4 Ways to Connect With B2B Customers Using Data-Driven Personalized Marketing

Data-driven marketing is at the top of every marketer’s to-do list.  It’s also at the top of your customers’ subconscious like-it list. We’ve all seen the statistic that claims companies that utilize Account Based Marketing (ABM) [aka data-driven personalization] generate 208 percent more revenue from their marketing efforts. The reason why data-driven personalization produces such enticing results is that it goes beyond the basics of a customer’s needs and connects with the emotions that lead them to buy. Below, we’ve gathered a few of the latest statistics gleaned from B2B-personalization research, and paired it with insights regarding the psychological response it triggers in your customers. Then, we share how you can begin using each particular type of personalization now to connect with your customers and build more rewarding relationships — for them and you.

NAME THAT CUSTOMER

FACT75% of customers are more likely to buy from companies that recognize them by name

WHY?  Customers are people, and one of the most fundamental emotional needs all people have is to feel like they are known and recognized for who they are. The simplest way to do this is to address them by name whenever you communicate with them. According to communications expert, Kai Stabell, “When you use someone’s name, it sets you apart as having paid attention. The sound (or sight) of our name cuts through all the noise around us. We’ve been conditioned to recognize and respond to it.”

APPLY:  Whether you are a personalization pro or are just beginning, this is the easiest place to start. It requires the least amount of data and is one of the most instantly rewarding personalization strategies. By setting up your marketing campaigns (i.e. Email, SMS, MMS, RSS, Direct Mail, Voice, etc.) to address customers by name you can experience some immediate results. For example, using a person’s name in the subject line can boost email open rates and increase transaction rates by up to six times.

GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT

Fact:  87% of customers say personally relevant branded content positively influences how they feel about a company

WHY?  In a recent AdWeek article, Abe Awashti, the Senior Manager of Digital Customers for Deloitte made a compelling case for more targeted B2B messaging. Awashti said, “B2B customers want more than product features and bundled services – they’re demanding engaging, personalized human experiences. Designing a B2B sales experience that lives up to their expectations requires addressing both their business and emotional needs. To do this, CMOs must develop new capabilities and leverage data to target, craft, and deliver not only messaging, but also orchestrate moments that matter.”

APPLY:  Although 83 percent of marketers say creating personalized content is their biggest challenge, there are plenty of martech solutions that can help make the process a less cumbersome and expensive endeavor. A Customer Data Platform (CDP) can be integrated with your Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) to ensure the data you are using to personalize your campaigns is always accurate, complete and usable. Another martech solution to consider adding to your stack is an automated content personalization tool, like Sureshot Activate. Content tools, like Activate, make sending personalized messages to customers a much simpler, scalable and economical process by repurposing content you already have. It does this by perpetually scanning all connected data sources and pulling relevant data for campaigns from sources across your organization, such as MAPs and CRMs. Then, it inserts the data in the right template at the right time and can even be set up to trigger relevant, timely messages based on updates to your data.

PERSONALIZE CONTENT IN STAGES

FACT:  Personalized web experiences typically lead to a 19% increase in sales

WHY?  Today’s B2B customer researches the products and services on your site long before they are ready to interact with a sales person. A recent study found that 80 percent of B2Bs report that personalized web content enables them to meet objectives such as lead generation, sales enablement, and web traffic generation better than generic content. Paras Chopra, the Founder of A/B testing company, VWO says, “When it comes to website personalization, you can’t really personalize the experience of your visitors until you have the right kind of visitor information to back what you’re planning. The more you know about your visitors, the more personalized content you can create and add to your website, and the better conversions and sales you can drive.”

APPLY:  Personalizing web content for visitors may sound daunting at first, but it can easily be done by taking a strategic and incremental approach. Start small by personalizing your landing pages. New York Times Bestselling marketing author, Neil Patel recommends a five-pronged approach to personalizing your website:

  1. Segment specific – personalized by industry vertical or segment criteria
  2. Persona specific – personalized for specific buyer types
  3. Stage specific – personalized for a stage of the buying process
  4. Account specific – personalized for a specific prospect organization
  5. Lead specific – personalized for an individual lead

Using data from your CDP, choose one or two of the above strategies and create a couple of custom landing pages to begin with. Personalization can be as simple as showing industry-specific photos on your landing page to featuring content that speaks that industry’s language fluently. Note the results of each element of the landing page that you personalize and refine your approaches according to what works best.

DEVELOP A PERSONALIZATION STRATEGY

FACT:  79% of organizations that exceeded revenue goals have a documented personalization strategy

WHY?  In researching whether people make decisions based on emotions or logic, customer conversion expert, Peep Laja turned to the work of professor Raj Raghunathan and PhD student Szu-Chi Huang of McCombs University. Laja found that, “the comparative features [of a product or service] are important but mostly as a justification for after a buyer makes an emotional decision. The earlier you can make an emotional connection, the better. Once customers have decided that they like a particular option, it’s difficult for them to backpedal. Rational thinking will only justify their emotional choice.”

APPLY:  Personalized marketing pieces help you tap into the emotional reasons your customers and prospects will buy from you. You don’t have to deploy 20 personalization strategies at once in order to begin seeing great results. Start small with your own well-prepped data. Then, as you experience more and more success, expand your horizons. You may need to purchase second or third party data in order to ensure you have the data you need to personalize a campaign, or to create your ideal segments, but it will be well worth it. A personalized approach to marketing makes customers feel seen and heard. It enhances their experience of your brand by making your company a trusted friend on their buyer’s journey.  This leads to higher customer satisfaction, which in turn results in greater retention, reduced churn, and higher lifetime customer values.

Sara Moseley
sara.moseley@sureshot.io

Sara Moseley is a writer, who enjoys covering the ever-changing landscape of marketing and technology.