your website.
So how then can you personalize your website for visitors? We’ll share some tips:
- Know who your visitors are. You must first identify who your visitors are, including their location anywhere in the world and what pages they have already visited. Determining these gives you insight into these visitors’ digital footprint so you can figure out what relevant content to show them.
- Don’t forget to segment. Categorize your visitors into segments. Doing so helps you tailor your approach to different customer groups. For example, you may highlight your tools integration to make your brand more interesting for companies who use SaaS products.
- Personalize your content. When creating personalized website content, always ask yourself, “how can this element be relevant to visitors in this segment?” This enables you to instantly determine how to craft and present your website content that target customers will have no trouble engaging with. Once you have this figured out, don’t wait too long before you serve your content — time is of the essence, and prospects must see these in real time.
- Measure results. It goes without saying that websites are almost bound to fail if there’s no careful measuring and planning that takes place. Being aware of your website’s strong and weak points, even just by doing A/B testing, can help you analyze what works for different segments; track results; and either retain or overhaul your strategy as you go.
While considered to be one of the oldest forms of marketing, email is still the go-to of most marketers when reaching out to target audiences because of the impressive ROI. And when it comes to personalization, emails are undoubtedly one of the best channels to use implementing your B2B marketing campaign.
Email personalization is a strategy that allows you to get a peek into your customer’s preferences by using their personal data and activity. These enable you to show them curated content that’s relevant to them. Basic customer information such as their name, location, gender, age, and individual preference can give you insight on how to create captivating emails that are targeted to their needs.
A few techniques on how you can start personalizing your email marketing strategy:
- Create an ideal customer profile (ICP). ICP paints a visual picture of the people you want to target; a detailed description of who the perfect customer is for you. Having an ICP will help you to segment your audiences and develop a targeted strategy for each of these segments.
- Collect relevant data. Email personalization — or any marketing strategy — cannot begin without data. You would need a clear idea of who your audience is, and the way to do it is by getting to know them: their names, locations, dates of birth, behaviors, and even their purchasing and browsing histories.
- Personalize everything, even subject lines. One thing that marketers dread are unsubscription rates. Email personalization can reduce unsubscription rates down to 17 percent, while increasing open rates by 20 percent. And it’s not only the email body that has to be personalized — subject lines shouldn’t be taken for granted. Personalized and compelling subject lines makes an email 22% more likely to be opened and read.
3. Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing is, well, personalization in action.
Say for example, you’re targeting an enterprise with a multi-million-dollar deal on the table. You most likely know by now that this will require you to use a top-down selling approach — reversing the sales funnel, as what typically happens in ABM.
Targeting key decision makers requires a lot more than just millions’ worth of products being sold — account-based marketing is also relationship-based. Key decision makers are also banking on the intangibles: trust, reliability, and expertise. That said, targeting high-value + high-potential accounts would mean tapping into your brand DNA: your brand’s mission, vision, and core values. ABM would also require your sales and marketing teams to constantly be on the same page, and in general, your business strategy to be capable of supporting your ABM strategy.
4. Social Media
In his 2017 article titled “The Truth About Social Selling”, content marketing strategist Bernie Borges defined social selling as “a sales concept in which sales professionals leverage the power of social communication to engage with prospects by answering their questions, providing helpful content, clarifying information, getting discovered, and creating conversation.” So as businesses adapted to the changes brought about by the explosive growth of social media, it’s not anymore surprising that 50% of revenue across 14 tech industries were generated through social selling alone.
Furthermore, a report from IDC states that 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives are influenced by social media when making purchase decisions.
But as powerful a marketing tool as social media is and considering these stats, only around 56% of B2B marketers use buyer personas to guide content creation — a critical element of audience engagement and eventually, campaign personalization.
Paying attention to your audience will enable you to create social media content that resonates to them. The overall look and tone of your posts should speak to your target audience; this is where your ICP will be useful. Conduct audience research and leverage social proof mixed with storytelling to create a community around your brand.
But did you know that social selling isn’t the only way to reach the top of audiences’ minds?
If there’s social selling, there’s also social listening.
To put it simply, social listening involves tracking social media activity relevant to your brand to provide a better understanding of how audiences move in the space you’re in. This includes monitoring brand mentions, competitors, keywords, reviews, hashtags, industry trends, and conversations related to your business. Once the data is collected, you would then have to analyze the information you have to formulate a social marketing strategy that’s more targeted and personalized.
Personalization: More Than Just a Buzzword
In this day and age when it’s easy to drown in all the digital noise, businesses must take time to understand who their audiences are and what they truly need.
And even if you’re able to develop a personalized B2B marketing strategy, you’d have to constantly measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Does your content across platforms still convert visitors to leads, and leads to paying customers? How much did it cost and earn you in terms of revenue?
Remember, the tools are as only good as the results. To achieve your marketing goals, start by customizing your brand messaging so that aside from making your business appealing to target audiences, you also get to strengthen customer loyalty and experience. We are here to help.