Why B2B Marketing Personalisation Should Be A Priority

Written by Lucy Donovan

May 1 2017

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How to add context and personalisation to your strategies for more effective marketing campaigns.


How often do you receive a notification, email or promotional message, read it and just think - “what on earth has that got to do with me??”

As today’s digital landscape becomes increasingly competitive, considering each visitor and lead’s context in your marketing and sales activity is important for your campaigns to resonate.

In a recent study by PWC’s Digital Services group, 94% of senior level executives believe that delivering personalisation is critical to reaching and retaining customers. - Digital Marketing Magazine

If you’re considering an inbound strategy (and especially if you’re planning an account-based marketing campaign) it’s important to personalise your activity to be as relevant as possible to each lead.

Adding Context and Personalisation to Your Strategies

How can you encourage a prospect to stay on your site, open an email or sign up for your content? Make personalisation a priority.

Related: How Contextual Selling is Changing B2B inbound Lead Follow Up

Just as sales teams are evolving their strategies to engage with each lead in a contextually relevant way; to follow up with advice on the right channels and in the exact moment prospects are experiencing buying pain - so marketers must also incorporate personalisation and context into their campaigns.

Contextual marketing identifies the buying context of a lead (their history with your organisation, buying stage, known challenges, etc.), before displaying content that is uniquely relevant to them. Site copy, content offerings, CTAs and more can be adapted to help leads through their buying journey.

As a foundation, understanding your buyer persona profiles (from demographics to channels and challenges) is essential to inform your activity. With this insight you’ll be in a position to implement tactics and content that resonates.

However. If you consider each prospect’s unique buying context and personalise your activity to suit (such recommending new content to recognised MQLs each time they visit your site, that specifically addresses their next stage challenges), you can take activity to the next level.

In a well-personalised inbound campaign, typical activities might include:

  • Using smart content fields to adapt page content, form fields, content headings, CTAs and more. Here, when your site recognises a visitor, the page copy changes to show personalised content and information based on the lead insight you have about them.
  • Using lead flow widgets to recommend other relevant content to recognised visitors.
  • Segmenting your database to ensure the right, personalised email workflows (with the right content) reach the right people.

Essentially, you’re adapting your site, communications and content to recognise leads and display the best content to help them through their buying process. Done well, personalisation can help to:

  • Focus your strategy to better nurture your qualified leads,
  • Build stronger lead relationships and gain reputation as a trusted advisor,
  • Shorten your sales cycle (better nurtured leads will be further through their journey before they speak with sales).

“Isn’t this account based marketing?”

The personalisation activity used in inbound is designed to help you resonate your wider lead database. ABM however goes further. It targets very specific individuals; decision makers in your highest-value, highest propensity accounts.

It’s true that personalisation and contextual marketing are integral to account-based marketing campaigns. But successful ABM campaigns take personalisation much further than inbound campaigns do:

  • Essentially the personalisation activity you would use in an inbound campaign is designed to help you resonate with and be more relevant to your wider lead database.

  • An account-based marketing campaign however requires another level of bespoke tailoring. As ABM targets very specific individuals - decision makers in your highest-value, highest propensity accounts - each campaign and tactics are uniquely personalised on a 1:1 basis. Here, your messaging, content, sales assets, propositions and more will be uniquely tailored to address the challenges of a ‘market of one’.

Clearly it wouldn’t be viable to create bespoke content and campaigns for every lead in your database. That’s why ABM campaigns target only high-propensity, high-value accounts. Personalisation and contextual marketing tactics are used within ABM, but at an inbound level they are there to help you be as relevant as possible to your wider buyer audience.

Related: Prepare Your Organisation to Adopt Account-Based Marketing

Marketing Personalisation Is Core To Success

Implementing and integrating personalisation into your inbound marketing process is complex, but can be streamlined by with the help of a good marketing automation platform (that aligns with your CRM). With this it’s possible to:

  • Monitor visitor and lead behaviour patterns and content interests, which can inform your editorial calendar and content direction.
  • Use personalised lead flow widgets you recommend fresh, relevant content to each unique lead, based on your lead data around their interests and challenges. This timely contact will help to improve conversion and better nurture leads through their purchasing journey faster.
  • By segmenting your database (by lead stage, niche, organisation size etc) you can better personalise your lead flows and your email workflows, making sure you can deliver more personalised, relevant and niche content to each segment.
  • With smart content fields on your site, you can personalise lead capture forms, content headings, CTAs and page copy to adapt to recognised leads - helping them find new insight and have a fresh experience with your site each time they visit.

Related: How Automated Lead Nurture Shortens Sales Cycles

Whatever campaigns you’re implementing, personalisation and lead context should always be considered to ensure you resonate with your leads as much as possible; offering the best content and insight to help them, in the right places, at the right times.

B2B Marketing Zone