Scooters and Jargon

There are a few things that are in an overabundance at SXSW this year. While the E-Scooter is at the top of that list, as hundreds of Uber “JUMP,” Brid’s and Lime’s lay uncharged and discarded throughout all of Downtown Austin, one term has been used consistently throughout all of the events and panels – Personalization. While this is nothing new when it comes to digital marketing and advertising, with customer-centric personalized experience being of the utmost importance when connecting a brand with the end consumer, what is interesting, is how different companies and businesses are talking about personalization.

I had the opportunity to listen to SAP discuss the need to personalize their messaging and offerings, which struck me as interesting given they are a B2B software services provider. Most of the time, when you hear people discuss personalization, it is usually within the context of B2C. Whether that is my Instagram account recommending a new pair of Nike’s that I love and didn’t know existed, or Netflix winning me back constantly with emails suggesting new documentaries it knows I will be interested in.  We definitely need to pay attention to the emergence of companies like SAP and other large scale B2B providers taking to this narrative. When you think about it, it makes sense. While these industries have their own challenges in terms of long sale cycles, a saturated marketplace, etc., being able to differentiate yourself not by the product you sell, but by humanizing and personalizing your messaging is powerful. These companies have an opportunity to show how a business that leverages their products and services can connect with their end consumer and drive business results.  

At the end of the day, in the B2B world, there is the understood notion that purchasing is made more on the logical and practical basis, opposed to the compulsive and feeling basis that drive consumer purchasing patterns. It will most likely remain this way given all of the nuance involved in making large enterprise scale B2B purchases, however, I predict the B2B companies that start recognizing and leveraging the best practices in personalization will start to separate themselves from their category. When B2B businesses start to communicate their personalized value proposition to their clients that is less focused on “what” they provide and more focused on “how,” their products can connect their clients with the consumers. There is unlimited opportunity for B2B businesses to humanize their story in a manner that better resonates with their end-buyers.