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How to personalize content by industry

May 19, 2022 | Teemu Raitaluoto

There are a lot of products and services, especially in computer software, that don't serve just one industry. However, different industries have different special needs when it comes to the kind of service and use cases they need. Read more to learn how to speak directly to different industry needs.

What is industry segmentation

Using firmographic data, ie. company data, you can segment identified website visitors based on their industry. Industrial segments are great to highlight your value proposition which might differ from industry to industry. If you do market segmentation by industry, you are more likely to communicate your message much more clearly.

"It pays to get to know well the different industries you are serving. If you don't operate in the same industry as your customer, have informal chats with your customers to get to know them better. To dive deeper into the kind of industry you're serving, you can hire or consult a domain expert" ─ Lewis Banks, senior manager at LegalDrop.com

Examples of industry segments

Industry segments can be for example:

  • education industry

  • healthcare industry

  • manufacturing industry

There are hundreds of different industries and they care about very different things when it comes to your product. Read more about how to adjust the tone, content, value propositions, and images to best reach different industry segments.

When to use this Playbook

To understand whether this Playbook is for you, you need to first determine whether your product and service are very industry-specific or can serve a wide customer base.

Sometimes, even if your focus is on one specific industry, there might be other stakeholders from different industries that you need to market to. For example, in the construction industry, there are contractors, city administrators, and housing developers that have unique needs when it comes to doing business with you.

It pays to get to know well the different industries you are serving. If you don't operate in the same industry as your customer, have informal chats with your customers to get to know them better. To dive deeper into the kind of industry you're serving, you can hire or consult a domain expert.

How to personalize

Top-of-the-fold

To capture your audience as quickly as possible, you need to show that you understand the visitor's unique industry and the problems you can solve for them.

Usually, when the generic top-of-the-fold has no constraints about which customer segment to target, the content defaults to describe what the company does. Instead, the content should describe how the company can solve a customer problem, which is only possible if the customer's industry and its use cases are known. 

Language

Throughout the web page, you can use industry-specific lingo, which will build a better customer relationship with your audiences. Usually, it's recommended to avoid using lingo/jargon, but that's because you need everyone to understand your message instead of speaking to each audience separately.

Logos

It's almost intuitive that the logos on a website should reflect the visitor's industry. We look for social proof from "customers like us" using the vendor's products or services.

A company that serves McDonald's and has its logo on the site might have near-zero relevance to visitors that are looking for a vendor that can serve other software companies.

Use cases

Pain points can be industry-specific which means the use cases describing how the product can be used in a certain way can also be industry-specific.

If you show that you truly understand the problems of an industry better than a competitor, it resonates much better with your customers. 

References

When customers are looking for references, they want to understand how you solved a problem another customer had. If that reference is from the same industry as the customer asking for the reference, the social proof is much stronger. It also indicates that you understand them based on past experience dealing with domain-specific challenges.

Integrations

Different industries use different technology stacks. For example, in e-commerce, your customer is much more likely to use Shopify than a customer from the banking industry. If you offer lots of integrations and some of them are industry-specific, show those only to the visitors from relevant industries.

Call-to-actions

A call-to-action can also be an opportunity to create a better customer relationship. Industries are different when it comes to the level of seriousness of doing business. You can get away with a quirky call-to-action if you're dealing with software companies compared to doing business with people from finance and law.

A call-to-action is also a way to direct visitors to different sales funnels. For example, you can direct software companies to a self-service because they are much more likely to try the product out themselves compared to more traditional industries where sales is conducted through meetings.

Personalization examples

Personalizing value proposition

Let's imagine you sell a productivity software product that could be used by both industries ─ education and healthcare. If you segment your audience by industry, you can address healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurses directly using the pains they have, and do the same for teachers. Compare these three different versions:

Generic version

"Boost your productivity by adding tasks quickly in our to-do app."

Personalized for healthcare professionals

"Boost your productivity without endangering patient safety by adding tasks quickly in our to-do app."

Personalized for teachers

"Boost your productivity and focus more of your time on the students by adding tasks quickly in our to-do app."

The personalized versions are much more effective because they emphasize things valuable to people of that industry.

Personalizing for the right tone

Let's imagine one of your customer segments is software development companies and you are selling a business tool. These companies are very versed with technical jargon and they might buy features instead of buzzwords. Personalizing your content to them using a more feature-driven approach might win them over quicker. 

How to create this segment

  • Industry (NAICS and SIC) is any of the selected values (one or multiple). Eg. Computers, Computer peripheral equipment, and Software
  • Industry category, eg. Educational services
  • Sector, eg. Government, Safety, Administration, and Defense

Alternatives

Many companies try to solve the problem of serving multiple industries by either creating specialized pages for each industry or using some hacky Javascript that spins the work of each target industry to complete a sentence.

Having specific landing pages for each industry can be useful, but you're also relying on the visitor to find those landing pages and take the time and effort to navigate to them. Instead, why not make your main page more relevant right away and reduce the amount of time to find the information your visitor wants?

If you do insist on using specific industry pages, you can auto-redirect visitors from that industry to the specific page. This saves them the trouble of finding the page on their own and avoids the risk of them bouncing.


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