Think about how much more effective your B2B communications could be if you applied the same level of personalization as you do to your holiday gift giving. When holiday shopping for a loved one or close friend, we look for thoughtful gifts that demonstrate our knowledge of the individual’s interests, tastes and needs. The perfect gift is one that is highly relevant to the individual and brings a smile to his or her face.
Just imagine if your B2B communications produced those results. By applying the same thought process and making your B2B communications more personal, you can.
You don’t necessarily need to personalize every piece of communication (although this is possible with today’s engagement technology), but you should think beyond job titles and basic demographics and make better use of data and information that is readily available. This information may come from:
- Personal interactions
- Data collected from surveys or opt-in programs
- Landing page form submissions
- Website activity such as page views and downloads
- Social media sites
While many businesses are already collecting this type of information, it is what you do with it that is important. It is key to developing a deeper understanding of your prospect’s area of interest, the problem they’re trying to solve, where they are in the buying cycle—a learner, shopper or buyer—so that you can provide relevant messages and information that speak to the reality of their situation and needs.
At EMA, we use this data to develop customer insights and personas that reflect the buyer’s motivation and behavior, map out customer journeys to understand the decision process and touch points, and develop an insights and messaging matrix that serves as a guide in developing relevant communications.
To get started with making your B2B communications more personal in 2011:
- Take inventory of the information you already have on your current contacts and prospects.
- Identify gaps in your data and tactics for helping you get more quality information from your contacts.
- Map out a plan for using the data to create customer insights and deliver more personalized and meaningful customer communications.
By developing a deeper understating of your prospects’ businesses, their markets and pain points, you can develop valuable insights that help you humanize the business process and make your brand more liked and trusted.
Resolve to improve the effectiveness of your business-to-business communications in 2011 by making it more person to person. Who knows, you might even make your prospects smile in the process.