With the increasing popularity of account-based marketing (ABM), you might be hearing a lot about dynamic content personalization. Creating a customized experience for target accounts is a pillar of any ABM program.
By personalizing content, page design, images, ads, and so on, companies can support ABM on multiple levels. But the degree to which you provide personalization, and the channels you implement it on, can vary—and affect the success of your efforts.
The Purpose of Content Personalization
At the heart of both account-based marketing and personalization is the ability to promote action by specific—and typically high-value—accounts.
In ye olden days, this personalization took the form of direct contact by a salesperson, followed by the development of a sales/customer relationship.
While moving toward and even past an initial purchase, the customer enjoyed plenty of check-ins from your sales team. These conversations kept your company in the know about exactly what each account needed. Plus, ongoing lines of direct communication fostered customer service and facilitated future sales, upgrades, expansions, and so on.
That personal relationship fosters a high level of customer engagement at every step of the buyer journey.
Today, those B2B buyers probably do the majority of their research online—which doesn’t give your sales force much opportunity to make an initial one-on-one connection. And without that connection, sales can find it difficult to open a dialog that could convert prospects to customers.
Now, your website and other digital outreach must do the heavy lifting.
Get Sales and Marketing Alignment
Content personalization, then, takes the place of that initial back-and-forth between potential customer and sales. It’s designed to focus your content marketing message on the priorities of each account. By doing so, you increase the likelihood that the researcher will act, whether by providing specific contact info, downloading a demo, signing up for a newsletter, or—yes—taking a call from a sales rep.
You can implement different levels of personalization, according to the type of ABM you use:
Programmatic ABM requires a low level of personalization that will be delivered to many accounts. This might take the form of adding a company logo to the banners that the accounts see or pointing them to an industry-specific account when they visit your site.
ABM Lite covers the middle ground, with some personalization for small groups of accounts.
Strategic ABM is the most intensive program. For this tier, you’ll want to develop a high level of customization on a per-account basis.
For personalization to succeed, then, marketing needs to work closely with sales to glean important details:
Is a sales rep already in contact with the account?
For prospect accounts, which sales rep should you direct the account to?
If a relationship exists, is it positive, neutral, or negative?
Can you use the customer’s logo in your personalization?
Does sales have quotes, case studies, or account-specific resources that you can highlight?
What is sales’ most pressing goal for the account?
What are the account’s highest priorities in terms of pains, initiatives, benefits, and so on?
Where in the buying journey does sales place the account?
Are there any general issues (e.g., a recent merger) that need to be considered during personalization?
You’ll need to align with sales to get the answers to these questions and to personalize calls to action (CTAs) so that they promote sales goals, based on the account’s prioritization or existing relationship. Of course, aligning with sales is always a good idea—and a personalization initiative is the perfect opportunity to fine-tune the relationship and lines of communication between departments.
Apply Personalization Early—and Throughout the Buyer Journey
Personalization isn’t a one-time event. To get the most benefits, create a complete set of customizable content, including landing pages, banners, CTA buttons, and so on. Prepare content that can be delivered and provide a cohesive look and feel across multiple channels.
Because you also want to keep the account engaged through various stages of the buyer’s journey, consider using layers of personalization. For example, you might create one set of content for first-touch visitors, and another for return visitors. Online marketing platforms such as Kentico can facilitate this level of advanced engagement by tracking the activity of anonymous users from their first visit.
Then, you can use contact scoring to adjust the content visitors experience on later visits to your site. Other technologies allow you identify a visitor’s company name and industry, enabling the opportunity to start personalizing content from the initial visit—even before visitors convert with a form.
Watch more about content personalization with Kentico EMS:
Get up Close and Personal
Personalization can require a lot of work up front and behind the scenes. That effort is worthwhile, though, if it helps you land big-fish accounts. Start by reviewing your site and determining which components might be more compelling if customized, and by discussing the potential of an ABM/personalization approach with sales.
Get an Objective Perspective
A content audit is an essential first step in any level of personalization for your site. Let us help. Contact us for a Content Gap Analysis and recommendations.