Imagine every time you walk into your local grocery store, everything on your list is right where you can find it.
Let’s say you’re trying to lose 10 pounds, you’ve recently gone vegan, and you own a cat. Each time you visit the store you’re greeted with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cat food. All the candy, fish, poultry, and dog food would be hidden in the back. Much more seamless and enjoyable, right?
Website personalization works the same way.
What is website personalization?
Website personalization is the practice of delivering a customized digital experience to priority prospects and customers who visit your website. By leveraging first-party and third-party data, you can better understand anonymous website visitors and create unique “red carpet” experiences for your audience.
While website personalization is separate from digital advertising, you create a target audience the same way you might build an ad campaign — by plugging in key attributes.
The difference between website personalization and ads? It doesn’t matter how your target audience arrives at your site. Whether they arrive via SEO, organic social, paid social, or paid search, your site personalization tool will automatically recognize them and instantly transform to cater to their interests.
Hero images can be dynamic based on the visitor’s location, employment vertical, or interests. Content can speak to their industry or purchase intent. You can even change the order in which items appear on a page to make navigation easier, or offer a discount on a product they might be interested in.
This process requires a website personalization tool and a third-party data provider. Because website personalization tools can be an expensive investment, this is typically done by enterprise B2B and B2C companies.
B2B website personalization examples
Think about the last time you opened Netflix. Undoubtedly they served you relevant TV shows and movie recommendations catered to your interests. The same concept generally applies to B2B website personalization.
If a cybersecurity company knows you represent a bank, they wouldn’t serve you a generic landing page. They would customize it to focus on protecting your customers’ transactions and assets, and pair it with visuals of bank tellers handling money.
On the other hand, if they knew you worked at a data company, they could customize your landing page to speak to the catastrophic nature of data breaches and how their solution can help prevent them. Depending on the site visitor’s stage in their buyer’s journey (awareness versus consideration), the cybersecurity company could choose to display a high-level infographic or an in-depth whitepaper.
Who should I create personalized experiences for?
According to Salesforce’s 2020 Trends In Personalization report, 92 percent of marketers say “customers and prospects expect a personalized experience.”
Depending on how you define your ideal customer profile, you can create target audiences using company firmographics (industry, annual revenue, etc.) and technographics (the platforms they have in their tech stack). Even company news, such as funding rounds, can help inform whom you target and how you target them.
“So many big brands pigeonhole themselves into only wanting to sell to enterprises, but what about those mid-market companies that just took on $300 million in funding?” says David Zahner, audiences lead at ZoomInfo. “If you’re not aware that an anonymous site visitor works at one of those companies, you might misrepresent them from a segmentation perspective and consider them mid-market, when for all intents and purposes they’re acting like a major enterprise already.”
Technographic data is especially helpful. If you know that a website visitor is currently using a technology that integrates with or complements your platform, you can speak to that value. If you know they’re using your competitor, you can display copy that speaks to your unique selling proposition. If they’re your own customer, you can upsell or cross-sell them on another product.
You can also target those who are behaviorally in-market for your product or solution — and you can get granular. Intent data can reveal buying signals that indicate a company is interested in purchasing a solution similar to yours, based on content consumption across the web. This is valuable information for deciding which companies to prioritize and what type of content to share with them.
Perhaps the biggest personalization opportunity exists in acquiring new customers. This is typically the most expensive and difficult thing for most businesses. The ability to understand the behavior and installed tech at prospective accounts allows you to deliver compelling experiences that will help them convert.
Benefits of B2B website personalization
According to HubSpot, personalized content improves conversion rates for 58 percent of users. Not only does website personalization result in higher conversion rates, but it also increases the quality of leads and helps improve brand loyalty,
“I recently had a conversation with a Fortune 100 brand that had just finished A/B testing their site visitors,” Zahner says. “They saw a 300 percent increase in conversions in those they provided a personalized experience versus those they did not.”
Look for these KPIs
To measure the effectiveness of a personalized website experience, monitor these KPIs:
- Time on site
- Form completion rates
- Number of qualified leads from priority accounts
By giving the consumer a better experience, you can expect them to spend more time on your site, fill out more forms, and drive better MQLs.
“At a time when marketing is charged with driving more revenue, brands must make their tools and systems work hard for them. If brands expect maximum site performance, they must use rich data to deliver unique experiences for every visitor,” Zahner says. “Brands that resist will watch their rate of acquisition and net retention revenue metrics weaken.”