I’m seeing first-hand that B2B buyers’ expectations are changing. Driven by the fact that they are and will forever remain a consumer, business buyers are expecting the B2B buying journey they are on to mirror the buying experience they have as a consumer.
What does that mean? It means treating them as an individual, not an entity. The best way to do that is by personalizing the experience.
Personalization sends a powerful message to a prospect or customer. It says this company is making an effort to know me, to follow my rules of engagement, to deliver relevant messaging based upon my preferences.
Personalization provides greater perceived value, improved engagement and increased conversions. In fact, 66% of customers say that relevant, personalized communication from sales and marketing play a critical role in choosing a solution provider, according to experts from HubSpot, LinkedIn and InsideSales.com.
The challenge is how to deliver that experience. In this automated world of B2B marketing, where nurture streams are mapped to stages of the buying cycle, and one-size-fits-all content is delivered through a cadence of properly timed emails, it’s easy to overlook the need and opportunity for personalization.
Here are 4 ways to change that:
1. Start with Buyer Personas
You can begin personalizing the B2B buyer’s experience with buyer personas. By creating profiles that describe your actual buyer segments, you can deepen your insights into the buyer’s journey, allowing you to create messaging and content that addresses the when, why and how of those all-important buying decisions.
2. Use Segmentation as a First Step
Personalization is definitely about communicating on a one-to-one level, but until you have the insight necessary to transition to that consider segmentation as a first step. You can segment prospects based upon the point of entry, level of interest, demographics, and any other data available from the initial engagement.
3. Identify Communication Preferences
Each of us has a preferred way we would like to be contacted – email, phone, social, chat, text. As part of building a prospect profile take the time to ask what his or her communication preference is. Creating a preference center can be easily done through most email platforms, and capturing the prospect’s preferences can be done in the ‘thank you’ email delivered upon form submission.
4. Modify your Marketing Content to Match Prospect Activity
Personalization is more than adding someone’s first name to a subject line. If you really want to improve engagement try creating dynamic content in emails, landing pages and social messaging based upon prospect activity.
The core of a personalized or customized approach is taking a buyer-centric attitude, which means finding out on a proactive basis what the prospect wants in the different stages of the marketing lifecycle, and positioning the product on such lines. Create a personalized buyer journey and find more success transforming your leads into revenue.