All marketers want to personalize their messaging, but not every marketer can do it, especially without the resources to dictate who gets what message and when.
That was one of the issues faced by GE-owned ServiceMax before it beta tested Demandbase’s Site Optimization tool. ServiceMax develops field service software for clients as diverse as Siemens, McKinley Elevator Corp. and MedTronic, which manufactures medical devices.
Buyers from different industries have different needs, but ServiceMax’s smaller marketing organization didn’t have the bandwidth to continually set up personalization rules, said Pat Oldenburg, the company’s senior director of digital marketing operations.
ServiceMax did have industry-based and location-based rules
to ensure a site visitor from, say, MedTronic sees a different landing page than a visitor from McKinley.
“If I’m from MedTronic and I go to ServiceMax.com, I wouldn’t see white papers or webinar recordings that are focused on aviation,” Oldenburg said. “I would hopefully see content that’s more for the health care industry – or if you’re really good with personalization, for medical device manufacturers.”
But to be really good at personalization, Oldenburg’s team needed to program more rules than they could reasonably handle. So parts of the site, like the content recommendation widget, didn’t apply as much customization as ServiceMax would have liked. The rules engine didn’t consider nuances like a visitor’s job title, for instance.
Demandbase’s AI Site Optimization application can do more than pick through 11 industry segments or seven job titles, said Dom Lindars, its marketing solutions GM. He claimed it can automatically pull “a few million segments” in real time and, based on those segments, decide what content to recommend to visitors on the site.
Oldenburg said it took little time to add that layer of intelligence to the content recommendation widget on ServiceMax’s site because it had been using Demandbase’s analytics suite. “It’s just putting the pixel on and letting it fly,” he said. Had ServiceMax not had a prior relationship with Demandbase, however, the deployment would have taken a few weeks.
Bottom line: ServiceMax needed to make sure it had enough data to power its decisioning. Its early work with Demandbase involved a short-form solution, so ServiceMax could capture key information from potential clients visiting its site, like annual revenue, number of employees or whether they represent a Fortune 1000 company.
“That was very important to our business because we focus sales efforts on target industries,” Oldenburg said.
After data capture, ServiceMax implemented the analytics component to understand the companies that visited its site, including key information such as whether the visitor filled out a form or bounced. “We hand that off to our sales team as part of a sales enablement play,” Oldenburg said.
Site personalization is ServiceMax’s latest evolution as it attempts to apply the learnings of the data it’s been gathering from featuring the content recommendation widget as a banner on the right side of its home page.
“We’re testing different designs, trying to strike a balance between having it be really visible, in your face and expanded right away,” Oldenburg said. “We have it all on the right-hand side but it’s a color that stands out on the home page.”
Early results show that bounce rate has decreased 70% since ServiceMax implemented the AI-powered content recommendation component.
“That means people are going to multiple pages,” Oldenburg said. “They’re not just coming to the site and leaving.”
Time on site and pages per session also both increased 100%.
Oldenburg is happy with the results but not terribly surprised.
“[Site Optimization] puts out content, you click on one and hopefully you’ll go to more than one page – so over two times the increase,” Oldenburg said.
The real value for ServiceMax is that it’s pushing product webinars more, leading to a 100% increase in sign-ups.
“Conversion rates, form fill rates on the site are also up over 300%,” Oldenburg said. “When we’re comparing people that have interacted with the AI versus those that have not, it’s over three times the improvement.”
Ryan Joe contributed.