Proof That Personalization Can Open Doors and Close Sales

If you wish all targeted account campaign results looked like this, let me take you through the steps that made these possible.

These results demonstrate:

  • The value of targeting
  • The power of personalization to sell a high-value solution
  • The significant role that sales plays in demand generation marketing programs
  • That sometimes you need to break the rules

Targeting, personalization and sales integration

A large telecoms company wanted to engage with senior technology executives at top-tier companies, but these prospects were in markets where the company had little to no brand recognition. Not the easiest way to start a relevant, personalized dialogue.

Sound familiar?

Then one of the company’s sales engineers had a breakthrough idea: why not use the customized network diagrams he was preparing to help close contracts as an introductory clutterbuster? This would show not only how the company could address their unique network challenges but also how committed they are to providing great, personalized service.

The company tapped B2B agency Babcock & Jenkins (BNJ) to turn this provocative idea into a reality. (Full disclosure: BNJ is my home base.)

Collaborating closely with both the sales and marketing teams, BNJ developed a pilot targeted accounts campaign that included:

  • A multi-touch, high value series of communications, including  a dimensional direct mailer that included the customized network map in an architectural blueprint tube plus a handwritten note from the recipient’s named sales rep directing them to a personalized microsite via a personalized URL (PURL). Other touches included a “teaser” package (complete with brownies and coffee) and a follow-up note card and email “from” the sales rep.

Brownie

  • A personalized microsite featuring a short welcome video from company’s CTO, direct contact information for and a picture of the prospect’s named sales rep, a 40-page recommendation specific to their company, and more.
  • Passive profiling to give sales deep insight into each prospect’s interaction with the site, plus a sales alert that immediately notifies each rep when their target responds to the site.

Given its 10-to-1 ROI projection (including  impressive sales already closed) and other phenomenal results, the campaign is being fine-tuned for further rollouts. One happy sales rep noted, “This is the best marketing program I’ve seen in my 15 years in the business.”

The key elements

And the rule-breaking?

Well…most sales-cycle models (and seasoned marketing folks) typically recommend that early-stage outreach content stay on the soft side: thought-leadership content such as white papers or third-party articles. Specific solution and implementation information normally comes later, once you know more about your prospects and their particular needs.

However, the small size and tight targeting of the audience allowed delivery of specific relevant information upfront, condensing some of the usual getting-to-know you stages of content provision.

Have you broken (or invented) rules of targeted marketing for breakthrough results? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.

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