More than three-fourths (77%) of B2B sales and marketing professionals believe personalized marketing experiences make for better customer relationships, according to new research from Propeller Insights and sponsored by Folloze, a provider of a personalization platform for B2B marketers. In addition, more than half (55%) of the 205 sales and marketing professionals surveyed said marketing personalization leads to higher sales conversion rates and future growth.
“The emphasis on personalization is increasingly relevant now, as many B2B marketers move to a digital-only platform for their messaging in light of COVID-19,” said Randy Brasche, VP of Marketing at Folloze, in an interview with Demand Gen Report.
Brasche noted that as companies increase their ABM efforts, many are still struggling to achieve the level of personalization at scale that customers expect.
Traditionally, B2B marketing has focused on building demand gen at the top of the funnel, but Brasche sees that shifting. “With the long buying cycles in B2B, it is important to maintain strong connections with buyers throughout the customer lifecycle.”
While they recognize the benefits of personalization, 42% of these professionals said their marketing efforts are not fully personalized. More than a third (39%) said their current personalized marketing strategy is only somewhat sophisticated, and 15% said that their personalized marketing strategy is not sophisticated at all.
These personalization challenges may be attributed to technological competencies. Specifically, 60% said they are not using AI or machine learning to personalize their marketing efforts. Meanwhile, more than a fifth (21%) of the survey group said their company does not use data on existing customers to personalize content designed to increase sales to them.
Most respondents also noted the unique challenges of marketing personalization in B2B environments. More than half (54%) of respondents said it’s harder to get personalization right in B2B than in business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing.
Survey participants also shared their views about what to avoid in sales and marketing outreach and how personalized email makes them feel. Sixty-six percent of the group emphasized the importance of carefully reviewing emails, saying that typos sabotage the effectiveness of email outreach. Nearly a fourth (23%) suggested that organizations should avoid using the word “urgent” in their email outreach.
Personalized Marketing Platform Aims To Support ABM Strategies
Folloze also announced the launch of its Personalized Marketing Platform designed to help B2B marketers deliver relevant and contextual experiences across every stage of the customer lifecycle. Powered by data-driven machine learning and intelligence, the Folloze Personalized Marketing Platform aims to support ABM strategies by delivering one-to-one experiences that fuel top-line revenue while optimizing lifetime value and future growth.
Features of the platform include:
- Content Intelligence Center: A recommendation, analytics and management service designed to engage customers at the right time with the most relevant and highest-performing content. To consistently optimize these content experiences, the platform uses AI-based self-learning from fellow marketing teams, data-tagging and matching rules.
- Data Services: The platform combines multidimensional data from first- and third-party account data sources, including embedded firmographic, business context and intent, according to the announcement.
- Personalization Studio: A drag-and-drop authoring environment that aims to help marketing teams quickly execute high-impact personalization campaigns at any scale.
- Sales Activation: This feature is designed to help marketers create and execute highly targeted and personalized campaigns – across every stage of the customer lifecycle – for their sales counterparts.
- Account Engagement Analytics: By scoring and measuring both account engagement and topics of interest, the application intends to deliver timely insights to sales and marketing teams and dynamically informs next steps for each unique customer journey.
“For every B2B company, data-driven account-based engagement represents the new table stakes for fueling long-term growth,” said David Brutman, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Folloze, in a statement. “Companies that fail to act will be at a significant competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. The Folloze Personalized Marketing Platform empowers revenue marketing teams to break free from the limitations of legacy systems that were designed for automating top-of-the-funnel demand generation activities. Through real-time and contextual personalization, Folloze makes it easy for marketers to scale their account-based marketing programs and build personalized customer journeys that drive the right action.”