Building Personalized B2B Experiences

How AI Technology delivers personal levels of engagement.

For B2C marketers, personalized experiences are nothing new. However, B2B companies have found personalized engagement much more difficult to execute. While there are some unique challenges, the technology to engage business decision-makers with personalized messaging is readily available.

Make a few purchases from Amazon and it soon recommends other items. Watch a few movies on Netflix and it does the same. However, request more information from an Enterprise Software Company and the response given is the same as for everyone else.

The issue for B2B marketers has been identifying the individual decision-maker as the same person already tracked from their consumer behavior. For example, is John Smith, Purchasing Agent for IBM, the same as John Smith who watched the entire season of “Black Mirror” last night? If so, then every attribute needed to customize a message is already known. If not, it could be very embarrassing for the marketer.

AI-based Market Research is now able to link the decision-makers from an organization with their personal interests from online and mobile sources. Making it much easier to customize messaging and outreach methods to their individualized personality.

For example, a savvy Software as a Service (SaaS) company may send a gift card for lunch at the person’s favorite restaurant if they agree to a demo. Actually placing the name of the restaurant in the message before the first engagement. Conference promoters can target people who meet the professional criteria along with an affinity for the event’s city. Customizing content toward each person’s individual interest.

However, there are some challenges. For one, GDPR has some confusing terminology when it comes to storing B2B data that can identify one as a person. The same rules for opt-out apply with the caveat of differences for identifiers owned by a corporation such as a business email address or phone number. Most of which are set by individual countries within the EU. Before implementing check with an attorney knowledgable on these matters.

The creepy factor also applies. While it is nice to have a business treat decision-makers as people, going too far can enter into the realm of dystopian science fiction. For example, a large communication company has door-to-door salespeople read off personal information from an iPad while making an introduction. “Hello, I see you have lived here for 3 years and have a 720 credit score. Can I interest you in…”

In conclusion, the ability to match personal profiles with work personas is readily available. While not necessarily simple, it is possible to target decision-makers with custom content most appealing to their personal taste. However, it needs to be weighed against the legal environment and pass the creepy test before being implemented.

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