Every successful business is about building relationships. Before the digitization of the buyer journey, B2B sales folks spent their days building personal rapport over coffee, dinners, and golf. Even if our world hadn’t been turned upside down by a pandemic, those days were waning. Relationship-building has largely moved online. Despite this, it still requires some of the essential characteristics of those one-to-one encounters. Namely, conversation and a personal touch. Personalization and conversational marketing tools can help you achieve that, but when do you apply them?

Building relationships online with personalization

The relationship your business has with a buyer is a direct result of the total body of interactions the buyer has with your brand. The more the buyer reveals about themselves, the more you should tailor their experience to them. Draw on learnings from previous digital touchpoints to personalize the next one. This is similar to a sales rep picking up a previous conversation with a buyer.

As a general rule of thumb, the further along the journey someone is, the more personalized their experience should be. This is true whether you’re nurturing a job candidate as a recruiter, trying to acquire new customers, or trying to expand existing ones.

This rule doesn’t mean that you can’t and shouldn’t use personalization earlier on in the relationship. You just have to do it in a particular way.

Personalizing early touchpoints

Active personalization is best for when you’re delivering experiences to people who you don’t know very much about. For example, this may include anonymous users on your website. Users are prompted to make active choices that clearly impact their experience. They’re in control and very aware of the personalization at play. However, they need to be motivated enough to use it.

Chatbots are a great medium for this. While someone is reading a blog post, for instance, your chatbot can pop up. They can ask a question, suggest another post, or ask for the reader’s opinion. As a result, a one-way interaction turns into a two-way conversation.

You can also request specific information from a reader that automatically generates a personalized experience. There just has to be a strong enough incentive for readers to do so. Here’s an example of this in action.

Personalizing content further down the funnel

Once you’ve collected useful information about a contact and their context, you can apply passive and unstated personalization. With passive personalization, recipients are presented with a personalized experience. However, they do not actively control it. It may directly reference them, feature information about past interactions they’ve had, or be something clearly made just for them.

We’ve all encountered this type of personalization in automated emails. With tools like Turtl, you can do this for digital assets and collateral like whitepapers, brochures, product guides, and other mid-funnel content.

You can deepen your personalization further once you’ve collected data that reveals a reader or buyer’s interests, preferences, and pain points. This is where unstated or covert personalization comes into play. It can help you maximize the relevance of every section included in an asset you share with a buyer. The recipient can be entirely oblivious to the fact that they’re receiving a personalized experience. However, they should feel that they’re getting a very relevant and convenient one, which keeps them tuned in.

With this approach, you take your sales brochures, proposals, product guides, welcome handbooks, onboarding packs, and more to a new level. Not only do they address the reader directly, they include only the most relevant and important information for that particular person or account.

With the right tools, the entire assembly and personalization processes can be automated. But that’s a story for another day.

Discover more about how to leverage personalization at scale:

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