We are living in a digital world driven by data, which means today’s consumers expect brands to leverage this information and provide highly personalised experiences – and the B2B market is no exception. B2B buyers expect marketing and sales processes to be tailored to their every want and need; they are expecting to see only the most relevant content and the right time and more than anything, they are expecting to be treated like human beings. With 83% of business buyers saying being treated like a person, not just a number, is key to winning their business, more brands would do well to recognise the value of personalisation in both B2B and B2C markets.
So, what exactly is personalisation? In marketing, personalisation refers to the use of data and technology to move from a one-size-fits-all approach to more of a one-to-one style strategy that delivers relevant content to targeted individuals. Essentially, personalisation enables you to move away from generic communication and interact with your audience on a more personal, human level.
But personalisation doesn’t start and end with meeting consumer expectations; it can have great benefits for your business, too, including:
- Meeting consumer expectations: we’ve touched on this above, but with 72% of B2B consumers expecting personalised experiences, if you want to attract & retain clients, you need to get on board with personalisation
- Gaining a competitive advantage: with only 27% of B2B consumers agreeing companies are able to meet their experience expectations, by creating a personalisation strategy, you could be putting your business head and shoulders above the competition
- Driving conversions: did you know consumers are 2.1 times more likely to value personalised offers? Not only that, marketers using personalisation have reported, on average, a 20% increase in sales
- Increasing profit margins: with 74% of business buyers saying they will happily pay more to do business with a company that offers a good experience, it’s time to get personal!
- Improving ROI: personalisation can not only help to drive conversions and increase profits but can also reduce acquisition costs by up to 50% and increase the efficiency of marketing activities by as much as 30%
- Driving results: with 80% of marketers agreeing that personalised content is more effective, if you want to see results, you need to start embracing personalisation
Now we’ve covered what B2B personalisation is and why it is great for both businesses and consumers, you are probably wondering how you can incorporate it into your strategy. While adding the recipient’s name to an email subject line is effective, B2B personalisation goes far beyond this. To make the most of personalisation, you should consider the following:
- Set your goals: to give yourself the best chance of success, you need to have a clear vision to work towards; think about what it is you want to achieve and how, and then work on building your personalisation strategy around this
- Segment your audience: the three main categories are industry-specific, persona-specific and stage-specific (i.e. personalisation based on where they are in the buying process). You should experiment with your segmentation to find out what works best for your target audience and business goals – every business will be different
- Making the most of data: the more you can get to know and understand your audience, the more effective your personalisation will be
- Testing personalisation methods: from personalising CTAs on your site and experimenting with automation software to testing different targeting strategies for your ads, there are countless ways to incorporate personalisation into your B2B marketing; you just need to work out which method/channels work best for your business and target audience
- Creating a documented strategy: 79% of businesses who are exceeding their goals have a documented personalisation strategy
- Remember to review: like with anything in marketing, to make the most of your personalisation strategy you must continuously monitor and update your campaigns and audience personas
- Set boundaries: there is a fine line between personal and creepy. You should avoid using sensitive information, ensure you have permission to use the data you have obtained and be sure to use recent data from a reliable source. Remember: the use of outdated or incorrect information will definitely create a lasting impression – just the wrong one!
With more data becoming available and technology continuously advancing, personalisation is becoming increasingly accessible and the results are only getting better! With pros for both consumers and businesses, it really is a win-win situation – so, what are you waiting for?