For several years now, the concept of personalization has been largely driven by quantitative and qualitative data. Leveraging demographic and firmographic insights to engage with existing and potential customers became the go-to-market strategy for many marketers.
As marketing technology has advanced, so has the approach marketers are taking to building customer experiences beyond demographic or firmographic insights. It’s not just about personalizing an email with a name or company; it’s about leveraging insights from the customers’ behavioral patterns and understanding the buyer triggers that drive them to purchase. It's about honing in on and personalizing the micro-moments that drive an individual to make the decision to move from prospect to customer. It’s putting a higher level of personalization into your lead generation efforts and digging deeper into what moves prospects to shift from product interest to selection and decision.
Let’s dive into three ways B2B marketers can personalize their marketing to optimize lead generation efforts.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly become the data solution of choice for personalization, due to the increased volume of data and advanced algorithms needed to process it effectively. With AI, marketers can turn mountains of raw data into actionable insights that allow us to communicate with each prospect and customer on an individual level, addressing their specific business challenges, stage of the buyer's journey, and more. This ability helps you to make your conversations more relevant for everyone you communicate with—which in turn results in a more valuable customer experience.
AI challenges how we engage with prospect and existing customers, allowing B2B marketers to segment and personalize marketing actions by types of content, quantity of touches and cadences/timing. AI closes that gap by ingesting unstructured data, analyzing and producing relevant and actionable information that marketers and sales teams can use to better engage key accounts with messaging that aligns with their business challenge, growth needs and market drivers.
Learn more about personalization through AI in this post: How to Personalize Your Marketing with Artificial Intelligence.
2. Content personalization
Content personalization is not new to marketers. In fact, 78% of CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing.
Many B2C brands have been using personalization as a conversion tactic for some time. Though B2B marketers have been slow to adopt this model, many are finding content personalization an effective strategy in driving engagement as they make continued improvements to their marketing technology (martech) stack. The idea is to align website content to individual visitors based on factors like the visitor's industry, whether they are a new or returning visitor, what they have searched for on the site, etc. But to make this all come to life, B2B marketers must first invest in building out their website analytics and optimization. Dynamic content must be a part of the brand's website infrastructure in order to entice and engage visitors with the right message at the right time.
3. Personalized Marketing Automation
What comes to mind when you hear personalized marketing automation? Is it an email with the buyer's name and title included in the salutation? Perhaps an introductory paragraph that highlights the prospect's company name and information. Or do you see it as a rigid automated process that lacks human interaction? Today’s marketing automation platforms are creating opportunities for B2B marketers to step away from those base-level six to eight touches that were seen as robotic—and drive towards an experience that is engaging, providing genuine value for the audience.
Seventy-five percent of all businesses that use marketing automation see a positive ROI within the first year—but it must be done well with an eye on providing contextual content that's driven by far more than traditional demographics or firmographics. Instead, marketers must also incorporate behavioral data. Adding interactions and transactions provides us with a more holistic view of the customer—and allows us to more appropriately segment these individuals based on their business challenges, pain points and more. With more effective, real-time segmentation, it is then possible to offer the most relevant content to each individual in that particular moment.
This approach to personalized marketing automation allows brands to encourage buyers along their path to purchase by providing real value along the way—which can result in speedier conversion from marketing qualified lead to acquisition. Add into the mix dedicated post-sales nurturing communications to bring the buyer's journey full circle.
Setting yourself up for success
Today’s B2B buyers expect businesses to engage with them in a way that is personal, genuine and timely. Doing so requires creating personalized experiences that are driven by behaviors, triggered by their interactions and reactions. Modern marketers who implement this approach will be able to converse contextually with buyers throughout their unique journeys—and will be primed for success and continuous market growth.
You might also like: Interpret B2B Buyer Signals with Artificial Intelligence
About the Author
DeShelia is an award-winning digital marketing strategist with over 12 years of expertise in go-to-market planning, persona development, customer engagement, content strategy, search, analytics, sales enablement and social media for B2B organizations. Her innovative approach to solving complex marketing challenges has delivered powerful results for her clients and garnered the respect of her peers. DeShelia’s unique background in tech, healthcare, and consumer marketing provides a great blend of interactive digital marketing and innovative business technology.More Content by DeShelia Spann