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Posted By:  ECT News Network on 11/22/2019 in Marketing

It's Time to Dive Into Personalization

It's Time to Dive Into Personalization

By David Brutman 

Today it seems like you can't talk about marketing without talking about personalization. Multiple studies this past year have shown that over 80 percent of marketers from companies of all sizes have tried to use AI for some kind of personalization effort. It's a proven approach and, when used correctly, enables marketers to make meaningful connections, create better experiences, and ultimately generate sales and customer loyalty. 

While its benefits are well known, surprisingly few organizations are actually implementing successful personalization strategies, creating an immediate opportunity for those that do. For marketers who haven't yet adopted, now is actually the time to leverage real personalization --before we hit that tipping point where it becomes mainstream. This can be your differentiator and make a huge difference in your marketing program. 

Why are so many companies waiting? Many struggle with adopting true personalization because it's seen as very complex. Large amounts of data are needed, along with a strong AI platform and a robust marketing strategy and process. It requires a lot of moving pieces to come together. 

Thus, despite strong interest, many companies dip their toes in personalization but shy away from really taking the plunge. In other words, despite all the buzz, we have not yet reached a tipping point in personalization for B2B marketing.

The good news is, it doesn't have to be as complicated as it seems -- especially if you're already running Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaigns. 

Tips to Start Incorporating Personalization

The simplest way to start is by incorporating more personalization into your current ABM campaigns, using data and tools you already have access to. At the end of the day, personalization is all about data, so the extent to which you can analyze and leverage information you have access to will make all the difference.

Personalization is really effective for organizations already running ABM because many of these programs are focused on outbound campaigns. To infuse more personalization, you can combine existing customer data from your CRM with your marketing automation tools, and automatically upgrade the customization of your outreach.

Most marketers running ABM programs are also leveraging prospect platforms in order to identify contacts to engage with -- and many of these now offer some kind of intent data. Having access to intent data is incredibly important, as it gives you a window into where prospects are in the buying cycle, what their pain points are, and how best to engage them. If you're using a prospect platform or an ABM engagement platform with intent data integrated, leverage that data. It's one of the best tools you can use.

Lastly, develop highly customized content for your ABM campaigns, leveraging the customer data you have access to. Content personalized by industry, persona, account and other dimensions earns much higher engagement than general content. 

Serving up this content automatically to prospects and customers based on their needs and stage in the pipeline is the ultimate goal in personalization, but it does require more sophisticated data and AI tools -- so to get started, try with just one industry or a few top accounts, and do it manually. 

By incorporating these initiatives into your ABM program, you can better engage your audiences, reach your targets before your competitors do, and produce better results.

A Deeper Personalized Customer Experience on the Horizon

It's no secret that both B2B and B2C customers respond more positively to custom outreach rather than mass marketing efforts -- in fact, they have come to expect it. Lightweight Web personalization and simple email marketing techniques were a good place to start, but with major martech advancements, including big data analytics and AI, marketers now have access to data and customer behavior patterns that allow them to create full-cycle personalization. 

Marketers can now collect deep analytics -- including interest, location, and where they are in the buying cycle -- which can inform strategies and build better customer relationships. 

While this is still a relatively new concept, once adopted widely, all companies leveraging AI and personalization will be able to better understand, connect with and retain customers. Now is the time to jump into personalization and start unlocking its potential, before it reaches that tipping point.

About the Author
David Brutman is chief product officer and cofounder of Folloze.

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