Business-to-business personalized marketing is all about people. Business buyers don’t go to work and suddenly stop being consumers. And most significantly, they don’t stop being people. People have different needs, desires, and motivations, and one of the highest emotional needs of any person is to feel a sense of uniqueness, of being a success, satisfied with work achievements and unique contributions as an individual.
It goes without saying that behind every business there are people. Those people have needs and desires, and they choose in the supermarket from different brands; they make purchases like you and me. At the end of the day, humans do business with humans.
At SAGE, we call it H2H. Human-to-human. We have in mind H2H in every step of our positioning and messaging approach.
As both consumers and as people, business buyers have already been exposed to personalization via Amazon, Neftlix, online grocery shopping, and day-to-day personalized consumer offers. Of course, we are name-dropping just a few of the companies we know that are great at addressing individuals’ uniqueness with personalized offers.
Now that we have been reminded of a few examples, let’s think about your B2B marketing. If your B2B marketing can address these innate human needs, then your business has a much higher chance of being successful.
Present B2B Marketing Strategies with H2H
B2B personalized marketing is tailoring all your advertising, marketing, and communications to match the needs of each business customer. B2B personalization, in many ways similar to B2C personalization, in that it is, by design, smarter targeting, and reaches buyers with more relevant information to make buying decisions faster.
As people first and foremost, business buyers get easily frustrated and give up on a brand when the marketing messaging they receive is overwhelming, not relevant, not high quality or perhaps even too technical in some instances. The reason being, business buyers are conditioned to expect personalized solutions that will resolve real pain and needs, relevant to their specific industry that they can quickly understand and move fast in their buying or implementation process…
Are you sending specifically targeted messages to the different decision-makers in the buying process? Is it easy for each one to “get” your product or service?
B2B marketers must be responsive to match individual needs and connect with buyers in more personal ways. The more granular, specific, and personal your messaging is, the more it will appeal to the target audience and grab attention.
So, how can you leverage B2B marketing to achieve personalization and win over your business buyers? The following are a few tips to get you going in the right direction.
Tip #1 – Add Personalization in ABM
Account Based Management (ABM) is one method of B2B segmentation. ABM means going after one enterprise with a highly targeted marketing strategy to guide multiple buyers through the sales funnel, almost treating each account as an individual.
There are usually more than two people involved in the ultimate buying decision, and marketers must find a way to communicate effectively at all levels, to all decision makers.
Consider the account itself and its decision-makers first. CEB research indicates 5.4 average people involved in a B2B purchase. So ABM requires developing specific messaging to appeal to the main decision-makers such as the key members of the management team down and/or the local level owners.
There is no single correct way to segment customers; this is designed by the marketer for each business in order to devise marketing strategies that will appeal to each segment. Combine ABM with personalization, and bingo, you’ve got a happy account.
Tip #2 – Connect with People Emotionally
As we’ve said, it’s important to connect to the human element of the buyer. B2B marketing must address the buyer’s specific pain point and appeal to the individual.
In what ways can you emotionally connect your brand to your buyers?
What are the pain points that your buyers struggle with?
Content personalization for B2B really works! For example with Octopai in the BI world, the BI managers are frustrated by inaccuracy in reports. They constantly need to search for data and understand the data, its path and any discrepancies. SAGE created a set of B2B marketing campaigns and messages to answer this specific pain point with a personal approach. SAGE created a ‘BI Rise movement’ with personal messages:
We have a rallying cry for all the tired, overworked, and disenfranchised business intelligence (BI) professionals out there: Enough is enough!
You’ve had enough of dealing with tedious, manual workflows. You’ve had enough of spending hours, days, even weeks digging through data sets to find reporting errors. You’ve had enough of living in the stone age of business intelligence operations—and you’re ready to rise up.
Tip #3 – Get Personal with Social Media
Tailor your social media posts by your buyer personas. Find out first before designing a social media strategy:
What publications are your buyers reading? What are their interests?
Think about where you post and when. What is a relevant style or tone to use for your audiences? The posts are not just reflecting your brand. Consider, is your audience looking for authoritative, educational, or entertaining?
<<Extra tip: Pick a personal hashtag and run with it.
Tip #4 – Employ Personalization Across Marketing Channels
Use personalization for B2B marketing across all channels to improve interactions. We all know that adage by William Shakespeare, “A rose by any other name will not smell as sweet.” Here’s a few examples:
Personalized sales support – Using digital channels, sales has several communication channels available including:
LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows you to personalize messages and sequences.
Chatbots can be personal ways to connect with customers.
Personalized email marketing – In emails via B2B marketing automation, you could just write, “Dear Sir or Madam,” and not address each person on the buying team and move on with your day. But instead, you’re going to use personalization, write to each individual. Be sure to call people by their specific names. Watch out for the spelling. We cannot stress enough checking and double-checking the spelling.
Personalized website – On your website, include pages to address each buyer persona individually, with topics that cover each stage of the sales funnel. Use B2B segmentation to plan your pages.
Personalized advertising – The way that Google, Facebook and other engines track your behavior allows advertisers to get in front of you in a personal way. With algorithms and internet tracking user behavior, we can know what interests you have and design ads that address your needs or interests.
Personalization for event marketing or trade show marketing – At an event, you can make the experience as personal as possible with name-tags, business cards, a guestbook, and more. Every detail could connect you to the customer in a personal way.
Personalized social media – The data exists on social media tools to leverage personalized and individualized content and marketing experiences to your target audience, prospects, and customers. You can use geo-targeting, find people who went to one university, worked at one company, etc. The possibilities of personal data mining are a bit scary!
Tip #5 – Choose the Right Time
Timing is everything/ Reach out at the right time.They want to be approached with relevant offers at the right moments, not when it’s convenient for a sales rep. They have little to no patience for ill-timed, generic pitches.
SAGE is working with app mobile marketing firm YouAppi, whose client was the largest network provider in Indonesia. In-app marketing efforts focused on timing. As soon as their cell phone service subscription was ending, automated reminders were received to nudge the customers to buy a new plan or add on to their service.
Tip #6 – Get Local with the Culture
In all your B2B marketing, know the cultural traits of your audience and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly. As an illustration,sales and marketing materials across all platforms need to take into account cultural intricacies and preferences of the target country.
Each social media channel is not relevant to every market. For example, LinkedIn in Germany is not relevant at all; Germans have their own social platform called Xing. Facebook is not relevant in China; they use Webo and WeChat instead. But in Japan, Facebook is huge.
“The problem is that, in many ways, personalization
in the B2B space is a bit of a red herring,” said Brent Adamson,
Principal Executive Advisor at Gartner,
during an interview with Demand Gen Report.
Tip #7 – Use Surveys to Gather Audience Information
Use surveys as part of your B2B personalization strategy. The more information you have about your audience, the better. Surveys collect information about your audience in order for you to get to know them and how to serve them better. You need to be able to learn from and act on important information about your customers. (Read more about “golden questions,” a term coined by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, PhD.)
<<Extra tip: If you don’t know what a Likert scale is, then talk with a CMO or your marketing expert for their assistance with this. It’s a tool used for surveys. >>
All in all, personalization in marketing will improve your company’s and your business interactions and help you connect you with your customers.
Want your B2B marketing to deliver a personal touch like no one else can? Contact Us Today!