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Getting more from your ABM strategy with website personalization

Man interacts with virtual account-based marketing screen

One of the great challenges for website owners is understanding who comes to their website. Knowing something about the person allows you to deliver the right content to the right person at just the right moment to earn a conversion.

Traditionally, companies have determined visitor identity using a combination of first-party and third-party data. However, even with abundant data sources marketers — especially B2B marketers — are still unable to identify many users. In response, many B2B marketers have turned to an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy and put in place supporting technology to help increase their ability to address visitors. But even ABM leaves many visitors unidentifiable. Here’s the good news: You already have data that can make your ABM strategy more effective.

We’re hosting a webinar on February 4th on how you can make your ABM strategy more effective by combining it with website personalization — we’ll be sure to share the details as soon as we have them. But, keep reading if you want to know what you can do to improve your ABM strategy today.

The Data Challenge

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, you probably understand the challenge of being able to identify your website visitors. When you know more about your visitor you can create more engaging experiences. More engagement generally yields better business outcomes.

Arguably, B2C companies have it the easiest when it comes to identifying visitors. There are lots of incentives for visitors to share their information with B2B companies. Also, there is a very mature data ecosystem in the B2C world. For decades, aggregators have made it their business to buy and sell information about individuals. Any gaps in first-party knowledge can be filled in with third-party data. It’s not uncommon for more than 50% of B2C website visitors to be addressable in some manner by marketers.

For B2B companies it’s a bit trickier. Visitors have been well trained by aggressive sales reps and endless email nurture campaigns to limit the information they share. Our experience has been that B2B websites are only able to reliably identify 5% or less of their visitors. So what can marketers do about the other 95%?

Account Based Marketing (ABM) Helps Close The Gap

Clever technology companies have figured out that it is sometimes possible to identify a visitor’s company affiliation. They do this by using the IP address of the visitor to attempt to determine the visitor’s company. But this isn’t the end of the data journey.

The most sophisticated of these technologies then combine that IP data with third-party data to provide a more informed view of the visitor. This includes all manner of firmographics and other predictions about what the IP address might reveal.

But ABM Alone Isn’t Enough

Technology only represents half of a successful ABM strategy. Coupled with visitor identity a business needs to know how to address that population. That’s where a robust content marketing strategy that determines the right messages you need to deliver to which company, industry, and individual puts your ABM platform’s data to work.

And even then, ABM technologies have additional challenges. For instance, if you’re selling to small accounts you may not be able to identify the company because they may use shared IP addresses with other entities.

Large accounts have other problems. Even though you can often identify the company, you’re still taking a guess about the interests, motivations, and role of the visitor. In practice, you must deliver different messages to a product manager than you would to the purchasing manager.

And even with large accounts, with many folks now working from home, the IP address of a large company visitor may have the same challenges as the IP address for small companies. One customer told us that their ABM technology now identifies less than 5% of website visitors down from 20% a year ago.

So what does this mean for companies that are running an ABM strategy? Well, it means you have to go deeper.

Getting More from your ABM Strategy

While it would be great if you could identify more of your visitors, the reality is that many will be unidentifiable and unaddressable. What you really need is an integrated ADM and website personalization strategy that embraces this reality.

Using analytics and AI — a bit of natural language processing and machine learning — three data sets are available to you that can help you predict what a visitor is trying to achieve. And all without having to know anything about the individual. Even better, you also don’t need to create new content. The patterns found in these data sets allow you to get more value from the content you already have. Those three data sets are: Intent, Content and Context.

  • Intent – Visitors type all sort of things in the search box on your website. If you look at the behavioral data after a search is completed, you’ll be able to discern success patterns associated with keywords and keyword phrases.
  • Content – Understanding the meaning of the content itself allows you to programmatically associate content with a visitor at the right moment. But often meta data about content is either inconsistent or incomplete (or both). Using Natural Language Processing to understand things like topic and industry give you a common content language. Machine learning allows you to apply that language at scale to all content.
  • Journey Context – If you aggregate all the visitor journey data on your website you machine learning algorithms are very good at associating visitor behavior with goal achievement. Those models can then monitor visitor behavior and look for signals that visitors are ready to receive content that leads them to conversion.

These are the capabilities that we’ve built into our SoloSegment GuideBox™ software. No matter how much you know about a visitor, SoloSegment GuideBox™ allows you to make intelligent content recommendations that progress journeys in the right direction… towards conversions

Learn more at our Free ABM Webinar

On Thursday, February 4th at 2 pm ET, SoloSegment will host a webinar with The Conference Board titled Getting more from your ABM strategy: Increase lead quality by improving ABM and website personalization. Mark your calendars, subscribe to the blog, and we’ll share more information as soon as it’s available.

You may also want to check out our new ebook that reveals the 6 truths about personalization that every B2B must know here.

Author

  • Steve Zakur

    Stephen Zakur is CEO of SoloSegment. SoloSegment uses machine learning and natural language processing to improve engagement and conversion for large enterprise, B2B companies. Prior to joining SoloSegment, Steve held a variety of executive positions at IBM focused on marketing, technology, and sales. Steve holds an MBA from the Stern School at New York University.