Deep Srivastav, Senior Vice President and Head of Client Strategies & Analytics at Franklin Templeton, examined personalization and its impact on today’s B2B marketers during his keynote presentation at the 2019 CMO Forum: B2B Marketing in the Digital Era in San Francisco on January 31. In his presentation, “Personalization in the B2B Marketing Space,” Srivastav described how personalization technologies can help B2B marketers engage with customers like never before.
Personalization is a key consideration for B2B marketers. However, some B2B marketers struggle to integrate personalization technologies into their day-to-day activities – something that could put a company at risk of missing out on opportunities to engage with its target audience.
Today’s B2B marketers are responsible for understanding all aspects of a company’s target audience. They must retrieve customer data from a wide range of sources, mine this information and generate actionable insights from it. At the same time, B2B marketers must leverage customer insights to help a business drive growth.
“As marketers, your job is to know the customers, way beyond what a salesperson needs to know,” Srivastav said. “Every decision of the rest of the organization needs to be funneled [through marketing].”
Collecting customer data is crucial for B2B marketers. If B2B marketers possess customer data, they can transform this information into meaningful insights. Then, B2B marketers can share customer insights with all other business departments and collaborate with these departments to help a company accomplish its goals.
Yet not all customer data can help a business achieve its aspirations. As such, B2B marketers must craft a data analysis strategy and select data analytics technologies that support a business’ goals.
The ideal data analytics technologies empower B2B marketers to analyze the customer perspective, assess customer expectations and discover innovative ways to engage with customers. Plus, these technologies are easy to implement across all business departments and ensure a company can collect and analyze data from myriad sources. The ideal data analytics technologies also provide timely, accurate customer insights that can help a business find ways to foster long-term growth.
“From a data science standpoint, there is a need for high accuracy,” Srivastav indicated. “You need to be really, really accurate about what you are thinking, seeing and learning about the customer.”
Data analytics technologies can help B2B marketers drive personalization, too.
Personalization technologies are available to help B2B marketers develop customer personas. Once B2B marketers have customer personas in place, they can create unique stories to engage with a company’s target audience. B2B marketers next can track the progress of their customer engagement efforts and search for ways to tailor these efforts to a company’s target audience.
“It’s not that every customer can be 100% mapped … but the customer personas still help,” Srivastav stated. “The customer personas help the storytellers start creating the stories.”
Furthermore, B2B marketers can use personalization technologies to deliver the right message, to the right audience, every time.
Personalization technologies often help B2B marketers learn about a company’s target audience, as well as the ways that this audience engages with a brand. As a result, B2B marketers can leverage these technologies to develop campaigns that fall in line with customer expectations.
“You need channels and tools so you can take your messaging and link it across the board,” Srivastav noted.
There is no shortage of data analytics and personalization technologies available to B2B marketers. Going forward, B2B marketers should evaluate these technologies and use them to uncover customer insights. With customer insights in hand, B2B marketers then can offer tips and recommendations to help a business connect with its target audience and accelerate its revenue and sales growth.
“You’ve got to keep feeding the beast, and you’ve got to keep doing research,” Srivastav said. “You need to be looking at the long term but delivering something every quarter.”
A target audience evolves over time, and B2B marketers must devote time and resources to study a company’s customer base. That way, B2B marketers can identify customer behaviors and patterns and update a company’s customer engagement strategy as needed.
“You have to keep selling the stories and keep going back to them,” Srivastav stated. “You have to sit down with each marketer … and figure out where challenges are.”
How B2B marketers engage with a company’s data scientists may have far-flung effects on a business as well.
B2B marketers must establish clear expectations for data scientists. If a company’s data scientists understand what B2B marketers want to learn, they can perform data analysis accordingly.
“If you’re not to engage [data scientists] in the right way … you will create a lot of insights that won’t work and will impede you in the future,” Srivastav indicated.