B2B sales and marketing leaders are increasingly acknowledging the need to adopt more personalized marketing strategies more traditionally found in B2C marketing. Data from Folloze also shows that there is some way to go before these strategies become fully realized.

B2B personalization focus is different

In B2B, personalization is focused on the role of an individual within the target business and its industry, rather than their personal characteristics. The variables that drive relevance are the known needs of a particular business or industry; the different roles and functions within a decision-making unit; and where the target customer may be in the sales cycle or the user lifecycle.

AI offers solutions and limitations

Many are now looking at AI technologies as the magic bullet for any and all customization. It is true that the algorithms and pattern recognition these technologies provide can significantly improve the accuracy and efficiency of targeting the right content, to the right person, at the right time. At this point, however, the content itself still needs to be created by humans with business insights and a deep understanding of the key need for thoughtfully mapping out lifecycle stages, decision-making functions and their needs, and toplining appropriate messaging for each milestone.

Don’t forget the data

Any personalization requires careful consideration of the right data collection, acquisition and refresh strategy. There are many ways of approaching this and many technology solutions that can help, but whether you are looking at web forms, email opt-in value propositions, or leveraging existing CRM systems, being conscious not to leave this out of your planning and budget process will be key.

The Takeaway

While the focus of personalization is different between B2B and B2C, the same principles apply. Both require a thoughtful approach, centered around the known need and key insights, to drive relevance.