Growth Intelligence, a UK-based AI technology company, has been busy perfecting a platform designed to offer B2B enterprises a real shot at connecting with customers in a genuinely personalised way. For a long time, this kind of access to customers was solely the preserve of B2C marketing (no doubt thanks to the explosion of social media and data-driven consumer marketing).
As the B2B world begins to move away from traditional ‘catch-all’ marketing communications – and yearns for a more nuanced, personalised and imaginative experience – ‘tried and tested’ personalisation techniques are no longer fit for purpose. The need for personalised B2B marketing has become more crucial than ever before. This is especially true as B2B buyers now begin to align their customer experience expectations with consumer services/products they encounter outside of their corporate lives. In other words, personalised experiences at home, pioneered by the likes of Netflix, Amazon etc. are beginning to creep into what B2B buyers expect from their suppliers.
“Business buyers don’t go to work and forget what they do as humans. There’s a new normal that blurs the line between B2B and B2C. They just want things personalized.”
Brian Sollis – source
American Express is one of a growing number of companies who recognise the need to rethink the nature of how they approach their B2B customers. It’s no longer efficient to simply engage B2B audiences on the basis of a small and very limited set of parameters e.g. SIC codes, revenue, employee count etc. Expectations in the B2B arena have evolved beyond such one-dimensional marketing tools, and as this report from Accenture suggests, B2B customers now expect to be treated individually and with the same level of personalisation they’ve become accustomed to in their B2C lives.
As such, many modern B2B marketing organisations now rely on Account-Based Marketing (ABM) programmes to fill the gaps within personalising individual customer journeys. Granted ABM takes marketers closer to ‘B2C-like personalisation’ than SIC codes could ever dream of. However, the human effort and expense required to power it at a large scale would be enormous and unsustainable. Running an ABM campaign across millions of businesses is simply not humanly possible.
Achieving genuine personalisation at scale is where Growth Intelligence’s machine learning platform really helps American Express leverage data effectively and push the boundaries of what’s possible.
Whilst effective personalisation in B2B is clearly necessary, does it actually make a difference in marketing effectiveness?
In the past five years since American Express embarked on the personalisation journey with Growth Intelligence, it has achieved:
- 3x increase in marketing conversion rates and;
- 6x reduction in the cost of acquiring new customers.
The results clearly show that personalisation within a B2B context does in fact drive significantly better marketing outcomes.