When It Comes to Online Marketing, the Stakes Are High.
That’s not the most welcoming salutation, is it? Of course not. When receiving an email or visiting a website, a more personalized online experience would be much more inviting – and it should begin by addressing you by your first name.
There’s real data behind this: Research shows a person’s brain lights up when hearing their name, immediately drawing their attention.
Luckily, 92 percent of B2B marketers recognize the need to deliver personalized, targeted communications to be more effective, according to a recent study of B2B buyers and sellers.
Using personalization humanizes the interaction between a business and their customers. It transforms a typically cold, mechanical transaction into an intimate exchange between two individuals. And the benefits of customer personalization go beyond simply using someone’s name. Tailoring a buyer’s experience to their specific needs and interests is what helps marketers make a real connection with potential customers. Whether it’s customizing the content visitors see when they come to your website or addressing your target audience’s specific challenges in an email campaign, getting personal is paramount in today’s business world.
Check out the five biggest benefits that can come from implementing a content personalization strategy in your marketing efforts:
1. Improved Email Performance
While 67 percent of B2B buyers believe data can and should be used to improve how sales and marketing teams engage with them, only 51 percent believe the communications they receive have improved. That’s because most messages – particularly emails – are not aligned to a buyer’s specific needs. More often than not, they’re generic and templated email blasts. Besides including personalization tactics such as using their name, title, and company within the body of the email, content personalization can also leverage dynamic content to segment the message based on previous audience behaviors and actions, which gives the email a better chance of avoiding the trash and actually being read.
2. Simplified Path to Conversion
Picture this: You’ve found a great piece of content that you’re excited to read, but you’re being asked to fill out a web form longer than most Tolstoy novels. So, you abandon the page. Sound familiar? It happens far too often.
It’s understandable that companies hope to capture information about their prospects, but not only are people reluctant to divulge too much information, they’re also in a rush. People are more likely to take action when the opportunity is quick and easy. With content personalization, you can prepopulate web forms with their information. Content personalization and conversion optimization provide information on known visitors who arrive on your form pages, reducing the barrier to form completion and improving the accuracy of submitted information.
3. Increased Time on Site
Your website is the front door to your brand. And while it certainly should serve as a destination to tout your products and solutions, it should always start with the customer in mind by addressing their challenges and goals. But you may have a diverse audience with different objectives. What intrigues one reader may be of no interest to another.
Content personalization through dynamic content is a great way to display fresh and relevant content to users based on their interests. By segmenting your web visitors into personas and buyer stages, you can present relevant content that keeps visitors engaged and on your site. According to the “The State of B2B Sales Acceleration,” a personalized experience on a seller’s website helps influence the purchase decision.
4. Better ROI for Videos
As we discussed, there’s nothing like seeing your name in writing. But what about seeing it on film? Content personalization is not just for emails and web copy, it can also be applied to video content.
With the explosion of video over the last few years, B2B marketers are embracing the channel to deliver their messages; 52 percent of them name video as the content with the best ROI, according to Syndacast. On top of that, they are using content personalization tactics to drive engagement with their videos. And it’s working. According to Vidyard, personalized videos have a 16x increase in click-to-opens and a 4.5x increase in total unique click-through rates.
5. Additional Trust and Loyalty
Nothing is worse than receiving a generic message. It’s like someone starting off a conversation by asking, “So ... do you … like stuff?” It feels cold and comes off as lazy.
B2B buyers want more content and experiences that are tailored to their individual needs and aligned to their company’s goals. They find personalization provides valuable assistance with their decision-making. So, when they receive personalized content, they feel valued and in turn value the company delivering the message. That means they are more likely to frequent the website and open emails knowing the messages will be relevant and unique to their needs. That goes a long way in turning a potential buyer into a loyal customer.
Need another reason to start implementing customer personalization and conversion optimization techniques? How about this statistic: 86 percent of buyers who have experienced a personalized content experience believe it has at least some impact on what they purchase, according to results from Infosys’s survey "Rethinking Retail". Now, while that’s based on the retail space, it can certainly apply to the world of B2B, where purchase decisions are even more complex.
But for that to happen, B2B marketers need to be working with accurate customer data and openly sharing it between departments and within platforms.
Before you can personalize, you have to know the person you’re talking to – and much more than just a name. You wouldn’t think this would be too difficult. After all, B2B marketers possess more prospect and customer data than ever before, right? But here’s the clincher: Much of it is siloed, unreliable and often unstandardized. This creates a marketing predicament – obliging you to piece together and validate buyer identity and then analyze the relevant data associated with that individual.
Check out our “Mission Possible” guide to content personalization, and you’ll have everything you need to succeed with personalized marketing. You’ll read about the importance of using the right data to customize content, and you’ll discover clear steps for making your database personalization-ready and learn a reliable method for ensuring your highest-return projects get tackled first. Finally, you’ll find examples of how customer insights can be leveraged across channels to personalize content.