b2b buyer journey personalization

Throughout the years, a lot of time has been spent on the concept of “journeys.” Just do a quick Google search for “customer journey” or “buyer’s journey” to see all the different ways marketers have tried to simplify the concept. And while the traditional linear buyer’s journey is useful in helping us broadly understand the different steps involved in a typical purchase decision, the reality is that no two journeys are the same. Each person has their own unique journey that they flow through at their own individual pace.

That’s why personalization is so critical for B2B marketers. Personalization allows marketers to deliver a relevant experience to each prospect or customer so that no matter where they are in their own individual journey, they’ll be able to find the resources they need to make their purchase decision or experience success as a customer.

We recently published a new eBook, Personalization Across the B2B Buyer’s Journey, to provide 18 compelling examples of how B2B marketers can leverage personalization at each stage of someone’s journey. I’ll describe three of those examples here, but check out the eBook for many more!

Initial Engagement: Make the Homepage Relevant

You spend a lot of your time and budget to attract prospects to your site. The last thing you want to do is lose those visitors before they get the chance to determine if your product or solution could meet their needs. But how do you decide what to feature on your homepage? Do you tailor your headline, images and copy to appeal to different audiences, or do you lead with a general message that you hope will appeal to the lowest common denominator?

There’s no need to keep your homepage experience static and generic for every visitor. To capture each person’s attention immediately, you should ensure that your homepage – or any page a visitor lands on – is immediately relevant to that person. For example, this site below displays a relevant homepage experience to each of its target industries. Visitors in the healthcare industry see copy and images relevant to them (top image), while visitors who don’t fall into a target industry (or whose industry can’t be determined) see a generic version of the homepage (bottom image).

b2b buyer journey personalization

Evaluation: Notify Salespeople of Engaged Prospects

When it comes to making a sale, timing is everything. This is especially true for companies with account-based marketing (ABM) programs. If a prospect from a target account reads a
few case studies or watches a couple of product videos on your website, you want the appropriate salesperson to know about it right away and to follow up (with a relevant message) while your company is still top-of-mind for the prospect. But what’s the best way to relay that information to the sales rep in a manner that will catch their attention?

Internal email alerts are the perfect solution for this challenge. These emails can be triggered the moment one or more visitors from a target account takes certain actions on your website, alerting the designated sales team member(s) of the account’s recent activity. For example, if someone from ABM target company Acme Corp visits your website, views several pages and downloads an eBook, you could trigger an email to inform the account’s sales rep of the activity and prompt her to follow up with the prospect right away. This approach ensures that the sales team reaches out at the most opportune moment.

b2b buyer journey personalization

Retention: Proactively Address Support Questions

Once a prospect becomes a customer, you want to make sure that person continues to find value in your solution so they stay a customer. Part of retaining a customer is making sure that any issues they have are resolved quickly and painlessly. The challenge is that once a customer takes the time to log an issue, she is likely already frustrated. And then there are frustrated customers who don’t even bother to ask for help. How can you address support issues before they arise?

With personalization, you can serve real-time suggestions and time-saving tips related to the person’s usage patterns or specific goals — including making in-session offers for online training or guided support when a user appears to be struggling in a particular area. You can even take a look at specific actions or search queries that often trigger support calls, and improve efficiency and customer service by automatically serving up messages with links to helpful content and tips that address these common customer challenges — as HostGator does in this example below.

By helping customers accomplish their goals or resolve their issues in the moment, you create a better experience and increase the chances that you’ll retain your customers.

customer success program

Final Thoughts

There are many ways that B2B marketers can use personalization to provide better experiences to their prospects and customers while guiding them through their own unique buyer journeys. This blog post has only described three of them. Read our new (ungated) eBook for more ideas on how to best leverage personalization.