580: Getting Started with Website Personalization: 3 Things You Need to Know w/ Amy Larsen

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Amy Larsen, Director of Demand Generation at Siemens.

This episode is brought to you by bound. What if your website responded to your audience better than your best sales rep? Bound helps marketers engage at scale. Learn more at bound. Three hundred and Sixtycom you're listening to the BAB growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be tob executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with Amy Larsen. She's the director of demand generation at Siemens. Amy, how you doing today? Doing Great, James. How are you? I am a wonderful amy. We're going to be talking about personalization today and really wanting to dive in to the seamens story and your experience with personalization at Siemens, but before we do that, just give our listeners a little bit of context. What are you and your team up to at Siemens? What is what is Siemens and what are you and your team doing over there? At the very broad question of Seamens is a German based company. We focus primarily on the industrial market, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, that kind of base for us. Our demand generation team, we provide demand generation support for all of our divisions here in the US. Base, okay, and so we are focusing on helping them to activate at scale demand generation programs across the multitude of divisions and Business Unit to a lot of internal customers. Being that broad and that many markets, wonderful. All right, amy. So, so now our listeners have a little bit of context where you're coming from. Let's start talking about when did this idea of personalization? Has this been something you...

...guys have been doing for several years now? Take go back to the kind of the beginning of the personalization journey. Will kind of start there. Could you walk us through a win the conversation started happening? Sure so. I think personal and station came up for us around two thousand and thirteen. Two Thousand and fourteen, we were building a new team focused around demand generation, which was kind of a new concept for seamen. We had a grouping of like minded individual across all of our organizations who are working on technology. How do we move our technology space forwards, bring our businesses forward? To make use of more of the digital space. Serving manufacturers. We tend to be in a lagging market, so the the new shiny object isn't always the key on how you reach them. But their buyers journey had definitely evolved to be more and more in the digital space. We have younger engineers that are coming in that are part of the purchase decisions. But the biggest thing for us was to be able to take what was a very small group of people who were digitally focused and enable our businesses to operate at scale. So all of these divisions we just have a handful of people. How do we make it so that we can latch these types of programs without having large departments of people? And so the idea came in from one of our team members to start looking at using personalization as a way to not have to build large, complex programs that take programs that were existing and make them more personalized. We've certainly heard all the staffs about conversion rates and we were trying to drive those up. So that was how we started in that path. And and then so someone brings up the idea, hey, we should start looking into this. What were some of the solutions you guys looked at, what were some of the things that stood out that ultimately made you guys end up, you know, deciding to go with the vendor that you chose, and that's a really good question. So, you know, for us it was twofold one, you know, being able to look for technology partners who could operate within the...

...scheme of space, which isn't always easy, to having some younger team members where we wanted to excite them with something that was new technology based. We've been customers of serious to studies for a while, so we turned to them for some help to evaluate a couple of vendors. We went through several scenarios. The biggest thing for us was something that could implement with our current analytics, web analytics program our current market being automation system, and that would allow us to integrate without any it involvement. Going through it with US can can be challenging at times, and so we had a couple of interviews and we landed on working with bound was get smart content. At the time they had the capabilities of being able to do that. But the other area that was very helpful for us, with being a small team, we didn't really have execution resources in house. We weren't going to have a lot of people that we could devote to it, and so our concern was we're going to get this new tool and we won't have the resources to be able to implement it, and so they offered a consulting package where they helped us with actually executing the program so the one thing we told them we decided to go on board, was we really need a partner, somebody who can help us make sure that these things get done, because it may not happen if it's relying on our own internal resources and work clothes. And so I would imagine there was there was probably a lot of collaboration as far as developing of the the over arching strategy. What you guys what results you guys wanted to drive with it, and then bound came along and and really helped you guys execute on the strategy that you guys collaboratively came up with together. Is that how it worked? It did. We learned a lot about ourselves going through this journey. I think every marketer experience is that when you get a new tool and then you start trying to execute it, you start to identify you thought you had a workflow or a process or a resource allocated to do this, but they...

...have another job. Yeah, but it allocated elsewhere, and so kind of going forward with that. But they helped us with filling that resource piece. And then we had to kind of look at our work clothes internally, which there was a little bit of someone box on art and getting used to that. And what bounded was they really helped us to analyze some of the gaps we might have had in our strategy, and by that I mean looking at how are we defining our audience and how are we defining our targeting, how are we defining our go to market strategy? The one thing that that came out of that was becoming very clear on what we defined as an audience and how were we going to internally target that audience. And then personalization is something that helps you to activate that along with everything else that's in your plan. So it made it kind of a funnel to push everything through, and that was a big learning step for us and that that's been extremely valuable. So so are you? Are you able to share a me how you guys thought about your audience before and then kind of what that ended up shifting into as you guys started working with bound yeah, absolutely. The biggest thing for us was, you know, we would talk about our audiences being CFOs, engineers, marketing or the manufacturing operations, plant managers, things like that, and what we learned was that that's too broad to create personalization that's effective and that actually highlighted it caused issues in other areas, not just in our targeting on our website, but when we're writing content specifically. So we started to learn to look at what is the go to market strategies. Is Common, you know, within Siemens. For us it's industry. So you're talking to somebody that's an automotive will food and beverage in engineer. It can have different needs and pain points than an automotive engineer. So they may be looking at similar solutions, but they're solving different problems. And so it allowed us to look at making our audiences and segmenting it by the market that they were in, the industry that they were in, and then that's how we started to bucket...

...our personalization. Leaving it simple was very helpful, not going, you know, much beyond the industry, because it allows you to make sure you're producing and getting something out the door, versus if you're really going into finite persona segments and getting into something more complicated. So our other big learning with Cuba, simple and amy. So so bound came alongside you, guys. They helped kind of expose some some parts of your process that that needed to be worked on. Gave you this new mindset around the importance of segmenting your audience. Is probably a little bit more granularly than you were doing it before. I'd love to talk about some of the results that you guys have seen, you know, since then, since bound came alongside, they helped you implement it. What has been the story since then? Sure absolutely be. The one thing that came out of working with bound and personalization was the idea of creating a goal. When we first started working with us, they would ask us, you know, what's the goal, what you want this person to achieve? On the website, we realize we could have a really good answer for that. So you got a very large website and a lot of businesses. So we started to look at maybe sure we were clearly defining the goal. So when we have any type of event or initiative or campaign, what is it that we're looking for them to achieve, and we start off with that question now. So we start looking at that definition. The more we have clearly defined the goal of what we want them to achieve, the more we're seeing that the results are driving up. So for us we had a big automotive event. So we clearly define a goal. That registration was what we needed to accomplish, and so we set personalization to the task to help us do that. We were targeting specific companies that we wanted to be at the event in over all the industry, making sure that they were showing up, and we saw a tremendous lift in in results from that one from the...

...previous year. So seventy five percent of the registrations came from the website. From viewing personalization, we saw more than a fifty percent left for the company that we were targeting to get to that event and it was something that was so simple and easy to execute, clearly defining we wanted event. We want them to register with that, but just having that in mind and having bound help us to put that package together in get it executed across all of our website. Getting that lift that came in was tremendous. The other thing it helped us to do is to understand, when we do have an industry and a goal in mind, what's really working with each of those. So, for example, you know aerospace and automotive, they tend to go to a certain section of our site which is more in the general area and not the industry specific area. So now we're able to target them to areas that we designed specifically for them, where, as you know, manufacturing prospects, they tend to go straight into the industry site, so now we can look at making sure we're getting them to the manufacturing solutions. Those are those types of analytics and the insights they've given us over our existing website visitors. That gives us the lowhanging fruit of what goals to define and then to help us to execute those. And they're not overwhelming, which is the hard part in our area, if things can feel so daunting. But these are pretty simple things to put in place. You already mentioned it. You said it was a relatively simple question to ask, but I totally I mean they just can be so powerful. You just ask, okay, what do we want the person visiting this site to achieve, and by asking this question, it allows you to then reverse engineer that resolved. Do you feel like, by asking that question first, is it shaping, I guess, all elements of what the you know is it? Is it where you guys are putting the registration buttons, what the copy looks like for you, for each different audience? What were some of the questions that you guys started asking yourself when you started asking that first question of what do we want the user on this page to achieve?...

Yeah, absolutely, I mean it's almost embarrassing to think about now and we look at, you know, our process and what we go through for designing. It's a pretty simple question. What do you want this person to do? But it wasn't where we started when we were doing our design process. But the more that we've asked ourselves that question, the more it has lent itself into becoming more customer centric, designing the experience from the perspective of the user rather than from the perspective of the business, and that gets us to think about it in very simple terms. What is this person going to see? What do we want them to do and how do we want it to feel for them when they do that? So our message is become customer centric. What is their question, their pain point, the problem they're trying to solve? How do we get them to that information quickly and efficiently and how do we allow them to then self serve getting that information? And so we have started to design all the elements that way, including where does the button go on an email that we send versus where does the button go on the website that we send them to? And the other thing that's great is that it allows us to kind of compensate for what can be a an overwhelming navigation system a company like semens in an enterprise environment. You're talking about hunt thousands of products that they might be going through. This allows us, for whatever location they get into, to say, okay, we see that you're in food and beverage, you might be interested in seeing this or you might be interested in this content, and getting them straight there rather than hoping that they find it in what is the mass of astudent's website. The other thing that you mentioned, a me that I that I want to go back to, is you said that there's a particular segment of your audience, that one one segment went directly to the the part of the website that was specifically for them, but another segment of your audience was going to the more general, and I'm landing pages that weren't necessarily specific for them. So, if I'm understanding this right, you were able to was that something you didn't know before?...

But after you guys started using bound, you started to be able to tell a people are coming to us from these companies and they're landing on these, you know, more generic landing pages. And with that data that you were then able to say, okay, so we're going to start putting calls to action if they come from a particular Ip address, to point them to resources that we know are relevant to them. Yeah, absolutely. Again, it's that lowhanging fruit aspect. Data can be overwhelming the mass amounts that's there. So if you're trying to make sense of what is all this information in data that I'm seeing you, there's sometimes so many numbers you don't know which one to look at. This allows us to create some focus in the data. So we know there are key markets where we're trying to make gross so we focused on the data we're seeing within that market. And the great thing about bound is that they have actually come to me proactively to say here's what we're seeing with those markets that you're saying is a key initiative for you, and then providing some in sight to say this is the content they're already consuming. So we can ask ourselves, is that what we want them to do as the ways that we can then change that experience? If that's not what wait, what we were looking for them to accomplish to get them to the area? That is the goal. So I'm not having to solve all the world's problems, you know, across all of our data sites or websites. I can start to look at it's this audience that I need to focus on right now. Here's what we're already seeing that they're going after, and then creating a specific goal and changing what they might have been experiencing. And we didn't know that before. I mean we knew what companies were coming. We have ITP targeting, but knowing where those companies are going from there. I mean there's click stream analysis and it just makes my head hurt. So's it makes a better story for me to be able to rationalize and internalize just by looking at it quickly and by having them gave that data you know quickly, rather than hoping that I find that in all of the numbers that I have...

...in front of me. Makes Perfect Sense. Any if there's somebody, there's somebody listening to this and maybe they're at the very beginning of kind of their personalization journey there they're starting to look to bring it into their organization, is there any advice you would give to that person who's on the front end of the journey with you, having having been on yours for the last few years now? What is that advice it you would give to that person? Well, that's a good question, so I guess it would be too fold. The first is to, you know, don't underestimate, asking yourself what resources do you have that will be allocated towards this, because, remember, everybody already has a full time job. You're going to bring a tool in, you need to be prepared for someone to take up the work that's going to go along with that. It's not a lot, but this workflow question still has to be answered to make sure there's a process in place that can utilize the tool. I think we were probably slow going at adopting personalization for that reason, having to work out our internal effort bound helped us to answer that question as we work with them to get us on board and moving those through. But you know, think about that internally to have that in place. And then the second thing would be, I guess it's threefold. The second thing would be start asking yourself what audience would goal get us to that very simple question. What goal do I want them to chieve? When it's goal oriented, you'll have better use cases up front. You can hit the ground running with some test variables or pilots that you can implement in short terms so that you can start to see result and then you can pivot once you get the results in place. And that lends us to the third is keep it simple, that idea of what goal and have it be an audience and a thing and moving towards that goal so that you can see quick iterations, because it helps for adoption when people see sick quick wins. So the more you can simplify that statement focus on that piece, the more you'll be able to create a bit more ground swell internally and people start to jump on and want to use it, and that's kind of what we're seeing now. As everybody's clamoring, I want to use personalization now that they've seen the results that gains...

...that adoption. So think about internal work process and think about this simple who and what goal and then, third, keep it simple. I love it, amy. This has been incredibly helpful. If there's somebody listening to this, they want to they want to stay connected with you, they want to learn more about Siemens. What's the best way for them to go about doing both of those things? Well, absolutely love to be able to keep in touch. The best ways to reach me is going to be either on Linkedin. I'm under Amy Larks and working for seamen's. You'll see me there, or via email, Amy Dot Larsen at Teamscom and happy to answer any questions. Amy, thank you so much for your time today. Again, this has been incredibly helpful, so I really appreciate you chatting with me today. Thanks. Thanks. Great chatting with you and best select anybody out there who's going down that personal and they should past if you're a BEDB marketer, we want to feature you on sites like Puffyton Post, social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send out a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over to sweet fish MEDIACOM backslast questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening, until next time,.

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