It’s a growing trend we’ve been seeing for years: personalization for online shopping and digital experiences. With more and more B2B buyers demanding higher quality digital experiences, B2B companies are investing in digital marketing and an online brand presence. A “pretty website” simply doesn’t cut it anymore.
If you really want to uplevel your digital marketing strategy to meet customer expectations, it’s time to start making customers feel understood. That starts with personalization.
What is Personalization?
In its simplest form, personalization is tailoring digital experiences to suit the individual buyer. Buyer A shouldn’t have the same experience as buyer B because their needs, interests, and purchases are unique. Your job is to identify their interests and preferences and use those to improve their online experience. The goal is to make the process as smooth and convenient for them as possible, whether through recommendations, relevant content, or filtered searches.
Why Is Personalized Marketing Important?
Marketing personalization helps you build relationships with your customers. Personalized messaging gives the same feeling you get when you open a birthday card or read a thank you note. It’s a small gesture that shows you the other person (or in this case, the company) cares about you and listens to your wants. Plus, it makes their shopping experience smoother and path to purchase faster.
It also lets you target very specific markets to deliver tailored messaging. The more you understand your buyer, the better their personalized experience will be- which also means stronger relationships and more revenue generated. Getting to know your buyer requires your team to leverage data insights about their behavior; if you’re struggling to create a holistic view of your buyer, check out our beginner’s guide to digital intelligence here.
What Results Can Personalization Bring?
Buyers will connect more with brands who offer sophisticated personalization that mimic consumer experiences. We’ve seen those results from our work with JLL, a corporate real estate firm, during their global digital transformation journey.
JLL needed to organize and manage its main website, JLL.com and all of its global microsites. Prior to partnering with Avionos, all of JLL’s website visitors had the same user experience, despite their diverse demographics, interests, and various stages in the purchase journey. JLL wasn’t acting on the chance to capture returning visitors and upsell current customers.
JLL started by creating an effective customer journey map and built personalization features throughout the customer experience. Now, each website visitor had their own, unique website journey and better overall experience. And the change proved effective for JLL too. After personalizing their digital channels, JLL saw:
- 100% increase in lead generation
- 75% increase in purchase orders
- 40% decrease in bounce rates
- 365% increase in CTR of the JLL homepage
What Does Personalization Look Like on Digital Channels?
Personalization can take on many forms in digital marketing. In 2019, the preferred form of personalization was tailored discounts, usually based on previous purchases. In 2020, buyers’ expectations grew and buyers instead demanded personalized product recommendations, with 36% of survey respondents ranking it as their #1 choice.
Other ways you can personalize the online marketing experience on your website include product categories, FAQs related to previous purchases, or content related to a buyer’s industry. Think of the ways you can show them that you know who they are as a buyer and want to simplify the shopping experience for them.
You can also curate personalized messages in your email marketing strategy based on what you know the individual buyer cares about. For example, if you know the buyer makes recurring purchases at regular intervals, offer subscription services like those shown here.
How Can I Start Personalizing My Website?
Utilizing personalization features starts in the planning stages of your digital transformation. Think through the various opportunities you have to include personalized digital marketing tactics and build them into your roadmap. Give your digital teams (both your internal team and your external implementation partners) the resources they need to enable your personalization goals.
Build your personalization program buy-in by showing ROI early and often. When you can show your stakeholders the results driven by personalized digital marketing strategies, you’ll gain more support quickly. Create a team of change champions in your organization.
Start your roll out small. Instead of having four different personalization programs running together, start with one or two and get a solid grasp of what works and what doesn’t. Review buyer behavior data regularly to tailor your future marketing programs accordingly.
Streamline the path to purchase by reviewing what buyers responded to, what they didn’t, and any potential roadblocks in the purchasing process. For example, if you’re seeing 50% of site visitors drop off on a certain page, troubleshoot any technical issues or pain points customers may be experiencing on that page. Work out any problems and optimize the personalized experience once you have ample data to guide you.
Once you’re seeing your desired results from your personalized experiences, scale your program strategically. Evaluate the most effective types of personalization for your business using data insights, then launch on microsites and across sub-brands. Don’t set it and forget it: effective personalization requires regular evaluation to adjust to changing buyer needs and expectations.
Want to hear about a real client’s experience using personalized features on their website? Check out our webinar with JLL to learn more about their personalization journey, the results they weren’t expecting, and advice they have for future clients.