I don’t know if there’s anything more offensive than a waiter or waitress asking that question.
I’m kidding of course, there’s much worse transgressions one can suffer, but we’ve all had that scenario where you miss out on your favorite drinks. Whether it’s a cocktail, whiskey, or beer, or if it’s a mocktail, soda, or juice — there is always a drink suited for every person and every occasion. And it’s always nice when your drink of choice is available.
Within this metaphor lies the purpose of marketing in B2B SaaS. While we can’t serve every single demographic that exists, it is up to us to know what our customers like so that we can cater to not only their needs, but also the needs of future customers.
Someone who knows a lot about this, and so much more, and is one of my favorite entrepreneurs in the business space is Dave Rogenmoser. A few years ago I sat down with Dave who was then working at Proof. Dave and I discussed, along with Michael Klett of Chargify, how marketing integrates into all facets of B2B SaaS. All that and more in this episode of Protect the Hustle.
Listen now 🎧
“I think marketing… they're thinking about the full life cycle way more now, or at least like RevOps is thinking about the full life cycle.”
Personalization is “the action of designing or producing something to meet someone's individual requirements.”
In SaaS, personalization has become a crucial element in order to stay relevant in a sea of options that customers have today. However, the very nature of SaaS is all about digital processes. So, how can SaaS companies provide a level of personalization that creates a connection with their customers and, in turn, builds trust? Well, it’s different for every company, but at the most basic level it starts with communicating and listening to your customers.
Schedule a time to meet with your marketing, sales, and customer success teams (or RevOps) to examine the customer experience from top to bottom.
What to do next:
Start gathering your customer intel. Obtain key information that will help you better understand your customers to then personalize their experience as much as possible.
As mentioned above, depending on your organization, the way you go about applying any type of personalization will vary. But it all starts with obtaining feedback and maintaining ongoing communication to understand your customers' needs. And when it comes to customer data, knowing which data to use and how to use it is key.
Demographic data is data that is basically about a person:
Firmographic data is all about the company. It’s basically the same thing as demographic data, but for a business:
Demographic and firmographic data are pieces of information that you can gather from surveys on your site or form fields. A lot of people will fill out this information as they onboard in your funnel.
This is data that is all about tracking. So, this data helps answer questions such as:
What is the person doing on-site?
What actions have they taken in the past?
The easiest way to define behavioral data is that it’s “data that is based on a visitor’s actions on your site.”
And, the third type of data that you need for personalization is contextual data. So, this is data around the person’s unique session on a site. So, this includes questions such as:
What device are they on?
Are they on mobile, desktop, tablet, iPhone, Android?
All these different things give contextual data.
From all of this data, we start to map out what would be the buckets that we want to start to target at Proof. Then we ask, what are the most important segments of visitors that come to Proof?
How we segment our audience using buckets
The first thing we use to segment our visitors is industry.
We basically break all of our different visitors into five main industries. And, these are kind of the five industries that we think of as far as Proof users: Agency, SaaS, Coaching/Course, E-commerce, and other (the bucket that includes, real estate, health & wellness, brick & mortar, etc).
Second, we want to target people off of the lifecycle stage in their buying cycle.
Are they a first-time visitor to our site?
Are they a repeat visitor?
Have they registered for a demo yet?
Have they started the trial yet?
And further, have they converted their trial 14 days later into a paid account?
Next, we set our goals with personalization:
Goal #1: Delight our current customers
To get started, we ask how can we delight our current customers in some way. Our number one core value at Proof is to be customer-obsessed.
Goal #2: Decrease friction for new customers & increase sign-ups
We had a whole funnel, and we wanted to decrease friction there while increasing new signups.
Begin to develop your own personalization strategy. Once you’ve gathered enough customer feedback and data, begin the segmentation process. Establish the goals you wish to achieve through personalization. And always be monitoring the output to ensure your strategies are aligned and producing the desired results or reaching your set goals.
Who should own this?
It will depend on your organization, but successful personalization will likely require your marketing, sales, and customer success teams (RevOps) to work together.
Who's up next week?
Next week, we get into all things product-led growth with Wes Bush.
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This is a Paddle production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS and subscription space.
By Patrick Campbell
Founder & CEO of ProfitWell, the software for helping subscription companies with their monetization and retention strategies, as well as providing free turnkey subscription financial metrics for over 20,000 companies. Prior to ProfitWell Patrick led Strategic Initiatives for Boston-based Gemvara and was an Economist at Google and the US Intelligence community.