It’s the season of gift giving and receiving and many of us struggle with making sure our shopping is done on time. Some of us take longer to get this done because we don’t just make a list of our loved ones and buy random gifts that fit within a pre-determined budget. Instead, we take the time to think about what would make the recipient of our gift really happy. We want to find the gifts our loved ones are truly craving and will treasure for years to come. For example, if I am going to buy a bottle of wine as a gift, I start by thinking about the personality of the recipient, the kind of lifestyle he or she follows and then select a wine that is perfectly suited to that person’s tastes and preferences. The result you want to see in the recipient is surprise, elation and even a feeling of being overwhelmed as you hand out your gift.
Personalization in our personal lives is easier because we know our loved ones well enough to decide what gifts will bring them joy. In the professional world, this is a greater challenge. And I’m not talking about gifts to be given only during the festive, holiday season. Everything you place before your customers and your target audience needs to be an attractive, compelling package that is considered valuable. This could be your email marketing piece, an article on your blog, a landing page on your website, a social media update, a product or service you take to market, customer service, post-sales maintenance and support, and absolutely every interaction you have with your audience.
Below are 3 simple but effective ideas on how you can personalize B2B lead generation to make it as exciting and rewarding as holiday gift-giving:
- Match customer personas and profiles to your offering. It’s like buying gift cards. It does not have to be difficult. You can buy a bunch of gift cards in various denominations that can be used at many different malls for everyone on your list. OR you can find out which store your favorite niece likes to shop at and give her a shopping card specifically for that store. By studying the online behaviour of your site visitors, you can identify potential leads and deliver bite-sized, high-value content that they will enjoy reading. You can do this through personalized email, social media updates, mobile marketing and even direct mail.
- Design engagement strategies that will keep up and accelerate interest levels. One factor we consider when deciding on a gift for a loved one is following a strong trend that the recipient is likely to align with. For example, a few years ago, e-readers like Kindle were much in demand as gifts. Today that trend has changed to be replaced by the latest smart phones and tablets. Trends change faster than you know. So as B2B marketers, we have to be on our toes to make sure we increase the frequency of visits by our leads to our online properties. Each visit needs to deliver value through relevant, unique and interesting content and offers. The aim is to keep these audiences engaged and accelerate interest levels to help close the lead to conversion cycle faster, better, and at lower cost.
- Focus on driving leads further down the funnel. Personalizing gifts involves the use of common sense. For instance, if you know your aunt does a lot of baking, she would be happy to receive a crystal cake serving dish. And you would not buy your nephew an Xbox game if he does not own an Xbox. So think about how you can personalize your lead generation and lead nurturing efforts to drive leads deeper down into the sales funnel. Retargeting campaigns, though underestimated, are proving to be very effective at this. The important thing is to monitor the campaign carefully and put a cap on the number of times a retargeting ad can appear; then stop it once a lead has taken the desired action. It’s like watching your guests at your holiday party. If you planned party games but no one seems to be having any fun, it may be best to bring out the food or get the DJ to turn up the music and let people hit the dance floor. You need to understand and watch lead behaviour to help them do what they want to do and help them do it better.
As you plan your B2B lead generation strategies for 2014, think about all the valuable gifts your customers will treasure. Start building your inventory of gifts to spread good cheer and strike the right relationships in the New Year.
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