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Hyper-focused Personalization Predicted to be a Top Priority for B2B Brands

July 12, 2018 Molly Garvey

At the B2B Marketing Exchange (B2BMX) earlier this year, several speakers predicted that, given the vast amount of data now available to B2B marketers, hyper-level personalization will soon be the new norm.

Share a Coke display

As consumers, we’ve seen this level of personalization for years. From brands like Amazon and Netflix, which offer users personalized recommendations based on recent purchases or watched TV shows or movies, to Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign, which helped the brand grow its sales volume for the first time in 14 years, we’ve come to expect this personalization, even if we don’t realize it.

Now, more B2B companies are “prioritizing things like understanding customers’ evolving behaviors and preferences to design more meaningful engagement opportunities,” Brian Solis, author and analyst for the Altimeter Group, said during his keynote presentation at B2BMX.

Ultimately, B2B organizations are challenged with evolving their marketing communications to provide a more consumer-like experience.

But how, exactly, are B2B companies supposed to do this?

Jeff Marcoux, vice president of product strategy and marketing at TTEC, provided four steps to effective personalization during his keynote session at B2BMX.

 

Four Steps To Effective Personalization

 

  1. Data: Effective personalization begins with data. And thankfully, today, we have a lot of it. While not all businesses are ready to begin incorporating machine learning and AI into their data, we can all use contextual data – the “Dear {{Name}}” level of personalization. Consider taking it a step further, though. Think about how Amazon uses your search data to send you recommendations for other purchases. “Buyers know that they are sharing a lot of data with us, so they expect us to use it to give them the personalized experiences they require,” said Marcoux.

 

  1. Strategy: To develop your strategy, first put yourself in your buyers’ shoes. Define your key segments and create a detailed ideal customer profile (ICP). Who are your ideal customers? Where do they work? Where do they live? What do they like to do in their free time? With a better understanding of your ICP, you can determine how many you have in your database and develop specific strategies to target them one by one.

 

  1. Tactics: Based on the data available to your organization, you can begin rolling out new tactics for personalizing the customer experience for your customers and prospects. The key is testing these strategies to determine those that are most effective. As Marcoux suggests, focus on the tactics that will have the biggest return.

 

  1. Sales/Customer Experience: The customer experience is becoming more important than ever. And as personalized marketing communications grows in the B2B world, Marcoux warns that “it’s a matter of how well you know your customer versus how well you should know your customer” – using too much personalization can come off as creepy to your prospects.

This level of personalization is something to keep in mind in your PR efforts, too. Whether pitching journalists or writing content for a trade publication geared toward your target customers, it’s important that you’re always looking for ways to relate to your audience.

What are your predictions for B2B marketing personalization? What other trends are you seeing in B2B marketing or PR?

Photo credit: JeepersMedia Share A Coke, Coca Cola Target Displays, 5/2015, by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube #Share #Coke #ShareACoke #Coca #Cola #Target via photopin (license)

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