Adding Personalization and Experimentation into your ABM Strategy

We all know that ABM is huge in B2B marketing right now, but many otherwise savvy teams are missing out on the value of website experimentation and personalization. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to integrate experimentation and personalization into your overall ABM strategy.

As Optimizely has moved to enterprise marketing, we’ve had to rethink what works and what doesn’t. This in turn has required a test and learn approach to take advantage of new market segments.

Moving to enterprise marketing is hard and often it’s an uphill climb.

As a marketing team, many of you reading this post may have similar charters of growing the business and unlocking new opportunities for revenue.

To do this, there are two approaches to ensure full market coverage. Account-Based Marketing, which focuses on our customers and a subset of our strategic accounts and Demand Generation, which covers all of our target segments and named accounts.

ABM helps us increase our marketing yield and Demand Generation helps us drive scale, but this all requires the necessary data to drive decisions, not simply guesswork or the highest paid person’s opinion.

How does experimentation support Account-Based Marketing?

Experimentation can be a key part of your overall account based marketing efforts. There are many different tactics when it comes to implementing ABM, whether it’s live events, dinners, or direct mail, and these efforts typically direct people to your website, which is where experimentation comes into play.

Since you are investing so much effort into creating tailored experiences, it only makes sense that your web experience provides the same personalized experience. You could do this by creating different landing pages for each of your target accounts, but a more elegant approach is web personalization. With personalization you can dynamically change the content of your site to fit the needs of your visitor.

To get the most value from your personalization, you will want to test your personalized experiences so that you can see how they will perform. By running a split test between your original website experience and your personalized one, you’ll be able to determine which experiences resonate most with your target account.

How do you start generating ideas for experimentation?

Targeted brainstorming is one of the primary ways in which we generate experiment ideas. We starts by identifying the key touchpoints on our website, and brainstorm ideas within the core experimentation team, as well as with relevant stakeholders, to generate ideas on how we can improve the experience of each touchpoint based on the goals we want to achieve.

Another area we look at is our web analytics and web visualization tools. Analytics can help us identify areas of improvement, for example, pages with a high exit rate, and we can segment that data by demographic or device type to help generate hypotheses for how to improve those pages.

Web visualization tools like CrazyEgg and FullStory are also super helpful, in that they allow us to see how users are actually interacting with our site, and that can lead to insights on how we can improve our pages.

Once we have collected all the ideas in our experiment backlog in Program Management, they are prioritized according to level of impact and amount of effort required to deploy the experiment.

How does everyone across a company participate in the experimentation process?

At Optimizely, we believe that it’s important to develop a Culture of Experimentation company wide, which is why we open up the process to everyone in the company. Our hypothesis is that great ideas aren’t limited to a small group of experts, but can come from anyone, which is why all Optimizely employees get access to our Optimizely account and to Program Management, where they can see the experiments in our roadmap, comment on experiment ideas, follow along on active experiments, and submit their own ideas.

We also encourage people to submit ideas by offering t-shirts. Offering prizes or holding competitions can be a good way to generate experiment ideas and help develop a culture of experimentation within your company.

Kick off December by testing a few hypotheses on your marketing team. Below are a few simple tests to get you started. To learn more about B2B experimentation and personalization, check out this recent webinar, presented by Optimizely’s Sr. Director of Demand Gen, Michael O’Connell, and Web Marketing Manager, Takeshi Young. Happy experimenting!

Experiment ideas:

  • CTA Tests – Have multiple variations of copy
  • Form Testing – Reduce number of form fields
  • GDPR Popup – Add opt-in checkbox

Personalization ideas:

  • Personalized promotions and content offers
  • Localization based on region
  • Personalized case studies based on industry