By Kathryn Strachan, Managing Director and Owner of Copy House Ltd
Personalisation is not a marketing strategy solely for the B2C market. A study done by ‘Small Business Trends’ found that 77% of B2B sales and marketing professionals believe personalisation is brilliant for building better customer relationships within the B2B sector.
In fact, 55% of professionals stated that personalisation can increase conversion rates and support growth within a business. With this in mind, it’s also surprising to know that 42% of B2B marketers do not personalise their marketing approach.
B2B vs B2C Personalised Strategies
The common misconception when looking at personalised strategies for both B2B and B2C businesses is that, unlike B2C, B2B does not require a personalised approach. This is because B2C marketers typically attract a single individual and speak directly to them. Whereas, B2B is all about attracting a specific brand or company to buy from you.
This is still a misconception as behind B2B transactions are humans.
A good example of this in action is the need for extra empathy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you’re targeting everyday consumers or business buyers, businesses have had to communicate to people who have found themselves in challenging circumstances.
As the pandemic eases, a lot of businesses have found themselves in different positions. Some have sailed swiftly through and others have challenges still to overcome. It is the marketer’s role to discover what their audience needs and tailor their messaging towards that. Marketers need to understand what is keeping their customers up at night, what would make their lives easier and how can they be supported after the pandemic.
Both B2B and B2C marketers must find their target audience’s top priorities or pain points and adapt or amend their marketing strategies, techniques and content to relate to those needs.
To create a personalised approach, marketers must collect and observe their market and their customers’ journey data. This will inform you on how to personalise your content.
A common mistake made by B2B marketers is copying the exact approach taken by B2C marketers. Although both audiences are human, both are acting in different interests. A consumer is acting for themselves whereas in a B2B context the person is acting on behalf of the business, although with their personal goals in mind.
How To Incorporate Personalisation?
Creating personalised content or having a personalised marketing approach is more than just addressing an individual by their name. As mentioned, each B2B consumer wants specific information which can benefit their needs. Therefore, tailoring content to showcase the specific value and benefits to each customer is key.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools can allow marketers to make better strategic decisions and create content at scale, by providing users with meaningful and relatable content experiences that they can monitor, analyse and learn from. AI technologies might sound frightening, but we all use them on a daily basis. For instance, when you ask a voice assistance device what the weather forecast is in your local area, AI generates and stores this data so it can configure personalised information quicker next time.
Similarly in B2B marketing, AI tools gather and assess data to assist marketers with the creation of personalised campaigns for their target audience. This results in higher sales on your channels. Technology such as this can also map out which leads will most likely translate into sales. This enables B2B marketers and sales teams to focus their efforts on customers that they know are likely to buy, allowing them to personalise content around their purchasing motives or as a means to better understand why others lack interest in their offering.
Furthermore, AI can monitor trends and patterns, which makes it much easier for marketers to spend their time personalising plans and strategies instead of moving forward with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. They can follow businesses through their journey and cater for them every step of the way with relevant and personalised content.
Simply put, instead of your campaign shouting “hey you” to get everyone’s attention and failing to receive a response, with AI technology your campaigns can personalise content to “that CFO in the red shirt”, grabbing the attention of all the CFOs wearing a red shirt, at the same time and maximising your sales efforts.
Although a lot of B2B marketers have acknowledged that AI technology is the way forward, only 10% of them are using it today. This shows that many B2B businesses are missing out on the key opportunity that will maximise their conversion rates through hyper-personalisation.
Leading the Way Forward With Personalised Marketing
A personalised approach can boost traffic, increase conversion rates and enable a business to better understand their target audience and what their needs are, especially for B2B businesses. It helps businesses develop smarter decisions with the available data. In return, it allows B2B companies to branch out in the future, predict what their audience is looking for and create meaningful campaigns that guarantee an increase in brand awareness and lead generation.