Digital Personalization and Content Success

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This Week in B2B Digital Marketing Podcast Episode #2: Personalization

Nick is working on thank you cards from his engagement party. Writing a personal note is important and a sincere token of his and his fiancé’s thanks. The same rules can be applied to the digital marketing space. In what is becoming an over digitized world, generic, one-size-fits-all content is ineffective and the equivalent of a card that says only ‘thanks for attending the party.’

A recent survey conducted by Gartner stated that in two years, 90% of companies expect to compete entirely on customer experience. And this is up from just 36% two years ago. At the very heart of customer experience is personalization. Forrester is calling this “The Age of The Customer” and it begins in the early stages of romancing a prospect to bringing them on as a client, and then delighting them ongoing with a great product and superior customer service. Eventually, it leads to creating long-term client relationships and brand advocates.

Marketing’s role in the digital equation is advancing from simply passing leads to sales to now becoming a full time partner in the revenue equation. Marketing must connect with prospects during their self-research phase (remember anywhere from 60-90% of the buyer decision process is done before sales engaged), delivering the right content at the right time and right channel during the buyer’s journey. To achieve this, marketing leverages data and analytics surrounding the prospect’s activity to pull the correct levers.

Personalization is critical and that includes website and social content and not just email content. DemandBase delivered some interesting stats around this. They found 85% of website visitors are not potential customers; 80% of web visitors will abandon a site in less than five seconds due to irrelevant content and 90% of website visitors will ignore a call to action. This is staggering. Marketers need to focus on their websites and leverage technology which can serve up tailored content based on a visitor’s IP address. Specifically, industry focused content is the most commonly leveraged angle.

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In addition to website personalization, there is the personalization element of account based marketing. Content which delivers an understanding of the challenges the client is facing and how you have helped that client solve those issues, the success metrics attached to those wins and how it can be leveraged across the account is key. Role based and challenge focused content is at the heart of what we create for our clients at Alinean. The ability to pivot your content intelligently depending on the role in the organization is a important step in building consensus among the ever growing ‘buying committees”

Lastly, marketing, [in case marketing’s role doesn’t have enough to do] needs to create a seamless hand-off to sales so that it is equipped to pick up the conversation and in lock step, continue the favorable client experience and close the deal.

The area of contextually relevant content is still evolving, yet some organizations have jumped out as early leaders. DocuSign, using technology from DemandBase has successfully targeted key accounts including Nike and Wal-Mart and drove prospects to the DocuSign website where it delivered a tailored experience. The results: Pipeline increased by 22%; 3x on page views; and time on site to an outlandish 8 minutes.

Weekly SHOUT-OUT: Michael Brenner of NewsCred. He pioneered modern concept marketing at SAP and is now at NewsCred. He is now the head of strategy there and he’s helping companies of all sizes kick butt in content marketing. He’s an excellent speaker, blogger and leader in the content market space. So if you want to hear more from Michael you can follow him on Twitter @BrennerMichael.

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