Dynamic vs. static: Why dynamic personalization always wins
Welcome to The Flipside, where we follow the adventures of a shiny new marketing team as they navigate the ups and downs of using Uberflip to drive our go-to-market. From triumphs to tribulations, we're sharing the whole story.
It's a brand new year and a brand new series here at Uberflip.
As part of an effort to raise the bar on our marketing, our new team has been implementing features of the Uberflip platform across our programs and sharing the results. Some people call this "eating your own dog food," but we're not about to crack open a can of Alpo—let’s just call it popping the cork on our own champagne.
For my first conversation, I sat down with Joanna Zerga, Senior ABM Experience Manager here at Uberflip.
As the owner of our account-based marketing programs, Joanna’s been digging deep into the platform’s ability to personalize at scale, running A/B tests to see for herself how effective dynamically personalized content streams perform against static ones.
I was delighted to have her share the results.
Colin: Hi Joanna. For people who don’t know you, what are your roles and responsibilities at Uberflip?
Joanna: I run the ABM program, which means I work very closely with our sales team to create and accelerate opportunities in our target account lists. It includes the whole gamut of marketing campaigns–both digital and in-person experiences.
C: How do you feel about the word “smarketing”? [Eds. note. At Uberflip, we define smarketing as a “symbiotic relationship between sales and marketing.”]
J: Smarketing sounds like shmedium. [laughs] It’s fun. I believe in smarketing, even if the word is a bit cheesy.
I’ve worked at companies where this is what marketing does and this is what sales does—and there’s a disconnect that results in goals that aren’t aligned. It can even create a bit of hostility between teams.
When marketing is running campaigns but sales isn’t aware or engaged, it can feel like marketing for marketing’s sake. And the sales team may feel like they don’t have support too because the marketing team just doesn’t understand their processes.
Smarketing is collaboration, and it helps us do our jobs better. I benefit from working closely with the sales team not only to roll out effective campaigns. Open communication also allows marketing to fill in any gaps so the team can be more successful.
C: What's your goal in using Uberflip for account-based marketing?
J: One of the biggest challenges for ABM is being able to engage your target audiences through all the different channels at scale—digital, physical mailers, events, et cetera. It can be a very painstaking, manual process of outreach. These are not necessarily difficult tasks, but it’s very time-consuming to create separate campaigns and messaging that go to very narrow audiences.
A key benefit of Uberflip is being able to dynamically personalize campaign destinations and then scale to different audiences—whether it’s 1:1, 1:few, or 1:many. It integrates with different personalizer apps built specifically for Uberflip, like Demandbase or 6sense, and using these tools reduces the time needed to build hyper-personalized marketing streams.
It’s effectively a shortcut. It’s a tool in your tech stack that allows you to do a level of automation that makes your marketing life easier.
C: What did ABM look like before you started using Uberflip?
J: Once upon a time, the Uberflip marketing team ran many fun and creative ABM-focused campaigns.
I can look at old campaigns, but I don’t know the strategy behind them or how they performed. We also changed our ABM solutions platform during a transitional period, and when the new tool was rolled out, it was underutilized.
So, in many ways, I’ve started from scratch.
We use 6sense for identifying the right accounts and for the personalizer app, so I'm coming in fresh to test how effective it is when building marketing streams for ABM campaigns.
C: So essentially, the idea was to test how well dynamic personalization performs?
J: Exactly. You create a static landing page that you send into the universe. A hundred people click on it, and they all see the same thing—it doesn’t matter who they are.
But by activating the personalization app within an Uberflip marketing stream you send out one URL, but now when a hundred people click on it, each person could have a different experience.
This was my hypothesis: When you activate that personalization, you’re going to see better engagement and results.
When it comes to ABM campaigns, you don’t have to manually build multiple 1:1 landing pages in order to create personalized experiences if you have the right tools, content, and tagging in place. This is personalization at scale and it will make running ABM campaigns faster, more efficient, and probably cheaper for you as well.
C: When you say personalization, what does personalization actually look like for you?
J: There’s basic personalization, like tokens to identify your stream visitor by company and incorporate their logo into the banner designs.
But true personalization is activated when creating unique experiences through content. I can create marketing streams:
- that serve up content that is specific to certain personas and industries,
- where an account may be in the buying cycle,
- or use intent data to provide insight into the keywords they’re researching.
Companies may have hundreds or even thousands of pieces of content. As long as the content is tagged and organized, you can select the relevant assets for each person visiting your stream.
C: What was the most obvious advantage of using Uberflip?
J: The most obvious advantage is that I can create one marketing stream to engage different audiences. That level of dynamic customization saves me time so that I don’t have to build 1:1 streams for each account. It enables me to launch my ABM campaigns faster so I can work on other projects.
Advantage number two is stream analytics. When the campaign is completed, I can look back at the stream performance and better understand the buyer’s behavior—were they engaged, how long did they stay, which assets were relevant, and if there were any repeat visitors.
This data helps me to better understand the buyer’s journey and which assets are resonating with my target audiences.
C: Can you walk me through the A/B testing project in more detail? Where did you begin?
J: To start, you need to identify your audience. For this campaign, the audience was based on our ICP with some additional segmentation (based on 6sense data). Since this was a test campaign, I used a semi-wide net of about 1,200 accounts (1:many type approach).
Then, I created two separate but almost identical marketing streams. One stream was static, with no personalization. It had standard messaging, “Hey marketer, learn about ABM personalization at scale” or something to that effect. And the stream was filled with content around ABM and personalization. Essentially, just like any other landing page out there.
Then I cloned that stream and enabled all the dynamic personalization features I could. I started with the 6sense personalizer app to identify each stream visitor by their account and show them custom messaging. As soon as they land on my stream page, the first thing they’ll see is, “Hey XYZ company, here’s how we can help you solve this issue you’re dealing with.”
The next step was to activate the personalization for the stream assets themselves using tagging. I included assets that were based on industry, like healthcare, manufacturing, software, et cetera. When somebody lands on the stream and the app recognizes that their company was in, say, financial services, it’s going to serve up additional assets that are relevant to the financial services industry. It’s like creating layers of content.
Similarly, I was able to activate certain assets if the personalizer app recognized their tech. For example, if the account is identified as a Hubspot user or a Marketo user, the stream would serve up assets that are relevant to how Uberflip integrates with that software.
So again, this creates a completely dynamic experience depending on who lands on the page. Because they’re from different industries or they have a different type of tech stack, they’re going to get served up different information that’s relevant to them.
Once the streams were built, I ran A/B testing via email and 6sense display ads in parallel. It was a randomized 50/50 split for each email or ad click to land on either the static or personalized stream.
C: How long did it take you to get results?
J: This campaign ran for about seven weeks.
C: And what were the results, if you can share them? How did you measure success?
J: There are two sets of measurements that I reviewed. First, there’s the initial channel engagement how many people clicked through the email links and display ads. That’s standard for any digital marketing campaign.
Specifically for testing personalization, it meant taking a look at the stream analytics in Uberflip. When people landed on either stream A or stream B, do we see more activity—more clickthroughs, longer duration times, clicking a CTA—on the static page or on the dynamic one?
My hypothesis was that the dynamic page would see more activity. And I could definitely see there was more activity—as well as return activity—on the dynamic page compared to the static page. We saw 62% more asset views, in fact, as well as 20% more time spent on the page and a 25% increase in scroll depth.
Engagement results: personalization increases content views and overall session metrics.
C: What’s next for ABM at Uberflip? What does completing this project make possible for you?
J: Now that I know how easy it is to activate personalization, I’ve been helping other folks on the team test it out in their own streams. Ideally, every marketing stream should have some element of personalization turned on—especially ABM.
Also, we have a big content library and this project has revealed the need to review our tagging structure for better personalization, as well as some content gaps. We use 6sense and I can create just about any kind of segmentation for my target audiences and turn that into an asset tag (which is a story for another day.) I’m also planning some additional testing on engaging ABM audiences with CTAs.
C: Thanks for your time. Can’t wait to see what you do next!
J: Thank you.