14 Dec Dear John…
Is Personal Communications Enough to Give a Personal Feeling?
Just now, as I sit to write this post, my telephone rings. On the line is a personalized voice message: “Hello, this is a special personal message for you. We have a unique offer…”
For a long time now, the dominant trend in the world of campaigns – online and offline – is personalization. After digital technology and innovation turned your relationship with your clients in particular and everyone else in general into something virtual, cold and detached, and since the number of messages you are exposed to is constantly on the rise, you understand that to really reach people you have to give them a more personal and caring sensation.
Nowadays, everybody is involved in personal campaigns. In B2C, this is relatively simple. Almost always it is enough to use the name of your clients or their birthday to give them a feeling that you know them. Coca Cola did this by adding personal names to their bottles. Advertisers send mails with the name of the addressee (hoping their mailing lists are up to date), and telemarketing personnel make sure to start the conversation with the person’s first name and a friendly tone. True, it has become somewhat boring and ‘worn’, and it would not hurt to try and get to know the end user a bit better; still, it can work.
In B2B, however, the issue is more complex.
In B2B, your target population comprises not only private individuals with a name and birth date, but also a role in an organization. And it is that role that you are targeting. Moreover, the relationship you want to establish with that role is long term and more significant than the relationship you want to foster with an individual user.
Therefore, if you want to embark on a personal B2B campaign, you have to make a more in-depth research about the customers and get to know more ‘layers’ of their life. You should know what they like, where they spend their time, how many children they have, and more (with Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks this is a no brainer). At the same time, you have to be aware of the characteristics of their position in their company, the challenges they face and their daily behavior.
With this information, you can create truly personal campaigns, pique their curiosity and drive them to action. eCommerce platforms, for example, use advanced technological tools that enable companies to follow the users’ journey online, understand where they spend time, what they don’t like, where they buy – all to create personalized offers for each and every one of them.
With a business customer we can do similar things but offline. We can send them something related to the challenges they face, solve a daily problem they may have, relate to their family, refer to a change in status on Facebook or to an update they posted on LinkedIn. You can also take advantage of opportunities like a trip overseas or a statement they made at a conference. The key is to be prepared, to listen to your potential customers and know when and where you should grab their attention.
Last but not least – the more your campaign focuses on a small, properly defined group, the more you can increase your personalization efforts addressed to each group member.