Marketers consistently rank personalization as a top priority. But there’s still a gap between martech reality and the dream that CMOs envision for a strategy that reaches and engages audiences on a 1:1 level.

Because personalization is new terrain for many marketers, it can be challenging to know whether you’re on the right path. While some companies like Endurance International Group, a provider of cloud-based services to small and medium-sized businesses, are able to build targeted upselling and progressive profiling strategies to drive incremental revenue, others are still operating on the other extreme, relying on their one-size-fits-all websites to reach audiences in multiple verticals. Where do you fall on the spectrum?

Given that impactful B2B personalization programs can vary so much in their technical sophistication levels and approaches, how can you make sure that you’re taking the right steps forward?

Evergage’s customer success team has a direct lens into the B2B personalization world and has helped a diverse group of companies build high-performing initiatives from the ground up. I interviewed Dave Parsons, customer success director at Evergage, who shared the following best practices for making an impact and getting up and running fast with personalization. Here’s what he recommends:

Invest the time to capture and learn from the right data before you deploy

When it comes to personalization, it’s common for marketing teams to want to jump straight to action using whatever data they have on hand. But Dave emphasizes that it’s worth it to do your due diligence because you may uncover marketing opportunities that you previously overlooked.

“One of the biggest challenges that we see among new customers is that, before coming to us, they’ve maybe dipped their toes in a few different marketing experiments and are relying on a few fragmented strategies to achieve their goals. After gaining insight into their data with one unified platform, however, they get the opportunity to dig deeper and see that their initial assumptions were wrong—and that they’re also missing some key opportunities.”

It’s this deep dive that enabled Team Support, a customer support platform, to build an in-app messaging strategy that led to a 25% increase in new trial activity and 15% uptick in free trial conversions. The company started by monitoring user engagement and identifying churn triggers. This data allowed Team Support to create an in-app messaging strategy to notify customers about new features and reduce churn as a result.

Establish crystal-clear demand generation goals and aim for continuous improvement

As Dave explains, “it’s not just about having objectives but having goals that you can iterate and build upon.”

Your B2B personalization strategy, no matter how robust it is now, will likely evolve over time. As you collect more data and test more messaging options, you’ll learn more about your customers. You can then build upon this knowledge by launching higher performing campaigns—and further building upon your knowledge, as a result.

Take the Team Support case study as an example. The company knew that it wanted to reduce its customer churn rate. It was through data and a process of fine-tuning its personalization strategy that it realized that it would need to focus on two subsets of its audience: free trial users and new audiences. With this approach, Team Support was able to tailor its personalization strategy to address multiple parts of the buyer conversion funnel from consideration to purchase and retention.

Aim to master simplicity instead of cobbling together an intricate solution

One of the biggest reasons that marketers feel intimidated by personalization is that technical and campaign planning processes can seem complex. One way to outsmart this challenge? Don’t build a cross-platform, account-based marketing model right off the bat. Instead, start with simpler campaigns that you can connect into a cohesive strategy down the line. Here are some simple steps that almost any company can take regardless of customer base size and technical sophistication.

  1. Segment your audience based on the data you’ve been examining, in addition to their referral traffic source and business that they represent (by name or NAICS code).
  2. Develop campaigns that reinforce or boost your existing marketing efforts rather than starting a campaign along with a brand new marketing initiative.
  3. Keep testing and iterating so that you can launch initiatives in the market, gather data, and continue to improve.

Once you start seeing some early successes, don’t stop. Build upon them. Move into more advanced campaign planning and execution strategies through algorithms and machine learning techniques. As your marketing initiatives continue to grow, you’ll have the resources to pursue these initiatives.

Final thoughts

Getting started is better than achieving perfection.

One of the biggest roadblocks that B2B marketers need to overcome is their greatest strength – their passion for solving tough challenges. Simplify the problem instead by focusing smaller, lower-hanging campaign opportunities. Get big by taking small steps.

To get started, join us for our webinar on March 31 at 1 PM EDT to see 30 examples of real-time personalization in 30 minutes.