By Praveen Balla
Vice President, Production, True Influence
The degree of personalization AI brings to B2B lead generation is almost limitless, and can be executed via segmentation, targeting or on-the-fly customization. With AI’s ability to personalize content so precisely also comes the risk of over-personalizing customers’ content experience.
This may seem counterintuitive. Afterall, I’ve previously said one of the main benefits of AI is that it can take the guesswork out of B2B content personalization. But there’s a big difference in guessing and trying new things in lead generation.
B2B Lead Generation Needs Personalization Guardrails
AI is based on past user behavior, but every user hasn’t been exposed to all the variables you’re considering. So you still have to try new approaches and present new options – just within the educated data ecosystem AI creates for you. These guardrails keep you from over-personalizing in B2B lead generation.
Three primary risks of over-personalization:
1 – Limited experimentation
The winning combinations of factors may be the one you haven’t tried yet. More importantly, the combination that wins in the long run may not win immediately.
Consider FaceBook, Twitter and other heavily trafficked social media platforms. Every time they make an iterative change to their UX, users complain. But given a little time, they adapt to the change and remain engaged. If you simply squash a personalization option because of initial response, you may be missing out on an evolutionary step toward a hugely successful combination.
2 – Asset fatigue
In lead generation, the corollary to limited experimentation is just sticking with winning creative for too long until it starts losing. Even that whitepaper that converts at a 70 percent clip will wear thin if it’s all you offer. TikTok famously tests its hashtags to see how long it should promote certain types of videos, and they find the time window to be about two weeks. I’ll note that it also promotes numerous hashtags simultaneously to ensure users see a variety of content.
3 – No upsell
This may be the biggest risk to B2B lead generation, because (rightfully so) you’re always going to trust your first-person data. And the most compelling thing you can know about someone is that they bought something from you. But you still need to offer customers a chance to purchase something other than a white car, even if they bought a white car from you last year.
Highly personalized creative in support of a single product or channel definitely improves ROI on that effort. But it also limits your opportunities for cross-sell or upsell of new products and services that the user might be interested in.
Never forget that AI finds patterns based on real data. But if you haven’t augmented your data completely to encompass every possible outcome – and that’s almost certainly not the case. You still need to experiment in lead generation within the confines of context and your business goals.
AI never stops learning
With AI, you no longer need to assume anything about your prospects. You can more closely tailor lead generation to their individual preferences and likely responses. Learn from educated experiments you do run to keep things fresh. And you should never stop learning either. Join us on April 14 for the summit on “Accelerating Revenue with Artificial Intelligence.”