I’d like to start off by sharing a statement that a customer threw at me during a meeting a few years ago. “Personalization sounds really good for B2C, but I really don’t see any benefit for B2B.” I was taken aback by this statement.
I agreed that personalization in B2C was a great way to increase sales, we all know about Amazon and how they use data mining to help personalize the shopping experience. Here is an article from 2013 on TechCrunch that talks about Amazon and personalization. A quote from Peter Faricy shows they started this in the last decade. “We developed some super-innovative technology three or four years ago that makes proactive, data-driven recommendations to each and every seller on the platform.”
So why was it in 2016 I was still having to explain the benefits of personalization? Also, why do I feel that there are still too many companies not willing/able to implement it?
Too many companies are focused on new customer acquisition and not cross-selling to existing clients. It is obvious that new clients are necessary for the company, but it can cost as much as 5 to 7 times more than keeping an existing customer. I’ve tried to find data on the allocation of marketing funds focused on existing clients across the web with no luck, so I would like to ask you how much of your marketing dollars are spent on existing clients. My guess would be under 10%.
So where do you start? Let’s start with your website… Simple content personalization can be done by swapping out complimentary products based on customers purchasing history (data integration and a personalization tool will help). Your product team knows which products work well together. When creating content on the site, make sure the meta data includes the details of the complimentary products. Have your product or marketing team create content that ties products together in a single story, showcasing the business benefits.
Click here for a video showcasing how a solution like Sitecore can easily personalize and swap content.
Once you have the simple personalization done, it’s time to dive further into your “BIG DATA” treasure trove. There are two initial areas that I would focus on first. Common “if-then” purchases and categories that a customer has greater potential for spending. Let’s look at both:
- Take all your customer purchasing history across the channels you sell through (in-store, online, over the phone, etc.).
- Analyze the data to understand same purchase acquisition and post-sale acquisition for each company account (tools like Qlik, Tableau or Microsoft BI can be used to analyze your data).
- Start broad with account based purchasing; You can look at same contact purchasing as a follow up focus, adding title and roles into the data.
Determining the similarities of products will allow your product team to establish metadata to support cross-selling through all your channels. Implementing the meta-data into your CRM, E-Commerce, and POS systems can increase sales.
Using customer spend data to determine percentage of spend for each determined category is invaluable to a sales representative, and can also be used on the web.
Here is an example of what the report would look like for a technology B2B company:
It is easy to see that Server Software, Security, and Storage are areas that could be focused on. This data could be incorporated into your web personalization strategy to educate a customer on services that they aren’t currently purchasing from your company. Showing content around any one of the categories lacking sales can educate the customer and drive further automation, leading to sales.
Finally, you can use a third-party information to enhance your personalized engagement. We have partnered with Bombora to integrate its Company Surge ™ data within Sitecore to better understand what prospects and clients should be a focus for your marketing and sales team. The data allows you to see what B2B businesses are in an active research mode for your company’s products or services.
Coria is always interested in discussing your company’s goals and sharing how we have helped other companies, if you’re interested in meeting, contact us here.