The consumer segment has led in personalizing online experiences, following the lead of retailers such as Amazon. It’s easier to personalize experiences at the retail level, since consumers don’t require committee authorization to make purchases, said personalization expert Nick Bhavsar.
Bhavsar, senior VP of marketing at Bound, a web personalization platform formerly known as Get Smart Content spoke to the recent WP Engine Summit about the importance of engineering personalization and how the enterprise marketers need to catch up to the consumer marketing segment. After his panel, he expanded on his remarks in an interview with Velocitize.
Perfect personalization on B-to-B would act like a sales person, recognizing the user and categorizing them based on five criteria for segmenting the B-to-B audience:
- Firmographic: What’s known about the company—size, business lines, etc.
- Demographic: What’s known about the person and that person’s place in the organization—title, responsibilities, etc.
- Behavioral: All the aspects of the person’s interactions with the website—first time vs. repeat purchases, etc.
- Intent: What is the buyer looking for at the moment.
- Internal: What the company already knows about the buyer from its own databases or marketing automation—which white papers or webinars have drawn the buyer’s attention, other interactions.
Data is all important to this process, said Bhavsar: “If you have the world’s best personalization engine and it doesn’t have any data to personalize, it falls flat.”
But collecting data is “a limited game,” said Bhavsar, so it is best to partner with a variety of data sources can can parse IP addresses to supply the firmographic and demographic information, and can follow the cookies online to trace behavior and intent as well as using the company’s own internal databases and marketing automation.
Data sets will keep growing, particularly in the area of intent, thanks to artificial intelligence, said Bhavsar.
Corporate websites need to learn from consumer portals to become much more engaging and keep doing personalization at scale in order for enterprise marketers to catch up with the consumer segment, Bhavsar said.
Amazon provides different stores to different customers, and while enterprise marketers haven’t reached that state of personalization, they can get a lot closer than they are now, said Bhavsar. Even a bit of personalization can give B-to-B websites a big bump, he said.
Come back to Velocitize for more content from WP Engine Summit.