business personalization

Focusing on the customer buying experience is more important than ever. In today’s information age, buyers have more and more power over sellers. As a result, there’s an increased demand in personalized, relevant experiences.

  • 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience (Forrester)
  • 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests (Janrain)
  • 85% of internet users specifically expect and accept personalization as a part of their online experience (eMarketer)
  • 59% of customers say that personalization influences their buying decisions (Infosys)

In today’s competitive environment, personalization is a critical differentiator. That’s why we wrote The B2B Marketer’s Guide to ABM Personalization at Scale. We set out to give you the keys to delivering a more personal, relevant and timely message to your buyers. We walk you through the frameworks we use, offer some practical tactics, then end by revealing some of our plays along with the results.

Is Email Dead? What About Social Selling?

We are all familiar with claims in the market that cold calling is dead! Email is dead! Social selling is dead!

While channels vacillate in popularity, the key is really what fuels the channels – the content. We know that when messages are timely and relevant there is better engagement from buyers. This is a cornerstone for successful ABM. When you are trying to break into target accounts and drive ongoing engagement – the right message matters!

A Better Buying Experience

For effective personalization in ABM, you must have a deep understanding of not only your target accounts and ideal customer profiles, but also the customer journey. You must understand how they buy, the structure of the organization, their challenges, the buying criteria, and what they need to do at every stage of the buying process. The customer journey is the complete sum of experiences and interactions that a customer goes through when making a purchasing decision. It should not be seen as a checklist for reps detailing what to say. The customer journey must take the point of view of the customer.

When you acknowledge the buyer’s journey and put the focus on delivering an exceptional experience, only then will you be able to deliver a personal, relevant message.

That’s why good ABM starts before you dream up your next ABM campaign. It starts with knowing the buying experience and mapping out the journey. Here’s how:

  1. Align Sales and Marketing around the challenges and outcomes of your buyers.
  2. Define the stages that the buyers go through when making a decision.
  3. Uncover valuable buyer persona insights at each stage.

ABM Examples from Engagio’s Playbook

Now, it’s time to put theory into action. Here are three plays from our playbook. We’ve chosen one play from each of the three styles of ABM (one-to-one, one-to-few, and one-to-many).

ABM “Classic” One-to-One: Executive Sponsor Play
When you’re looking at breaking into an account, you need to do research. In this case, we found out that this decision maker loved wine and chocolate. We then put together a personalized 1:1 package with Cadbury chocolate, wine, customized content and a handwritten note that started with “Cadbury and wine for 5 minutes of your time.”

Stage: Top of funnel

Target: VP of Marketing at a Tier 1 account



  • Touch 1: Send package
  • Touch 2: Send email upon package delivery
  • Touch 3: Phone call

Goal: Meeting

Results: Meeting set

abm example cadbury and wine

ABM “Lite” One-to-few: Door Opener Play
To open doors at target accounts, we took Director of Marketing and above titles and based on their LinkedIn profiles, created custom bobbleheads that looked like them. Our reps took a picture of the final product, pasted them into a pre-built play, and invited decision makers to come pick up their personalized bobbleheads at Dreamforce. If they were not able to pick them up or were not attending Dreamforce, we offered to send it to them after meeting with a rep. After all, who doesn’t want their own personalized bobblehead?

Stage: Top of funnel

Target: Director of Marketing and above at target accounts


  • Touch 1: Email inviting the decision maker to pick up their personalized bobblehead
  • Touch 2: Hosted event where we handed out the bobbleheads
  • Touch 3: Offered to ship the bobblehead directly to them if they attend a meeting with a rep.

Results: 31% meeting rate

ABM example Bobblehead

Programmatic ABM One-to-Many: Build Buyer Relationships Play
The most forward-thinking organizations are using video to stand out in the noise. However, you must utilize personalization in order to get results. Our favorite tool for this is Vidyard. The Vidyard platform customizes the content and delivers a video that looks like it’s just for a single prospect, when in reality, this is going out to thousands of accounts.

Stage: Mid-funnel

Target: Director of Marketing and above at all target accounts

Play: Once your data is clean and list is segmented, launch your Vidyard video!

Results: 4.1x increase in response rates.

ABM example vidyard govideo

For more real-life ABM examples, read Engagio’s The B2B Marketer’s Guide to ABM Personalization at Scale. In it, we’ll also cover

  • The three-tiered approach to ABM personalization
  • How to allocate your resources properly to achieve personalization at scale
  • The key to understanding how your buyers buy
  • And more!

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