kevin tate talking about personalised marketing at scale on the market mentors podcast
Nov 1, 2022

How to Achieve Effective Personalised Marketing at Scale with a Small Budget and Limited Resources

By Matt Dodgson

Co-Founder - Recruiter & Marketer

Introduction

In the B2B tech space, personalisation is becoming increasingly important as your customers’ preferences for marketing continue to evolve. However, launching a highly personalised strategy such as account-based marketing, can often be very expensive and resource heavy. 

In this week’s episode, Kevin Tate explains how you can achieve effective personalised marketing at scale with a small budget and limited resources.

About Our Guest

Who they are: Kevin Tate, Chief Marketing Officer at Clearbit.

A bit of background: Kevin has around two and a half decades of sales, marketing and product leadership experience. He has achieved great success both as someone who has worked in marketing as well as someone who has built digital tools to make marketers’ jobs easier.

Where you can find him: 

Prefer Video? Watch a full video of the podcast here…

Episode Takeaways

Here you’ll find some of the best advice from the podcast that you can easily digest and learn from.

1. What’s the first step to take when approaching personalised marketing at scale on a tight budget?

As with most things in marketing, if you want to be successful with a strategy based on personalisation, the first step you need to take is gaining a deep understanding of your customer. 

Kevin was able to break that down into two key areas for us. 

1 – Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Kevin said, “To understand your ideal customer profile, ask who the are companies, and how can you tell when a company is one that you’re most likely to create value for and capture value from? It’s a two-way street, and there’s got to be a fit.”

“So, knowing the ICP is going to fit on the company side, and making sure you have whatever your data foundation is or your intelligent solution is. Really getting a full picture of your market, then being able to understand what companies in there that you want to apply this motion to. However I fashion the motion, where is it I’m trying to get with it?”

2 – Buyer Profiles 

“The other part is the buyer profiles,” said Kevin. “This motion, and how you apply it, it’s going to be different if you’re selling to directors of IT, versus heads of marketing, versus professional services teams.”

“So, who are those buyers? I really like the ‘jobs to be done’ idea when you’re figuring out how you approach those buyers. Ask questions like what are they trying to accomplish? How do you understand if, and how, your solution can help them accomplish those things?”

“Overall, then, think about ICP and ‘jobs to be done’ as two central pillars from which to start when you’re trying to put a motion like this together. The more about those you know, the more you’re going to be able to focus and refine your approach.”

Of course, effective personalisation requires a high level of specificity and up-to-date information. While you may already think you know what your ICP looks like, you should regularly review and update that based on a large number of ever-changing variables. 

Doing that could be as simple as going into your CRM and looking at historical data, but it’s necessary to go back to ensure the ICP is correct for these changing times. 

Kevin added, “There are a couple of areas in particular I’d encourage you to look at your ICP and your buyer jobs to be done. On the ICP side, you may have had your target market in the before times, and now we’ve got a little bit of a different market.” 

“Expect the customer acquisition costs within different parts of that ICP to change. Expect you’re going to see some differences in what it costs to start and contract with a company based on different market segments and how they’ve been affected. Then, more nuanced is the effect tighter budgets and a different economic climate can have on the jobs to be done piece of your buyer profiles.”

“A lot of us in the B2B tech sector are selling a solution that’s overcoming some terrible sounding manual process. Without our solution, someone would have to spend hours a week manually creating this report or going through this workflow. That might sound ridiculous when things are going well and everybody’s growing as fast as they can, but if budgets get tight then maybe someone needs to spend a few hours doing it. It really changes what the alternatives are from a jobs to be done perspective. Manual alternatives become real competitors to your solution in a way that maybe they weren’t before.”

2. How can marketers ensure they’re engaging with the right people within the companies they’re targeting?

When it comes to the buyers within your ideal customer organisations, it’s important to ensure you’re targeting the right person to give yourself the highest chance of success. Often, though, this will be different within each customer you encounter.

Kevin said, “Finding the right person to target really depends on the business. There are companies with strong enterprise sales motion, selling big ticket items, six or seven-figure deals. They’ve got buying committees, they need org charts. They need to understand the dynamics of multiple departments and locations.” 

“There are some great emerging tools for really understanding that, maybe less so as a part of the marketing piece and more where marketing goes into the buying cycle. As the deal moves into the pipeline, you’ve got the context you need to then sell to that buying committee.”

“Our focus has been more on key buyers and roles, and how to tie those people to their expressed intent. So, for example, there’s something that we enable for companies called intent-based outreach. Based on signals like people visiting your website or looking at certain content, we try to get the title, role, and seniority of the key buyers at those companies.”

“If you want to do an advertising campaign, or if you want to invite those people to come to your event, or start a conversation, you know you’re inviting the right people at the right time based on what those signals told you. This can really be done at scale if you apply the technology to understand what’s happening on your site, then also know how to translate it to your key buyers.”

3. If you were hiring someone to implement a marketing strategy like this, what sort of skills and attributes would you look for?

Whether you’re recruiting someone to execute a strategy like this, or you’re currently applying for related jobs, it’s always useful to know what the experts value most in their own candidates. 

Kevin highlighted three key things he focuses on when hiring a marketer to fill a role of this nature today. 

1 – Marketing Operations Experience 

“We’re in the midst of a shift,” said Kevin. “We’re shifting what the landscape in the backdrop feels like and how people are applying these systems. In order to be in tune with that, having someone with at least a bit of a marketing operations background or a marketing systems background is helpful. If not in my org, then in our revenue operations org, they’re going to be working closely around exactly these types of issues. I think it would be true for us, but I think also true for almost anyone.”

2 – Industry-Specific Experience 

“Some experience with our industry, knowing the buyers, the target companies, and also the partners, the players, the tech, the competitors. I think that matters even more as we all get more specialised and more focused on our ICP there.”

3 – Exposure to Sales  

“Then, finally, particularly for this type of role, an ABM-focused marketer, someone who’s putting together these go-to-market motions, it really helps if they’ve spent at least a little time in a sales seat.”

“Maybe they were a business development rep or a sales development rep earlier in their career, or maybe they were working with sales teams on a new go-to-market motion. There’s so much empathy to be gained between marketing and sales at this critical part of the business if you know what it’s like to have walked in each other’s shoes. That’s something I also look for.”



A few other highlights to look out for in this episode:

  1. Useful advice for honing in on your own ideal customer profile. 
  2. How to ensure your messaging is engaging and relevant when balancing personalisation and scale.
  3. Recommendations for digital tools to support and enhance this kind of marketing activity.
  4. Other practical tips to help succeed with personalised marketing at scale.