For most businesses,
the fear of losing personal contact with their clients keeps them from moving
sales online. However, personalized marketing can offer new avenues in
connecting and building individual relationships. Not only does it benefit your
business by increasing the efficiency of the company’s offerings, but it also
adds convenience to the purchase process.
personalized marketing is marketing carried out through personalization. With the
knowledge of your clients’ shopping preferences, interests, likes and dislikes,
you can connect with them in a more meaningful manner that influences sales.
Through this approach a personal rapport is built using the content your
customer engages with at various touch points. The content is differently
structured to appeal to different segments and is built on information such as
who the client is, the area they work in, designation, likings, and reason for
buying, etc. A combination of all these factors enables you to create an
extraordinary experience, retain customers and finally, increase sales.
What Makes Us Respond
Now this approach can
make a marked difference for your B2B business, but the more important thing to
understand is why personalized marketing works. Dr. Rachna Jain, a psychologist
specializing in the interconnections of neuroscience, psychology and social
media” We all have a place in the brain (the reticular activating system, or
RAS) that acts like an information filter. Among other functions, it operates
what we call “selective attention. The RAS decides what we pay attention to. As
humans we’re naturally attracted towards things that spark our interest and
ideas that we can identify with. Relevance, it seems, is an attractive trait in
Control is another
reason. We like it.
Psychology Today tells
us that people who feel more in control of their life and its happenings have
high chances of becoming successful and psychologically healthier. Personalized
content makes people feel like they are in control of what they’re engaging
with, resulting in a more enjoyable experience.
Now personalization is
not defined by relevance and control alone. The key is to use personalization
as a medium to transform the way your customers perceive their shopping
experience so that it ultimately influences their buying habits. To sum things
up, the benefits are enjoyed by your customers as well as you.
Although the skeleton
for personalization of B2C and B2B are the same there are a few differentiating
factors. While both seek an efficient and fulfilling shopping experience, B2C
buyers are guided by their opinions and emotions and B2B buyers largely base
their decision on what’s best for business.
Marketing Really Work?
Yes, because B2B
buyers are outright asking for it: 54% of B2B buyers indicated that they’d like
a B2C-type personalized shopping experience that includes recommendations,
according to research by Accenture Digital and SAP Hybris. Furthermore,
research by Seismic and Demand Metric tells us that of the B2B sellers who
started using personalized marketing in their strategy, 48% indicated it was
more effective, and 32% said it was much more effective.
Is Important in the B2B World?
B2B businesses have
nearly always been dominated by face-to-face interactions, which have enhanced
their service and made clients feel valued.
But even in this era
of digitization, enterprise buyers demand good service along with value for
their patronage. What technology has done is change the way good service and
value are delivered to the customers. B2B businesses need to adapt and accept
this method if they want to remain in the game.
So now we arrive at an important question of what this means for vendors? That
technology cannot replace the benefit of human relations is a fact, but another
important fact is that businesses do need the additional support and added
value that only digital technology can offer. Today, B2B buyers are even
merging some of the best practices of the B2C segment into their personalized
The reason for this
is simple: B2B buyers at work are B2C buyers at home.
For example, B2B
buyers are not only aware of the sophisticated personalized experiences Amazon
and Netflix offer but also appreciate its efficiency and benefits. So, it comes
as no surprise if they want to implement these strategies on their websites for
increased conversion rates and customer engagement.
benefits of personalizing a B2B website experience:
A study conducted by Venture
beat Survey revealed that 86% respondents said personalization does affect
their buying decisions. Along with nurturing a customer’s trust and simplifying
the buyer’s decisions, website personalization increases sales, nurtures good leads,
and encourages user registration.
Devaney’s HubSpot article on the psychology of personalization concluded
that the amount of information bombarding consumers today can leave them
feeling overwhelmed. In such a scenario, personalization negates this anxiety
by offering relevant content. Targeted
calls to action had a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than their
non-targeted counterparts. By incorporating personalization, you’re reducing
the time your customer needs to consume and filter the useful information from
a message. This strategic act of consideration delivers a more effective
marketing process and increases chances of a repeat visit.
When customers realize
you’re attempting to add value to their experience, it gives them a sense of being
valued and respected. This brings about repeat sales and the customer loyalty
you need to turn customers into future brand ambassadors.
Personalization Be Used?
Begin by using your
client’s needs to create a catalog specific to them. Utilize the data from
their purchase history, interests, as well as their role in the company to
conclude details like the maximum order size, etc. This helps you offer a catalog,
which purely has relevant items to make the process quicker.
Bulk pricing is based
on a customer’s preferences. Once you know the identity of your client and when
they are likely to make a purchase, personalizing the price can be a lot
easier. This way your clients do not have to rely on additional sales
You can reduce the
time your customer spends on ordering by using data from his purchase history.
This history will tell you the quality, price, size, amounts, and products that
he previously ordered so your website can offer relevant suggestions.
Emailer campaigns are
a great way to target specific segments. An even better way to use this
strategy to your advantage, is by weaving in a friendly message that breaks the
ice and then leads them to offers on products that are specific to his
Transaction mails are
also referred to as confirmation emails. You can use these to send personalized
offers or complementary coupons and freebies to make your customers feel
Freebies are a win-win
with just about anybody. Lure your customers towards making regular purchases
using a personalized rewards program. Basing this communication on specific
consumer data can make it a great success.
pages can play an instrumental role if personalized in the right way. You can
consider designing it to incorporate specific topics, promotions or using the
data of repeat visits.
Today customers are
not restricted to their desktop or laptop alone and like to enjoy web access through
their smartphones too. This behavior is gradually seeping in B2B ecommerce
which means your web store needs to be accessible on all devices.
What Are the Current B2C Trends?
As mentioned above B2B
buyers are also on the experiential end of B2C ecommerce practices and hence
base their expectations accordingly. It is therefore safe to conclude that B2C trends
play a pivotal role in shaping B2B ecommerce trends. E-commerceandb2b.com names
four major personalization trends that should extend from B2C to the B2B world.
Currently the focus is
on developing and offering a seamless user experience. A responsive website is
a great way to win over your customers. However, it is important to remember
that there should be a consistency in the digital marketing, interaction and
engagement carried out no matter what platform or device it is accessed on.
recommendations are a regular feature on B2C web stores, the same cannot be
said for B2B e-commerce. But now with the incorporation of B2C trends in B2B
ecommerce, once B2B clients log in, you gain access to a world of information
on their profile. With this data in place, you can recommend higher-priced
products that might latch onto the customers’ interest.
Accenture reports that
60% of B2B shoppers expect enhanced search capabilities. An addition of
advanced search options enables ease of navigation through a sea of products in
the catalog. The sooner your customers find what they’re looking for, the more
fulfilling their experience.
Offering more payment
alternatives is another important way of letting your customers know that you
prioritize their preferences and need for convenience. Moreover, multiple
payment choices, creation of wish lists, and the feature of saving products to
the shopping cart leave your customer feeling satisfied and positive about your
Where Do You Start
The formula to getting
personalization right is by gathering and utilizing the right details. For that
it is essential to begin by categorizing customer data into personas or
criteria-based segments. As a customer logs in, the respective segment or
persona gets applied and this way they get to enjoy a unique and memorable
experience. Mike Weir, LinkedIn’s Global Head – Category Development says B2B
segments can form customer personas based on the 5 characteristics like
Geography, Seniority, Function, Industry, and Company Size
characteristics in place, clients are assigned to the formed segments and the
campaigns they see are personalized with relevant content. This approach
creates a shopping-experience that is tailor-made to meet your customers’
expectations no matter how diverse they be.
What’s In Store For B2B Personalization?
With more B2B businesses
seeking to grow their business digitally, personalized marketing is becoming a
prominent demand. To add to that, B2B vendors want to give their clients the
same experience they enjoy on B2C platforms. Paul Demery, Managing Editor at
B2B E-commerce, adds that with B2C players like Amazon Business and Google
Shopping for Suppliers entering the B2B field and taking things up a notch,
personalized marketing should be a part of every CEO’s strategy.
Make The Journey Meaningful
Although great content
plays a dominant role it can’t be the only way you impress your customers. At
the end of the day an item is an item, but it is pairing of great content with
carefully designed segments that makes the difference. Personalizing value is
the basis on which a rewarding shopping event is created because it doesn’t
just elevate your customer’s shopping experience but establishes credibility
and builds trust. In conclusion, think of it this way, personalized marketing
is an opportunity to form a lasting B2B friendship.