For several years now, personalized marketing (also called customised marketing) has been at the heart of B2B marketers’ concerns. The B2B buyer’s behavior has changed and so have their expectations. Our prospects want a personalized speech, and to feel unique in the eyes of brands. Writing the first name of your prospects at the beginning of your emails is not enough anymore! So, what are the benefits of personalized marketing for B2B companies and how to implement it with marketing automation? Follow the guide!
Personalized marketing was created in opposition to mass marketing or undifferentiated marketing. Personalized marketing consists of individualizing promotional and communication actions according to each prospect or customer to establish a personal connection with them.
The goal is to make sure that each person has the impression that you are addressing them, and not your entire prospect base! This type of marketing relies on the use of demographic and behavioral data to create personalized messages.
Why personalize your B2B marketing?
Guess what? Our buyers, even in B2B, are still human! Even more than in BtoC, our customers are looking for a trusted partner, an offer or a service to support their daily life. They are therefore very sensitive to our values and our vision. Using emotions allows us to get closer to our prospects and customers and to better convey our messages. Without empathy, marketing is hollow… and prospects feel it! Talking only about your products or services does not work anymore. We need to provide our prospects and customers with personalized experiences, across multiple channels.
At Plezi, it’s in our DNA: Plezi means “delight” in Creole, and we try to spread these values throughout all our processes: our communications, our interactions with our clients, our ways of working… We try to maintain our values in each everything we do – and certainly in our communication or the way in which we nurture our leads. When permitted, we love to bring together our prospects, clients and partners for exchanges, practical workshops and events.
The goal of marketing personalization is also to make our brand image a driver of our marketing strategy, in order to multiply the results.
Here is a complete list of the benefits of personalized marketing:
- Improve brand image: by addressing our target specifically, with the relevant vocabulary, we show them that we are close to them and that we understand their needs.
- Increase conversion rates: by receiving content adapted to their needs at the right time (thanks to lead nurturing), our prospects move forward more quickly in their purchasing cycle.
- Increase sales: thanks to better conversion rates, better open rates, the ROI of global marketing is more important.
- Build customer loyalty: if our prospects receive personalized content and communications that are relevant to their needs, they are much more likely to engage with our company over the long term.
Sounds good, right? Let’s look at some examples and tips for implementing personalized marketing in your business.
7 tips and examples to personalize your B2B marketing
We have seen what personalized marketing is and its advantages for your company. But how to implement it in practice? Here are 7 B2B tips and examples.
1. Use nominal personalized marketing
But what is nominal personalized marketing? You know when you receive an email that starts with “Hello John Smith” (replace with your real first name of course)?
You’ve probably already received them, especially from B2C brands. Well, this is nominal marketing. It is simply using the first name of the prospect or customer you are targeting in your communication. It’s the easiest way to start addressing your contacts in a more individualized way.
How to use it? Nothing could be easier! Most emailing or marketing automation software (like Plezi) allow you to easily personalize the subject line or the body of the email you send.
Many studies have proven that personalized emails have a better open rate than others. It’s up to you to make marketing-one-to-one in your next marketing campaigns and newsletters!
2. Creating proximity through social media
Whatever our distribution channels, it is our tone and our choice of subjects that allow us to humanize our exchanges with our prospects and to build customer loyalty through personalization.
On social media: stay true to yourself! A cheerful tone and a bit of humour go a long way and prove that there are people behind the screens.
Just because we do BtoB doesn’t mean we shouldn’t show who we are. On Linkedin, messages that work best are the ones that are a little offbeat and bring value to viewers without necessarily trying to sell them anything.
At Plezi, we have put our trust in all our co-workers and we all post messages on our personal accounts to enrich Plezi communications as a whole. More than just one voice, Plezi is the sum of individuals, and this can be felt even in the way we reach out to people on social media.
Personalization also means talking about what our prospects and customers know. To do this, memes have become essential! Highlighting a situation in which your target recognizes itself emphasizes your empathy and gives an image of trust.
Thanks to this personalized marketing, your audience understands: “this company knows my daily life, it is a reliable actor who will be able to help me”. This kind of interaction is important in your marketing strategy, because even if your prospect won’t buy immediately, there is no doubt that your social media outreach will positively impact his buying journey and his opinion.
More and more B2B brands have understood this and are sharing humorous or offbeat content, without selling anything.
3. Creating the content your prospects need
To create our content, we have to listen to our prospects and customers and their realities. Sharing our own experience when we can is part of who we are! Our offer helps us to understand what our prospects can go through: they are marketers, and so are we.
That’s why we create content like our kits (marketing budget, buyer persona, editorial planning…), based on our shared experience, to help them get their work done! It’s by showing attention and empathy that we reach our prospects, who know that, above all, we understand them and want to help them. In the end, we create the kind of things that we would like to find online!
Think of your webinars as a conversation, not a presentation: webinars are an amazing opportunity to engage with our prospects and create proximity. The best way to do this is to reproduce real-world conditions:
- present in a small group in order to engage in a dialogue and make the whole thing more interactive by going back and forth,
- share your own experience and practical tips,
- reply to questions on the chat and bounce back from their remarks as you go…
Webinar prep is a key moment to give our prospects extra attention. If you can automate the touchpoints for before and after, in order to engage your audience, it will really help you. When communicating around the webinar, don’t hesitate to show your faces! Not only is it more fun, but it also boosts registration rates.
4. Send the right content, at the right time
At Plezi, like many companies, we like to maintain a close relationship with our customers, prospects and partners. During the pandemic, however, we were unable to meet at events.
Our challenge is to maintain this closeness and to create a link, only through digital, with our new prospects. In this article, we deal with the relationship with prospects, but also think about humanizing all the contact points throughout the customer relationship, via different channels, such as billing with automation tools like iPaidThat.
How we do it? Webinars, a new newsletter more adapted to our tone, a new welcome workflow, new emails for the Smart Campaign…
Paradoxically, it is also thanks to our personalized automations that we were able to keep in touch and establish a real closeness with our community. Because yes, the challenge for B2B marketers today is to do personalized digital marketing!
Next are the different types of automations you can set up to create truly personalized marketing campaigns and increase your prospects’ engagement.
5. Keep your workflows simple to avoid the robot effect
We like workflows, but we like to keep them for targeted interactions: this is where they are at their most powerful! As long as we use them for a precise objective, they make our lives easier and help us focus on high-value tasks.
At Plezi, for example, we created a “welcome” workflow for our new prospects. We spent most of our time on our tone: how do we address new contacts, how do we introduce ourselves, what content do we offer them first? With our workflow editor, the implementation was done in just a few clicks once all this thinking had started, and we ended up with a natural-sounding, human-feeling result that felt just like us.
6. Chose personalization over generalized automation
In BtoB the sales cycle can sometimes be long and the discussion must be of high quality in order to qualify prospects and make sure they move forward in the sales funnel. Our challenge as a marketer, then, is: how to automate and remain human?
For our part, we focus on personalisation. Each prospect is a fully-fledged individual with their own questions, goals and expectations… It’s impossible to offer relevant content if we automate by generalising!
The Smart Campaign identifies content that might interest each of our prospects thanks to a system of tags and site behaviour. We can personalise nurturing to the information given by the prospect (their position, interests…), their behaviour (browsing history), and their position in the sales funnel.
In this way, we use the best of automation without its disadvantages: no content sent if it has already been read, no off-target articles… Just a real personalised discussion, as if a marketer was behind each person browsing our content.
7. Automate your newsletter to focus on content
One of the best ways to showcase our tone, our approach to marketing and to keep in touch with our prospects is our newsletter. In our case, it’s automated: the smart block of the Plezi editor fetches the latest published articles directly.
The rest of the newsletter (header and titles) are saved in the Plezi editor. This time saving allows us to focus only on the content and what we want to tell in each new newsletter.
We recently redesigned our newsletter: new design and new tone, which is much more like us and is consistent with that used in our other communications (social networks, email campaigns, etc.).
This redesign has allowed us to better match our personality, to stand out from other competing brands, but also to get closer to our users and prospects by creating a meeting.
And this closeness works: we often receive responses to the newsletter, which bounce off our remarks, react to our topics … Finally, the automation of some elements allows us to be even more human and increase the engagement of our prospects.
Marketing automation: the key to personalized marketing
As you can see, marketing personalization is one of the main challenges for B2B companies to grow and outperform their competitors.
But there is one condition sine qua non to achieve it: collect data. It is the precious data of your customers and prospects that will allow you to refine your knowledge and adapt your marketing actions. Here is the type of information you can collect with a software like Plezi:
- name, first name, job title, and other “classic” information
- specific interest in your offer or product
- path on your website
- interaction with your emails
Without this information, it’s impossible to create personalized marketing campaigns and be truly impactful. Only a marketing automation tool (such as Plezi) can allow you to collect this essential data and use it to send ultra-personalized emails to your prospects (the famous Intelligent Campaign mentioned above). Better open and click rates, better conversion rates, shorter sales cycle time… Marketing automation is your best ally to personalize your marketing and improve the overall performance of your company.
Humanizing your marketing is all about smart automation. Let’s not give in to the sirens of lengthy workflows and over-complicated scenarios! Let’s save time in an intelligent way so that we can focus on the essential: reminding our prospects that there are humans behind the screen, behind the offers, behind the products. Marketing is about creating a dialogue: let’s not frustrate our prospects with robotic responses and standardized treatment. They deserve better -and so do we!