Personalisation works really well in B2C marketing but what about companies that sell services or market to other businesses?
Studies show that businesses that implemented a personalised content strategy saw a 32 percent rate of effectiveness in terms of delivering on specific business goals compared to businesses that do not have a personalised content strategy.
Personalisation is about creating content that resonates with the needs and preferences of individual users. Engaging with B2B users through personalised content is vital to driving sales, successfully nurturing leads, acquiring the right prospects and building a firm foundation for repeat customers.
Here are three ways smart marketers can personalise their B2B campaigns.
Leverage the power of email
We’ve been saying it for years and it still works. According to research, up to four fifth of retail professionals surveyed said email marketing was crucial for customer acquisition and retention. More importantly, another study found that personalised emails boosted transaction rates and revenue six times more than non-personalised emails. Interestingly, even though the majority of businesses surveyed collected customer data, up to 70 percent did not personalise their email messages.
So, from the get go, you want to personalise your email content starting with basic cues such as addressing the recipient (company representative) by their name and creating content based on users’ search history or the data in their account.
Remember, just because this is B2B correspondence does not mean that you cannot humanise it. So, if you are a smaller company instead of sending emails from the company, why not try sending from a personal address? This surprising simple strategy goes against what most business experts say but can greatly help to warm prospects and nurture them further down the sales funnel.
Personalise the website experience
It is not always easy to personalise your website due to its public nature—all sorts of prospects and browsers could land on your website.
According to Cara Harshman, former Content Marketing Manager and Blog Editor at Optimizely, it is worrying that marketers spend a lot of time and resources on developing personas and crafting content for the target audiences but these efforts do not extend further. She emphasizes that,
“It’s time we start extending this persona-driven, personalized marketing to our websites, and specifically the homepage.”
When it comes to personalising your website for B2B customers, you need to consider two questions—who are you personalising for and what do you want them to see?
Audiences can be identified based on demographic, behavioural characteristics or/and contextual attributes for example the device they use to arrive at your site or the journey they took to get to your website.
Regarding the ‘what,’ you want to consider the type of experiences you want to deliver to your audience. To determine the most appropriate experience consider:
- The amount and nature of space you have for personalisation. Does it need to be redesigned?
- Specific areas of the page or site that need to be personalised for example the call to action (CTA), images, headlines etc.
- The value you are offering your visitor in order to create an experience that is truly relevant to them.
Lead Nurturing Personalisation
Nurturing your B2B leads is an important process that helps you build and maintain a relationship with potential customers. Even if prospects do not buy your products immediately, nurturing them using the right tactics and content can eventually prepare them for sales.
To personalise your lead nurturing program, you will need:
A marketing automation program: Manual deployment of nurture programs is time and resource intensive, and may not be accurate enough to deliver solid results. Marketing automation not only makes things like targeting and segmentation easier; it also allows you to create and deliver content that is relevant to leads at each stage of the buying cycle to make them sales ready.
A clear goal: Building your campaign around a clear goal will allow you to identify the required data and how it will be used, how to design the personalised nurture program and the content needed to personalise this program.
Content for buyer personas– Personas are at the heart of any lead nurturing campaign and what better way to make leads sales-ready than to deliver personalised content.
Data– Whether you are personalising your website, emails or nurturing campaigns, collecting and utilising the right data makes all the difference. But, remember, to collect the right data, you need to have a clear object. Data can be:
Explicit: This type of data can be collected from third party data companies, from a survey or from the information captured on submission forms.
Implicit: This comprises data on user behaviour on your site as captured by analytics tools and referral sources such as the keywords a visitor used to find your website or the website they were on before they arrived at your site.
With the right data in place, you are better placed to understand your audience, segment them, build personas and target them with personalised content that will move them further down the sales funnel.
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, personalisation should no longer be left to the realm of B2C; B2B marketing can also benefit immensely from personalised digital campaigns. Business customers, like individual customers, now expect content and communication to have a certain level of relevance and value to meet their unique needs. Given that personalisation does deliver on key milestones such as customer acquisition and retention, increases in sales, and revenue growth, it makes sense to take full advantage of it.