Businesses looking for ways to meet buyers where they are can take three key lessons from Netflix, the king of personalization.
When it comes to personalization and capturing an audience’s attention, Netflix is the industry standard. It has captivated viewers and kept them glued to their devices for years by collecting large amounts of user data and creating personalized journeys to provide relevant content. In our consumer lives, we’ve grown accustomed to and expect this level of customization and responsiveness. But what about the B2B buying and selling environment?
B2B customers today expect a new level of customization and digital savvy. Businesses are looking for ways to meet buyers where they are as the demand for personalized buying experiences grows. They’re looking for answers from the king of personalization.
Continuously collect data and assess the performance
The first lesson taught by Netflix is that more data is always better. Netflix’s model would be impossible to implement without extensive viewer data, which includes everything from basic demographic information to how long viewers scroll down the main page. Why do they require so much data? Because the more knowledge you have, the more questions you will be able to answer.
Netflix does not just sit on its data. They use it to inform every decision possible, from predicting what viewers want to watch next to informing content creation. Netflix’s original content has a success rate of 93 percent, which means that blockbuster hits like Stranger Things and Bridgerton were predicted to succeed before they even aired.
Netflix is also constantly on the lookout for new and improved ways to gauge audience and success. Prior to 2019, Netflix counted 70% completion of an episode or movie as a view, which was its primary metric for engagement. It changed a view to any watch time of two minutes or longer in December of 2019, reasoning that this measurement would account for unique eyes on a piece of content. The metric then changed again in October 2021, shifting from views to minutes watched.
Now, consider the significance of data and measurement in B2B marketing and sales. To be effective, marketing and sales teams should collect as much data as possible, such as web traffic, email marketing statistics, and previous purchasing data. This information will aid in the creation of comprehensive and complete customer profiles, which are critical for understanding and reaching out to prospects.
Finally, establish clear KPIs and track performance using data and key metrics. Don’t become complacent about your data strategy. Enrichment and cleansing strategies should be used to keep data optimized and actionable, and you should always be looking for ways to improve and better measure success.
Personalization is essential.
Personalization is at the heart of Netflix’s brand. Each of its 216 million users has a customized homepage experience based on their preferences. They are so good at personalized recommendations that they account for 80% of their viewer activity.
A critical component of Netflix’s personalization experience is its recognition that different people may enjoy the same content for different reasons. Some people enjoy superhero movies, while others enjoy looking at Chris Hemsworth, and both groups enjoy The Avengers. When you look at show art and trailers for Netflix’s original content, you can see this practice in action.
Netflix created ten different trailers for their first major original content piece, House of Cards, each aimed at a different type of audience. They employ the same strategy with their show artwork, displaying a different image based on your content preferences. A user who likes a specific actor is more likely to see a title card with their image, whereas a user who likes action may instead see a still of an explosion.
Personalization is equally important in business-to-business transactions. Buying personas is similar to viewing profiles in that they each have their own set of pain points and reasons for purchasing. Companies frequently underestimate the effort required and the importance of personalization tactics in meeting customers where they are today – but it is critical.
Personalization should be used to align marketing across personas and stages of the customer journey. Personalization, perhaps more importantly in the COVID-19 environment, ensures that messages cut through all of the other noise consumers are bombarded with. Consumers, including B2B decision-makers, are spending more time than ever before on social media and email, so deep personalization is essential for meeting customers where they are with impactful and engaging experiences.
Tactically, organizations can use unique landing pages or email headers to position core messaging around different perspectives, or they can try concierge selling. Using collected data and buyer personas, provide sales with several pieces of content that are relevant to the customer, and then present these options once sales are introduced into the buying cycle. Organizations can build trust by using a digitally assisted sales approach that personalizes all interactions and builds on previous conversations.
The role of content bingeing in B2B
Netflix has a habit of keeping viewers glued to their screens for hours on end, a practice known as binge-watching. They expanded this practice by capitalizing on the audience’s desire for more of a show immediately after watching it, which was not a concept offered by cable services at the time. They were able to maximize mindshare and keep their viewers coming back for more by doing so.
The next episode in a series automatically cues up after the first, allowing users to continue watching without having to navigate through the menu. When a television show or film concludes, Netflix is there to provide another personalized recommendation. They even create entire categories based on previous viewings, bringing together shows with similar themes, actors, or genres.
In the B2B landscape, content bingeing also serves a specific purpose by meeting buyers’ expectations and recommending what to read next.
B2B marketers can maximize mindshare and build trust with prospects who want to learn and research if they have an abundance of content. There are several ways to apply this concept in a business setting.
Create multiple customer journeys and recommendation paths based on various buyer personas first. By relying on data and keeping personalization at the forefront of your mind, you can capture a prospect’s undivided attention and keep them engaged for longer. When one piece of content concludes, include a suggestion for another related piece.
Then, use CTAs as content-bingeing entry points. A compelling call to action should not be the end of a content piece, but rather the beginning of a content bingeing journey that keeps prospects engaged entices them, and leads them deeper into the sales funnel. Providing personal information is a clear indication of interest. After a prospect has submitted their information, send them another content recommendation. Software or website plug-ins can also aid in the creation of automated content recommendations.
Knowing and deeply understanding customers has always been an important part of running a successful business, but we are now doing it on a massive scale. You can leverage your existing products and services to create a journey that speaks to their unique needs by collecting user data and distilling it down into comprehensive user profiles. Organizations can see stronger, more qualified leads and ultimately drive revenue in a digital-first era by implementing the personalization practices that Netflix excels at.