In an earlier post, I discussed some of the findings of a recent research study by Demand Metric that focused on the state of content personalization in B2B companies. Demand Metric found that the use of personalized content was widespread among its study participants. Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents said they personalize content for industry verticals or other market segments, and 61% said they personalize content for specific buyer personas.
Marketing experts have long argued that personalized messages and content improve marketing effectiveness, and the participants in the Demand Metric study overwhelmingly agree with this view. Eighty percent of the survey respondents who use personalized content said that it is “more effective” or “much more effective” than content that isn’t personalized.
Not everyone, however, believes that personalization is always beneficial. For the past several months, CEB has been arguing that personalization can actually make prospective customers less (not more) likely to buy. The essence of CEB’s argument goes like this:
- B2B products and services are usually purchased by groups of people, not individuals.
- These buying groups must usually reach a consensus before a purchase decision will be made.
- Personalization strategies can make the individuals in the buying group believe more strongly in their own point of view and less willing to compromise, thus making consensus more difficult to achieve.
Image courtesy of HORANCapitalAdv via Flickr CC.