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ARTICLE: Adding Relevance to Your Campaigns with Personalization

In the business world, competition is all around. B2B companies are competing for the sale over their competitors. In a saturated space, how do you stand apart from the rest? One way is through personalization. Rather than customers receiving a one-size-fits-all cadence, message, or interaction, they receive one that is geared toward their pain points and where they are in the buyers’ journey.

Personalization goes beyond adding a customer’s first name to a headline. Rather, it’s about creating a completely unique experience that provides value to their specific use case. 

In this article, we’ll explore what personalization looks like in B2B marketing, how to gather valuable insights to improve your marketing campaigns, and the steps you can take to begin your personalization journey.

Benefits of Personalization

After years of traditional marketing tactics, customers began to ignore cold calls, unsolicited emails, and digital advertisements. Though these methods can reach large numbers, these strategies are largely impersonal and too often leave the recipient feeling annoyed. Considering that the average American is exposed to 4,000-10,000 ads per day, some amount of frustration is understandable!

The goal of personalized marketing is not to be just another “salesy” email or ad. The goal is to anticipate the buyer’s needs. Forrester shares that the key to achieving this is by giving the user contextual interactions to create interconnected experiences. Here’s how:

  • The human-first approach: Remember that even in B2B marketing, there is a human behind every purchase. Take time to gather data (mentioned later in the article) and understand their wants and needs. 

  • Think long-term: Treat every interaction as though it will develop into a continued conversation.

  • Be flexible: Rather than attempting to control your buyer journey, marketers must be flexible to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.

Personalization comes in several forms. One example is email personalization. Email personalization includes elements like differing subject lines and features highlighted for different use cases. Email can also lead the audience to different parts of the company website that speak to their pain points.

For example, let’s say you sell project management software that can be used by several departments in an organization. In this scenario, personalization might look like creating separate personalized landing pages for an engineering department and a sales department. Even though both teams use the software, they likely interact with it in different ways and value different features.

Improve Campaign Performance with Personalization

Gathering data and drawing insights from that data is essential in creating personalized campaigns. Before you can engage your target audience with more personalized marketing, you have to know who they are and what their buying habits are.

First, focus on what matters most to the buyers. What problem does your product or service solve? Remember that the pain points might differ for every account and even for every person within the account, decision committee, or buying center, so the way you position your solution will vary depending on the audience. 

Second, scaling this model to reach as many of your customers as possible is crucial in an increasingly competitive digital space. Scaling can be challenging as market personalization is both an art and a science; companies must deliver consistent messaging across multiple devices and channels while adhering to shifting data privacy regulations. Prioritizing the right data will help you discover the insights that will yield the most success.

Let’s take a look at the types of data you can gather for your personalization campaign. 


Firmographic data (unlike demographic data) focuses on firms or organizations, gathering information such as industry type, size of the organization, location, growth trends, and more. 

Using firmographic data to develop personalization campaigns has several benefits. It helps marketers better understand their target market, increase long-term buying potential, and enhance customer service by uncovering details that segment customers into distinct categories.

These firmographics can then be combined with other key data to hone in on your audience. Think about different buyer personas that may be interested in your product or service. The personas may include project managers, sales enablement, and an analytics department, and they all need different things to help them achieve their goals. These categories are an example of segmentation, and they can help you create personalized messages for each persona.

Here’s a simple example of how firmographic data can come to life on a webpage experience. Even when leveraging the same page layout for universities vs. hospitals, marketers can focus on just a few key pieces to make the page stand out to the intended audience:

Simple changes like these will increase time on site, decrease bounce rates, and increase overall engagement.


Explicit data is information that is intentionally gathered and voluntarily submitted. Surveys, applications, and contact forms are ways of collecting explicit data. The following examples are types of explicit data that you can include on your intake form of choice:

  • Product preferences, likes, and dislikes

  • Areas of interest

  • Challenges they encounter in their role

  • How often they want to hear from your company

  • Current solution they utilize

  • Role in decision-making process

Once collected, it’s important to properly store and label this data in your company’s MAP or CRM so that it can be accessed and utilized by the right stakeholders on your team.

This shared access is especially important since explicit data is time-sensitive and is most effective when leveraged soon after it's submitted. A person’s interest in your product or their role in the decision-making process can change quickly; once you know what challenges they face or which competing product they use, you can assess their place in the buyer journey and use that information to immediately personalize your outreach efforts.


Behavioral data explains a user's interaction with your business. This information can be collected through and leveraged within your entire tech stack to improve efficacy of and engagement with your campaigns. Metrics like website views (including the specific pages they visit), newsletter sign-ups, liking a social media post, engaging with chat bots, and content downloads are all examples of behavioral data.

Common applications for leveraging behavioral data by just tracking web page visits and content viewed allows marketers to have:

  • Follow-up sequences that are automatically triggered by the type of web page or content viewed.  
  • Content ready to be mobilized to be used by sales or marketing
  • Self-contained motions that are aligned to the buyer’s journey based on their interactions with your website, content, etc. 

Artificial intelligence (AI)

Implementing personalization practices well requires synthesizing huge amounts of data, and while the effort is often worth it, it can also be tedious. In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has stepped in to handle many of the automatic, low-value tasks so that marketers can focus on using valuable insights to help personalize their campaigns instead of searching for the most useful information. AI can take all the data captured about a person and company and build the orchestrations, the content, the sequencing to deliver the right message at the right time. 

For example, AI can take information from a user’s experience on your website to trigger email messaging relevant to their interests or make personalized content recommendations en route to conversion. With each new data point, AI can help marketers better understand their customers and their buying patterns through more specific insights, ultimately leading to stronger personalization tactics.

Getting Started with Personalization

Now that you have a better understanding of marketing personalization and its usefulness, you can prepare your marketing department for implementing personalization strategies. A few key items to keep in mind:

  • Prepare: To get personalization right, you must understand your users and their individual needs. Doing this well takes time, so plan for that in your campaign timeline.

  • Keep it simple: The simpler the personalization is, the better.

  • Start small, then expand: Picking something relatively small to start with can help your team get a feel for the personalization process and allow for testing and tweaks to be made. Consider adjusting the home-page banner on your website to be industry-specific, or build a simple content hub. See if you are able to identify the industry of your website visitors.

Here are a few steps you can take to begin your marketing personalization journey:

  1. Set personalization goals. Do you want to increase conversions, improve upsells, or reduce bounce rates?

  2. Segment your audience by categories that matter to your business.

  3. Identify data sources and technology. Where and how will you gather data?

  4. Select messaging methods. How will you reach your audience?

  5. Test your strategy. Create KPIs, consider A/B testing, and benchmark.

As with any new technology or strategy, the more time your department spends on learning best practices for personalization, the easier it will be to integrate these practices into your marketing strategies.

But we have more to say! Stay tuned by signing up for our Masterclass series here.

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