What Netflix can teach marketing and sales teams
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Netflix is the industry standard when it comes to personalization and capturing an audience’s attention. For years, it has captivated viewers and kept them glued to their devices, delivering content hour after hour by collecting vast amounts of user data and creating personalized journeys to deliver relevant content. We have become accustomed to this level of personalization and responsiveness in our consumer lives and expect it. But what about the B2B buying and selling landscape?
Today’s B2B customers demand a new level of personalization and digital know-how. As the request for personalized shopping experiences grows, companies are looking for ways to meet buyers where they are. They turn to the king of personalization for answers.
Continuously collect data and measure performance
The first lesson Netflix teaches is that more data is always better. Netflix’s model couldn’t exist without a wealth of viewer data, including everything from basic demographic information to main page scroll time. Why do they need so much information? Because the more information you have, the more questions you can answer.
Netflix isn’t just sitting on their data either. They use it to inform every possible decision, from predicting what viewers want to watch to even informing their content creation. Netflix’s original content success rate is 93%, which means record hits like stranger things and Bridgerton were supposed to succeed before they even hit the screen.
Netflix is also constantly looking for new and better ways to measure viewership and success. Prior to 2019, Netflix counted 70% completion of an episode or movie as viewed, its main engagement metric. In December 2019, he changed his view to any watch duration of two minutes or more, believing that this metric would represent unique eyes on a piece of content. Then in October 2021, the metric changed again, moving from views to minutes watched.
Now let’s look at the importance of data and metrics from a B2B marketing and sales perspective. To have an impact, marketing and sales teams need to collect as much data as possible, including web traffic, email marketing statistics, and past purchase data. This data will help create complete and complete customer profiles, which are essential for understanding and reaching prospects.
Once you have the data, organize and present it in a way that makes it usable. Creating a single source of truth for your data along with comprehensive dashboards that can give broad and granular overviews will be key to pulling insights, no matter what service uses them. Dashboards provide a holistic view of marketing and sales activities to determine revenue-driving tactics, helping teams make data-driven business decisions.
Finally, set clear KPIs and measure performance by reviewing your data and key metrics. Don’t be complacent in your data strategy. Use enrichment and cleansing strategies to keep data optimized and actionable, and always be on the lookout for ways to improve and better measure success.
Related: 4 Marketing Personalization Tips for Digital Businesses
Personalization is key
Netflix has built its brand on personalization. Each of its 216 million users has a unique homepage experience tailored to their personal tastes. They’re so good at the personalized recommendations they generate 80% of their spectator activity.
A crucial part of Netflix’s personalization experience is that they understand that different people might like the same content for different reasons. For example, some people like superhero movies, some people like watching Chris Hemsworth, and both groups watch The Avengers. You can see this practice in action when watching artwork and trailers for Netflix original content.
For their first big original content, Card castleNetflix cut 10 different trailers, each addressing a different audience. They take the same approach with their show artwork, displaying a different image depending on your content preferences. If a user likes a specific actor, they are more likely to see a title card with their image, while a user who likes action might see a still image of an explosion instead.
From a B2B perspective, personalization is just as essential. Shopping personas are very similar to viewing profiles, each with their own pain points and reasons for buying. Businesses often underestimate the effort and extent to which they need personalization tactics to meet customers where they are today – but it’s essential.
Personalization should be used to align marketing with personalities and stages of the customer journey. Perhaps more important in the COVID-19 environment, personalization ensures messages cut through all the other noise consumers are bombarded with. Consumers, including B2B decision makers, are spending more time on social media and email than ever before. Deep personalization is therefore key to meeting customers where they are with impactful and engaging experiences.
Tactically, organizations can personalize content with unique landing pages or email headers to position basic messaging around different prospects or try concierge selling. Using collected data and buyer personas, equip sales with multiple pieces of content that would be considered relevant to the customer, then present those options once sales enter the buying cycle. Organizations can foster trust with a digitally-enabled selling approach that personalizes all interactions and builds on previous conversations.
Related: Netflix embraced machine learning to personalize its marketing game at scale
Content frenzy and its place in B2B
Netflix has a habit of keeping viewers on their screens for hours on end, which we now call binge-watching. They developed this practice by capitalizing on audiences’ desire to want more of a show immediately after consuming it, a concept not offered by cable services at the time. By doing so, they were able to maximize mindshare and keep their viewers coming back for more.
With features like autoplay, the next episode in a series plays immediately after the first, allowing users to continue without navigating through the menu. When a series or movie ends, Netflix is there with another personalized recommendation. They even generate entire categories based on previous shows, pulling shows with similar themes, actors, or genres.
Content frenzy also plays a specific role in the B2B landscape by meeting buyer expectations and making recommendations on what to read next. Armed with an abundance of content, B2B marketers can maximize mindshare and build trust with prospects looking to learn and research. There are several ways to use this concept to your advantage in a professional context.
First, create multiple customer journeys and recommendation paths based on different buyer personas. By leveraging data and keeping personalization in mind, you can tap into a prospect’s undivided attention to keep them engaged longer. When a content item ends, place the suggestion of another related item at the end.
Next, use CTAs as content gateways. A compelling call to action shouldn’t be the end of a piece of content, but the opening of a compulsive content journey that keeps prospects engaged, attracted, and driving them deeper into the sales funnel. Providing personal information is an explicit sign of interest. After a prospect submits data, send them another content recommendation. Software or website plugins can also help create automated content recommendations.
Getting to know and understand customers deeply has always been part of a successful business, but now we’re doing it at scale. By collecting user data and distilling it into comprehensive user profiles, you can leverage your existing products and services to create a journey that meets their unique needs. By applying these personalization practices that Netflix performs so well, organizations can see stronger, more qualified leads and ultimately drive revenue in the digital age.
Related: Learn from the greats: Marketing tips from industry giants