Author: Petya Grozdarska

Dos & Don’ts of Personalization

Posted by in Content Marketing

Personalization is a chance to differentiate at a human scale, to use behavior as the most important clue about what people want and more important, what they need.” — Seth Godin

Personalization is no new concept to marketers today. But the ways of doing personalization still are. Almost every research on digital marketing trends done recently shows that marketers are now more than familiar with the term but unfortunately lack ideas on how to apply personalization in their marketing strategies – both B2C and B2B marketers.

A research by Accenture Digital and SAP Hybris, for example, outlines that B2B sellers recognize the need for personalization – they just haven’t made great strides in getting there. The research also reveals that B2B buyers actually want personalized offers – 54% of B2B buyers cited “personalized recommendations across interactions” when asked which capabilities they’d most like B2B suppliers to offer. And personalization was second only to “price and product transparency” in top factors influencing repurchase. Still, the B2B sellers fail to deliver.

Personalization and marketing in B2B

Why Are Marketers Still Avoiding Personalization?

Taking into consideration all of the above information, one would wonder “Why aren’t marketers doing something about this? Why are they not tailoring their content?”

Half of B2B sellers say the integration of data and technology are major challenges, according to the findings. But a lack of education may be an even greater obstacle.

Personalization is a buzzword, that’s a fact, but it has a very broad meaning. Many marketers lack a basic understanding of what is possible and how to get started, even though many personalization capabilities are very accessible today. Just take a look at Adtailor’s capabilities of helping you tailor your content and gather info about your visitors!

In our attempt to spread more useful info and tips on how to integrate personalization in your marketing strategy, here are the most important Dos & Don’ts of personalization.

Do:

  • Start by gathering as much info as you can about your visitors. Most of your online visitors remain anonymous but with solutions like Adtailor, you can track and log your visitors, and this way get a sense of why people are interested in your business. This can help you further identify your “best customers”.
  • Focus on building a customer experience based on customer requirements, not on business assumptions. Seek and value customer feedback and always ask questions about their needs and requirements.
  • Use what you know about your customers to make sure all the content you deliver is meaningful and useful to them and to your business. Creating a buyer persona for each target group can be of help.
  • Experiment with your segments. Think about what kinds of segments could allow more interesting personalisation, such as focusing on particular spending or buying habits rather than just demographics like age and gender.
  • Be careful not to stereotype. Segmentation can only provide you with a certain number of ‘pots’, but make sure you’re not saying anything that could potentially offend what will still be a wide group of customers.
  • Test and learn. It’s important to keep testing what you’re doing and react quickly to what is working and what is not. A/B testing is a must when trying to figure out which campaign, image or text works and which doesn’t.

Let's get personal

Don’t:

  • Just refer to customers by name. This is now an expectation for many, especially in channels like email, so it’s important to get more experimental to stand out from the crowd. You can use more characteristics like income levels, health profile, and behavioral patterns.
  • Let lack of knowledge and understanding hold back your progress. Focus on training and development for staff, whether internally or employee-driven. Lack of knowledge and understanding is cited as a barrier to effective personalization by many, so it’s important to put things in place to try and address this.
  • Avoid conversations on budget. Pull together a clear vision and clear KPIs for your personalization program which can be presented to colleagues responsible for budget allocation.
  • Be scared of data. Many companies struggle with aligning disparate data pots and joining up the customer journey. Get involved in the numbers, get excited about the data and continue your learning as a team in order to interpret and deploy findings in ways that will most benefit customers.
  • Miss an opportunity to personalize the customer journey. Think about using email receipts as a place to suggest related products, or recommending relevant products as soon as a customer returns to your site. There are opportunities throughout the customer journey, so it’s worth thinking through every option and considering what could work best for your brand.
  • Be afraid to track and use personalization engines and solutions to help you tailor your sales funnels and customer journeys. You don’t have to go and reinvent the wheel – there are plenty of solutions that have already gathered enough data, built an algorithm and are ready to help you dazzle your customers!