Pimp My Personalization: New Tactics Go Beyond Traditional, Tired ‘Insert First Name’ Strategies

Published: October 31, 2018

Mastering personalized marketing is a lot like owning a car — your once shiny, new tools will need an upgrade and a fresh coat of paint every now and then. As marketing technology evolves and B2B companies are able to glean more information than before on current and prospective customers, it might be time to reevaluate your personalized marketing tactics.

Luckily, companies such as Vidyard and LinkedIn are releasing new tools to help marketers pimp their personalization strategies. While industry thought leaders agree that these tools can help capture buyer attention, they also stress the importance of delivering an end-to-end personalized experience.

“Today’s buyer expects some form of personalization. It is literally how you gain admittance to be able to market to people,” said Elle Woulfe, VP of Marketing at PathFactory in an interview with Demand Gen Report. “We’re now seeing this movement towards more sophisticated personalization. If you’re not doing it, you probably shouldn’t be playing the game.”

Start — Don’t Stop — With First Name Personalization

While industry analysts and practitioners agree that first name personalization is crucial for capturing buyer attention, they warn that it should not be an end-all, be-all solution. Marketers must make sure that they are not only personalizing the message, but also the content offers themselves, to create a relevant buyer journey from beginning to end.

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“When the buyer clicks through that personalized ad, the content they are delivered needs to be really relevant to where they are in the buyer journey,” said Woulfe, “First-name personalization doesn’t do that. It just says, ‘Hey, we know who you are. Click on this thing.’ The first offer may be personalized to that company, but we do a bad job of personalizing the whole journey for the buyer.”

Samantha Stone, Founder and CMO of the Marketing Advisory Network, notes that generating truly personalized experiences is easier said than done in B2B, but new tools from Vidyard, LinkedIn and more are making it easier for marketers to get started and get ahead of their competitors.

“True personalization is really hard to do, and I encourage people to experiment,” said Stone in an interview with Demand Gen Report. “I think Dynamic Ads is actually a perfect example of a way to practice both things. You could put my name and photo in there and if you combine that with the information on my profile to decide what you’re going to offer me, that’s personalization.”

Take First-Name Personalization To The Next Level


In September, LinkedIn unveiled Dynamic Ads, a new tool that enables marketers to customize banner ads on the networking site with public information from the person’s LinkedIn profile. The ads aim to take first name personalization a step further by also using a prospect’s photo, company, job title and more to create targeted display ads.

“Personalization is effective when it feels authentic,” said Jenna Becerra, Associate Product Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, in a statement to Demand Gen Report. “With LinkedIn Dynamic Ads, marketers can personalize the experience for each individual based on their profile data … When your audience sees their photo and info next to your brand, that visual association helps you build a deeper connection with them that inspires them to take action.”

Personalization Beyond Static Content: Add Video To Your Efforts

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In the golden era of martech, it should come as no surprise that personalization capabilities are no longer confined to static content. In fact, Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing at Vidyard, announced upcoming personalization features to the Vidyard platform.

The updates, which are expected to be released in November, are designed to help sales and account representatives personalize video messages in real time. According to Lessard, Vidyard users will soon be able to design and send hyper-personalized video content for targeted prospects directly from their inbox.

“It’s all about maximizing your chances of creating moments of engagement with increasingly discerning digital audiences,” said Lessard in an interview with Demand Gen Report. “This technology enables marketers to automate the personalization of the video content itself for each individual viewer, literally bringing them into the story.”

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