Automated personalization: It sounds like an oxymoron. The sleek precision of automated systems might seem like the farthest thing from the warm and fuzzy process of making customers feel cozy, but if you have more than a handful of buyers, you need machine-like efficiency to create a personalized user experience. Database services that help you get to know your prospects better, cater to their needs, and deliver the kind of buyer-directed personal service they now demand are the standard of service.
Look to the Big Players
To understand how important understanding your buyers’ needs is, you only have to look at how successful the digital giants have become. When you go to Amazon and search for a product, you get pages of offers arranged the way you want to see them, complete with suggestions of related items and images of what other shoppers bought. If you’re a frequent customer, you can also see past searches so you never miss out on a purchase.
B2B businesses have a smaller menu of products and services, but the idea of using data to personalize and customize a user experience is the same. When you know your audience well, you’re able to anticipate their needs and make each one feel as though you’re there just for them.
Amazon, Google, and other sites that learn about visitors so they can deliver more personalized experiences rely on big data to make their predictions. Your marketing database uses the same principles to deliver custom recommendations based on lead behaviors. Prospects who are shopping for office desks, for example, might also be interested in chairs or filing cabinets, so these products might be featured at the bottom of the page.
Over time, the data you and your database manager collect will give you deeper insight into specific connections your customers tend to make. You might find, for instance, that webinar sign-ups have a far greater likelihood of conversion if they also download a related white paper. You would know, then, to offer access to the white paper directly after the webinar.
The power other people have to influence buying decisions is great. In general, we trust the wisdom of crowds to tell us when a movie’s worth seeing, a restaurant’s worth sampling, or a product’s worth buying. You’ll see this social principle at work on the big sites too; reviews and “other customers bought” sections drive sales through social pressure. A single referral from an expert or notable industry leader carries enough weight to persuade any number of prospects to become regular customers.
The contact information in your database is a rich source of referrals and reviews. Don’t be shy about asking your best customers to tell others why they’re delighted with your service. With a marketing automation system that includes CRM data, you and your database manager can quickly find the right people to approach.
You want your leads to be able to shop with you as effortlessly as possible. In B2B sales, the longer sales cycle and the increased layers of buying authority you may need to navigate makes it even more important to eliminate friction in the decision-making process. Responsive design that automatically configures itself to the device a viewer’s using ensures that your email and landing pages will be accessible on any platform. Nurture programs seamlessly guide prospects through a buying journey without constant hands-on marketing efforts, yet they feel responsive for leads.
Database marketing is cuddlier than you might think. With it, you get to know your buyers better, and in turn, you’re able to deliver a fully personalized experience.
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