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Mastering Personalization in B2B Marketing: Boosting Engagement and Conversions

by Paul Slack
  |  August 15, 2023  |  
August 15, 2023

Boost Engagement with Effective B2B Personalization | Person holding magnifying glass to website

Getting your target audience’s attention takes a lot of work. The competition is stiff, and prospects are getting hammered with too much information these days. One of the best ways to cut through the noise and win the attention of your prospect is through effective personalization.

Personalization in B2B marketing is not just using your prospect’s name. It’s crafting a message that speaks directly to them. It targets their unique needs, their specific challenges, and their goals. This article will show you how to effectively use personalization in your B2B marketing. It will give you practical advice to make it work to improve your marketing.

The Problem of Impersonal Communication in B2B Marketing

Today’s B2B marketers often struggle to connect with their prospects on a deeper, more personal level. Too often, their messages are broad and generic, failing to resonate with their audience and ultimately getting lost in a sea of sameness. This impersonal approach can lead to lower engagement rates and fewer conversions.

What is B2B Personalization?

B2B Personalization is tailoring experiences to fit each prospect’s unique needs across all channels. It covers every engagement aspect, including emails, website content, advertising, and social media. More than a buzzword, B2B Personalization is a strategic method to improve customer awareness, engagement, and retention.

A B2B Twist on Accenture’s 4R Personalization Framework

To help companies get their head’s around personalization, Accenture developed the 4R Personalization Framework. While it’s clear this framework delivers a comprehensive approach to curating personalized experiences for customers, in the context of B2B, particularly those utilizing Account-Based Marketing (ABM), a slightly different approach is needed given the complexity of the B2B sales process, longer sales cycles, and the involvement of multiple decision-makers.

Vende Digital B2B Personalization Framework 

Here’s our twist on the 4Rs. We’ve changed them from Recognize, Remember, Recommend, Relevance to Recognize, Research, Recommend, and Resonate.

Recognize: Identify the targeted accounts and the key stakeholders within the buying committee. This starts with understanding your audience’s needs, challenges, and goals. Use CRM platforms like HubSpot to identify and monitor targeted accounts and key stakeholders and leverage this information to deliver personalized experiences.

Research: Segment your audience based on various criteria such as industry, company size, and job role. Understand the industry/sector nuance of targeted accounts, the different triggers and stages of the buyer journey, the jobs to be done, and the unique challenges and motivations for each buying committee member. Leverage customer research to understand why certain decisions were made and what business needs or pain points were being addressed.

Recommend: Leverage data and technology to make personalized recommendations based on the target account’s unique business challenges and needs. Tailored content, tools/resources, product recommendations, or demos are all excellent strategies. Demonstrate that you understand their business and can provide information that meets their needs.

Resonate: Personalization should extend across all your demand generation efforts and marketing channels, including email, website, content marketing, social media, and everywhere your buyer goes to learn. Ensure that your messaging, recommendations, and overall approach resonate with the account’s specific pain points, challenges, and objectives for each stage of their journey. Tailoring your messages also requires a deep dive into individual target accounts, factoring in recent developments like funding, hiring surges, or newly implemented technologies.

The journey of personalization isn’t a once and done process. Regularly review the performance of your personalized marketing activities and make necessary adjustments to enhance their effectiveness.

Mastering personalization with these 4Rs with continual optimization can become a key competitive advantage in the B2B landscape. Your competitors won’t be able to catch up. You’ll always be one step ahead.

Personalization Works!

A study by Demand Gen Report found that 70% of B2B buyers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences. Additionally, personalization can lead to a 20% increase in sales opportunities. Personalization isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have in any effective B2B marketing strategy.

Understanding Effective B2B Personalization

Dale Carnegie famously said, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” While that may still be true, it doesn’t check the box for personalization in today’s challenging marketing climate. Yet, many marketers still equate personalization with simply using the prospect’s name in an email or landing page. 

Today’s customers expect more. They seek relevance and a sense that the information they’re consuming has been crafted specifically for their needs.

Personalization doesn't have to be hard | Woman working on computer

3 Easy-to-Implement Personalization Hacks

Embracing the 4R Personalization Framework is an easy way to consider and curate engaging and personalized customer experiences. But how can you effectively put these principles into practice? In this section, we explore three strategies to ensure you Recognize our customers’ unique needs, Research their behavior to understand their preferences, Recommend solutions that match their needs, and Resonate deeply with their specific business contexts.  

Hack #1: Personalized Content Hubs

Content hubs are powerful personalization tools as they provide tailored user journeys with diverse content types, enhancing user experience and engagement. Dynamic personalization within these hubs ensures each user’s experience is unique and targeted, increasing relevance and satisfaction. 

Personalized Content Hubs can also serve as triggers for user behavior. This data can inform further personalization efforts and even trigger specific actions, such as alerting SDRs for follow-up or launching a targeted email campaign based on the user’s interests/engagement. 

As a bonus, content hubs are an SEO goldmine. By increasing the visibility of your personalized content, they draw more targeted traffic to your site. In essence, personalized content hubs offer a multifaceted approach to personalization, engagement, and optimization.

Content hub examples | content hub examples with speech bubbles

Hack #2: Personalized Email Marketing

A common but ineffective approach to personalization is simply inserting a person’s name into a cold email. This type of impersonal outreach not only adds to inbox clutter and annoyance, but it also does little to foster engagement or convey value. It fails to adhere to our 4Rs and therefore, lacks any real impact.

Email marketing remains a powerful tool when executed correctly. Let’s face it, our inboxes are still something we all check multiple times a day. You want to be in there. However, instead of impersonal outreach, consider what we call the ‘Hulu Method’—personalization with substance. Streaming services like Hulu monitor the content you consume on their platform and sends personalized suggestions for additional content you would enjoy. This is WAY more than just inserting your name into an email—it’s value-add based on your preferences.

As marketers, we should use this model. By tracking prospect interactions on our platforms, we can use email to deliver tailored, informative content that educates and engages while offering genuine value. This strategic personalization strengthens customer bonds and drives more engagement and traffic back to your site. This type of engagement can help your ABM efforts by sending signals that a prospect or target account is starting to surge. 

Hulu Method | Hulu method example

Community 

Engaging with a community is the ultimate form of personalization. It presents a unique opportunity for marketing and sales teams to connect with customers and cultivate relationships.

Discovering their challenges, devising solutions, and then communicating those solutions back is what builds a thriving community. As MQLs slowly die, Community is emerging as an effective way to involve customers in the middle of the sales funnel.

Community | Five boxes with arrows

On this note, if you are looking for a community of like minded B2B marketers, you should join our free Demand Gen Jammers community today. Dive into insightful dialogues, share experiences, and tap into valuable resources. You’ll also benefit from our monthly jam sessions, covering hot topics from demand generation to AI to MarTech.

B2B Personalization is the Key to Winning Attention 

Personalization in B2B marketing isn’t just about making your customers feel special; it’s about truly understanding their needs, challenges, goals and delivering tailored solutions that help them succeed. And in doing so, your business benefits from higher engagement, increased customer loyalty, and improved conversion rates.

Now you’ve seen the power of personalization and the concrete steps you can take to implement it in your B2B marketing strategy. It’s time to act. Start by analyzing your audience, understanding their unique needs, and tailoring your content to resonate deeply with them. Remember, it’s not just about using their names—it’s about delivering meaningful experiences that genuinely add value.

Key B2B Personalization Takeaways

  1. Personalization is essential in B2B marketing, driving stronger bonds with customers, increased loyalty, and improved sales opportunities.
  2. Simply using a prospect’s name is not enough. Today’s customers expect meaningful personalization that is relevant, resonant and adds genuine value.
  3. Understanding the 4R Personalization Framework can help you tailor experiences that meet your customer’s unique needs and preferences.
  4. Personalized content hubs, effective email marketing, and engaging with communities are potent strategies for successful personalization. 

How Can We Help? 

Ready to see how personalization can transform your B2B marketing strategy? Contact us today for a free consultation on how we can personalize your B2B marketing strategy. Start making every customer interaction count. Let’s supercharge your growth with the power of personalization.

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B2B Topics

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Online Advertising

Digital Strategy

Email Marketing

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