80% of senior B2B marketers use personalization to some extent, while 88% of marketers believe clients and prospects now expect the personalized experience in today’s modern world of marketing. This is according to our own research conducted among senior B2B marketers in the Insights for Professionals community. These first party findings, along with other industry insights, allow us to provide the know-how to achieving ABM personalization perfection.
Why does personalization perfection matter?
It’s simple. The benefits are clear:
- Exceptional customer experience
- Stronger engagement
- Shorter sales cycles
- Quicker revenue
This is according to our report How Do B2B Marketers Deliver Personalized Content Experiences? from our research mini-series on Content Intelligence in B2B marketing.
What level should Marketers be personalizing content to achieve the increased ROI and enhanced results?
Personalized communications play an increasingly important role in ABM strategy, especially if you are wishing to build rapport with your target accounts. 98% of marketers agree that customer relationships are advanced by personalization. Equally, 90% of 18-64 year olds value personalized messages.
Expectations have changed; the one size fits all approach is now unlikely to succeed. This is also reflected in the way marketers are approaching personalization in their strategies.
From our research findings, we can see around half of senior B2B marketers are going beyond basic firmographic data such as industry, company and job title to include behavior and buyer stage to personalize their content.
From this data we can also see how forward thinking marketers are mindful that within each target account lies a decision making unit (DMU) full of individual stakeholders all with individual needs, priorities and content consumption preferences. These marketers are choosing to personalize content at buyer persona level (48%).
Better access to data makes shifting between individual, group, account level and buyer stage more achievable. Combined with evolved AI and machine learning capabilities, this makes delivering one-to-one communications easier to plan and execute.
To maximize personalization potential, you will need access to the right technology, a well-defined and carefully segmented audience along with a rich dataset containing clear and specific preferences, behavioral tendencies and characteristics. The availability of real-time buying signals and intent data has enabled accurate, effective personalization which can connect with accounts at vital touchpoints in the decision making process. Read our extended article B2B Personalization; Marketing Perfection or Just Plain Creepy? to explore more.
5 Steps to ABM Personalization perfection
There are some hard and fast rules that need to be adhered to achieve ABM personalization perfection. Master these 5 tried and tested steps to watch your ABM transform…
1. Messages should be accurate and relevant
Repurpose content to break it down into personalized topics. Used alongside content atomization, this will provide greater accuracy and relevancy in your targeting while enabling you get the most value out of your content budget.
2. Understand what matters to each individual persona
Breaking your target accounts down to reflect the different DMU stakeholder personas will help you better plan and tailor your content. This ensures you cater for the differing needs of influential stakeholders to increase the likeness your messages resonate more strongly and win you allies.
3. Provide adequate content for each journey
Personalization relies on having sufficient, relevant and engaging content. Without this, personalizing will be difficult to perfect. Content creation should be a priority to ensure new, differentiated content that addresses all buyer stages is readily available.
4. Leverage machine learning to gain significant prospect data
Machine learning allows campaigns to be run across numerous keyword categories, to gain key insights into user behaviors. This combined with a recommendation engine makes delivering 1-1 personalized messaging at scale, easily achievable and with greater precision.
5. Place AI at the centre of your strategy
As artificial intelligence (AI) garners more attention from the B2B marketing community, its adoption is on the rise. Forms such as Natural Language Processing (NPL) enable marketers to uncover real-time trending topics and themes driving demand among key accounts and lookalikes. Leveraging emerging forms of AI will enable innovative marketers to advance their personalization strategy to pull away from the mainstream and gain crucial advantage.
ABM and personalization are closely interlinked; they complement one another and provide evident benefits in B2B marketing. It’s clear that the expectation for personalized content is only continuing to grow as more B2B marketers adopt this approach in their ABM strategies. We already see 80% of senior B2B marketers using personalization to some extent, therefore the need to use it effectively to target the right people at the right time and in the right way is also growing, in order to stand out from the crowd.