Work Hard With Your Marketing Budget — But Don’t Forget to Work Smart, Too!
By Joe McNeill, Chief Revenue Officer at Influ2
Let’s face it: 2022 has been a tough year for marketing. Layoffs abound, particularly in product and sales, leaving marketing dollars in limbo. In response, several marketing departments have frozen spending or scaled back operations. But with executives increasingly seeking demonstrable ROI, now is the wrong time to halt key objectives. Instead, marketing and sales departments must pivot to initiatives that put their shrinking budget to better use.
A promising solution lies in the industry’s favorite buzzword, personalization. Nearly 90% of digital businesses are currently investing in personalization, and customers are coming to expect a heightened degree of relevant content. Marketers should take the hype behind personalization seriously. When coupled with modern technologies like behavioral scoring and Person-Based Advertising (PBA), personalization can stretch a department’s marketing dollars.
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Introducing PBA, the future of marketing personalization
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has served as the status quo of personalized marketing for years. For reference, certain forecasts place the global ABM market at $1.6 billion by 2027. But ABM — though incredibly valuable — has been further refined since its advent in the early 2000s. Enter Person-Based Advertising (PBA). Instead of focusing on high-value accounts to reduce lead lifecycle costs, PBA improves on the ABM model by targeting individuals from accounts to generate personalized content. This translates to a higher ratio of lead conversions.
PBA strategies are predicated on behavioral scoring models. These rank an individual’s interest in a solution based on prior interactions with relevant content. Suppose an operations manager at a Fortune 500 company clicks on a social media ad. This action demonstrates a base level of interest in the advertised product or solution. If they navigate to the product or solution’s website and stay for two minutes, they’ve displayed even greater interest.
Marketers can use intent-demonstrating actions like these to understand a prospective customer’s relationship with a product or solution. For example, based on behavioral scoring models, marketers can identify this potential client as more interested than someone who, say, scrolled past the initial social media ad or navigated the website for only thirty seconds.
Ascertaining a prospective customer’s relationship with a product is crucial. Once a marketer determines that an account member is intrigued by a product’s advertising, they can place greater marketing spend behind reaching this individual because they know their lead conversion probability is higher than the average prospect. Furthermore, PBA strategies help marketers personalize their ad content to the tastes of a target individual.
When implemented correctly, PBA strategies are incredibly effective. McKinsey research found that personalization can increase marketing ROI by five to eight times and lift sales by 10% or more. And, PBA can increase revenue by 208%, according to industry research. But how can marketing departments ensure their PBA strategy is effective while respecting an already hard-pressed budget?
Exploring the upfront costs of B2B personalization
PBA helps marketing departments accomplish more with fewer resources because it taps into buying realities — primarily, that people make decisions, not companies. But sales and marketing team members exploring the possibility of a PBA strategy should understand the associated expenditures.
First, sales and marketing teams should expect to adopt an AI- or ML-empowered solution that provides intuitive behavioral scoring insights, ideal customer profile (ICP) information and engagement statistics. SaaS (Software as a Solution) tools may prove particularly helpful for companies that operate primarily in the cloud, as these solutions shift the responsibility of daily task management to a trusted provider instead of an internal marketer or sales team member. As a result, marketing and sales teams have more time to analyze and apply insights.
Just as important, organizations seeking improved marketing personalization or PBA strategies will need to prioritize sales and marketing cohesion, or “smarketing.” Smarketing ensures that PBA insights are laser-focused on the customer journey at all junctions of the sales funnel. This improves the overall customer experience (CX).
Although it’s hard to place a price tag on smarketing, adopters should anticipate devoting ample time to enhancing sales-marketing synergy. And as marketing and sales professionals know, time is money. Fortunately, improved marketing unity has many benefits, including fewer data silos. Synergized sales and marketing teams are also less likely to waste time exploring the same leads, which translates to enhanced productivity and more efficient operations.
Sales and marketing professionals searching for interdepartmental cohesion should consider devoting time to sales-marketing meetings each week, or at least every other week. More face-time — virtual or otherwise — is a great first step to smarketing harmony and, therefore, a decisive step toward deeper personalization.
Making PBA work for a modern marketing budget
Dividends paid from PBA’s upfront costs are immense and include higher customer conversion rates, greater ROI and enhanced CX. As budgets tighten and marketing/sales departments enjoy fewer resources to allocate to individual leads, improved outreach and conversion accuracy are crucial. It’s clear that smarketing teams must work smarter — not harder — with their existing resources. For many marketers, the first step in this process will be to unlock existing customer insights through PBA, a strategy that stretches every marketing dollar to its limit.
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