Solving the Content Personalization Problem

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Explicit Personalization is a Math Problem!

69% of product marketers cited “understanding buyer needs” as their most important Go-to-Market strategy. Yet recent shifts in buyer dynamics have made the product marketers job more complex and challenging than ever before. Increasingly, much of today’s buyer journey is invisible to marketers. The opening of so many marketing communication channels for sellers has created an equal and opposite effect: B2B prospects are researching, self-educating, and shortlisting vendors prior to any formal engagement. As a result, the pressure on marketers to create impactful, emotional, relevant, and personalized content that can stand on its own in no-touch / low-touch situations is enormous.

Buying Committee Growth

The average size of buying committees is now 5.4 people. That’s 40% larger than just 2 years ago per CEB Gartner. It’s not unusual for larger enterprises to have buyer committees with 10 or more people. Many of these committee participants are silent players…they’re involved in preliminary research and vendor vetting yet may not be visible during buyer/vendor interactions. These are often the people who are short-listing vendors…and the shortlisting is occurring before any personal interaction with vendors. On average, prospects perform an average of 12 searches prior to engaging on a specific vendor website, and B2B prospects review 10.4 vendors before they engage with any. The task for marketers is clear…differentiated, personalized, and educational content across the spectrum of committee members is imperative.

There’s a recent argument that the size of buyer committees is not a big issue, because most committees have a dominant player, and other committee members ultimately ‘domino’ behind her/him. Figure out who the lead player is, determine their needs and you’ll be fine since everyone else will fall in line. Not only do I disagree with this theory, its logic makes a critical assumption. It assumes we’ve been invited to the table! The issue that keeps me and clients awake is knowing we’re getting eliminated as potential suppliers before we have any meaningful engagement!

Combinations, combinations, combinations…

Now, let’s layer in some of the other factors we know drive effective personalized content:

Size of prospect company: We know factually, for example, the value triggers for a CIO of a $100M company are very different than for a CIO of a $1B company.
Demographics: 82% of buying committees have Millennial participation. The Millennial buyer journey is very different than Gen X or Boomers.
Geography: Prospect needs can vary greatly by geography: both across the US and internationally.
Functional role: One of the most surprising discoveries is the dramatic variation in value relevance across job functions. Often, it’s the most insightful data for personalization.
Vertical markets segments: The key here is the differences in value resonance that exists in vertical sub-segments.

So, with all of this to digest, personalization is a combinations math problem. Intersect a few of these factors with the expansion of buying committees and the personalization combinations become unmanageable.

No wonder 65% of B2B marketers report being challenged with understanding what types of content are effective and which aren’t. Unfortunately, combinations math tells us we have high likelihood of serving up irrelevant content at the wrong time to the wrong person. And with so much prospect interaction happening without direct engagement, we’re likely being eliminated as a candidate vendor and never even know it.

Invest in Answers

Fortunately, specialized marketing analytics, like those from BeMarketDo, have emerged that deliver personalized insights to value and relevance. Effective product marketing-oriented analytics will:

Uncover deep individual relevance insights that will make typical persona development look very inadequate.

Deliver visibility to micro-segmented audiences and relevance factors for each, enabling more highly targeted personalized messaging.

Shift personalized content marketing to a fact-based exercise, rather than test/measure/test/measure… Time-to-personalized engagement is immediate.

Discover personal resonance factors– which research tells us is 2X more important to B2B buyers than functional resonance. Your customer’s emotional connection is greater than you think!

Understand what content will be most educational to individual members of buying committees and what placement channel (website, social media, white papers, etc.) will be most effective.

Challenging the Norm in Product Marketing!

Companies are still far behind in effectively addressing the content personalization challenge. Hiring product marketing talent is still the go-to solution for most companies. LinkedIn tell us there are currently 7,253 openings in the US for mid-to-senior level product marketers. Their average base pay is $120,883. So even if you’re fortunate to win the competition to hire one of these prized, costly individuals, the personalization math combination challenge they’re confronted with doesn’t change. There are simply too many variables to contend with, meaning our messaging must aggregate at a more generic level. That puts individuals on buying committees in the position of assessing and estimating your product’s value. Not a winning strategy.

BeMarketDo’s product marketing-oriented analytics can make your product marketers heroes! Personal relevance factors will be uncovered, highlighted and organized so they are immediately actionable by clients. Relevant insights will allow your product marketers to focus on crafting individually impactful messaging, using statistically valid data as their guide. They’ll know who to reach, how to reach them, and what to say when they reach them. Better targeted, more personalized, higher emotional appeal, and optimized product marketing is the promise of BeMarketDo!

Posted in: Blog Copyright © 2018