When you hear the word personalize, where does your mind go?
For me, I think of personalized clothing, jewelry, even cars – my mind doesn’t automatically go to the marketing world. But shouldn’t it?
In B2C, the use of personalization is quite commonplace. Businesses market directly to their consumers, advertising offerings to the consumer personally, connecting with them and presenting products in ways that draw them in.
Since people have come to experience this in their own lives, it seems only logical that this new technique should translate in business-to-business connections as well.
In B2B it can be more difficult to personalize the marketing process. You are not appealing to one individual directly (the way they most often do in B2C). You are working within industries, with groups of people, often offering services as well as products.
Though it may be hard to conceptualize, there are ways you can go about personalizing your marketing strategies. Here are 4 things to keep in mind.
1. Remember: You’re still working with people
As I mentioned, in many cases when you are marketing in the B2B world you are working with groups of people that make collective decisions. Whether you work with the group as a whole or whether the decision goes from person to person, they are all still people.
These individuals can be appealed to, they can be won over, and they can be informed directly. Research conducted by Salesforce indicates that for 83% of business buyers, being treated as a person is a surefire way to help secure their business. Stepping back from the business itself, it is important to connect with the individuals that are at the heart of that business.
2. Meet your audience through various mediums
Over the years, the way in which you can connect with consumers has expanded. Websites, email, social media, over the phone, in-person – the list goes on.
You are no longer just connecting with people through cold-calling or setting up business meetings. In many cases the businesses that are seeking you out will do a large quantity of research before they even contact you. As such, it’s crucial that you are able to nurture that interest through personalization across various platforms.
A recent CMO Survey found that social media is occupying a more prominent role in marketing budgets, currently taking up 13%. When it comes to mobile content, 25.4% of marketers deemed it not personalized enough. These are two mediums that have gained in popularity in recent years and will likely continue their upward expansion. It’s important to make sure you can connect with your audience, no matter where they find you.
3. Take the time to understand your customers
Once you have ascertained where you will connect with your consumers, you can start to analyze the data you collect about them. Using analytics tools gives you the ability to see where your visitors are coming from, what they’re interacting with once they get to your site and even how they got there in the first place. These are all critical things to keep in mind when you want to form a connection and build a relationship with your consumers.
Once you’ve compiled this data, you have the opportunity to tailor your content more precisely. You can begin to personalize the experience your audience will have when they make contact with one of your platforms. For example, creating targeted landing pages for specific fields on your website, including content that is geographically relevant for your audience, or even simply re-configuring your advertising strategies.
4. Foster trust in your business relationships
Although you may know where your customers are coming from and you’ve created content to draw them in, what will make them stay? It’s crucial that once you form connections with consumers, you must nurture them and build trust.
The vast majority of marketers in The CMO Survey indicated that they anticipate customers will continue to place more value on the creation of trusting relationships. Anticipating their questions and having answers already easily accessible on your platform; ensuring your representatives are available to connect with customers when they are ready to take that next step; or tailoring documents to a specific consumer. These are all ways you can develop positive relationships.
It’s important to tailor the experience to individuals directly, doing so will help create lasting relationship. Having gone that extra mile, and provided them with the specific information they need, will help maintain that trust and enhance the likelihood they will work with you now – and even again in the future.
The time is now!
Though it may not yet be second nature to personalize marketing in B2B, we’re on our way. Each element of the marketing world can be enhanced through personalization. It is a simple concept that, when executed correctly, can be implemented throughout each unique facet of your business. Whether that’s in your website design, content creation or interactions with consumers, it is a fool-proof way to enhance the services you already offer by directing it to those that want to work with you.