Winning Over Younger Buyers With Personalized Video: Forrester B2B Summit Takeaways

Rachel Eisenhauer May 16, 2024
Winning Over Younger Buyers With Personalized Video: Forrester B2B Summit Takeaways
B2B buying has changed. Here’s what we found at the Forrester B2B Summit.

We’re back from Austin where we attended the Forrester B2B Summit North America for marketing, sales, and product leaders. Three days of analyst insights and roundtable discussions, best-in-class practitioner breakouts, hundreds of B2B technology and services solutions on the show floor, and dozens of vendor-sponsored events surrounding the Austin Convention Center had us dizzy! Not to mention an EPIC performance from bluesy-rock guitarist and Austin-native Gary Clark Jr. (Do yourself a favor and check him out on Spotify for some cool weekend vibes.)

In all the conversations we had with marketing leaders at the Forrester B2B Summit, I was struck by multiple comments on needing to start with a single persona or prioritizing campaigns to a single persona over another, and the challenges of activating intent data across go-to-market (GTM) motions. Despite all the solutions, services, tools, bells, and whistles at our disposal today, it feels like there is a moment for us to pause and get to the fundamentals of B2B marketing: targeting your audience and matching the right message to the various personas in the buying group.

Marketers have intent data, but are not using it effectively.

The Forrester B2B Summit highlighted the challenges that many businesses face when it comes to activating their intent data. While intent data is readily available—most all B2B marketers have invested in at least one source—few organizations have fully integrated it into their marketing campaigns, account-based marketing (ABM) strategies, or GTM motions. The opportunity is ripe for those organizations that can unlock new channels of intent-driven demand that can drive pipelines forward.

Activate intent data in personalized video to amplify ABM.

While businesses have a plethora of intent data, they often struggle with how to activate it effectively. Personalized video can be that missing piece with the power to deliver targeted, engaging messages that drive conversions. Solution providers like 6sense allow you to activate intent data for ABM campaigns, to prioritize accounts to go after and to personalize messages, content, and offers. When personalized video is added to the ABM mix, account engagement soars. This can be your new competitive edge to cut through the clutter with greater relevance that resonates.

Unlock personalized video for ALL of your B2B buyers.

Thinking back to those conversations we had on starting with a single persona or prioritizing one persona over another – why not launch them all with video? SundaySky allows B2B marketers to build a single video template and personalize the text, narration, media, and CTAs by persona segment or to the individual buyer. (See how we walk the talk with this best practice case study on how we power our ABM strategy with video.)

Segment purposefully and pay attention to ALL personas in the buying group.

Perhaps our favorite Forrester B2B Summit conversation was with our friends at B2B growth marketing agency IronHorse. Their audience targeting framework empowers you to plot your growth paths to revenue to prioritize your market segments—not by a single persona—and enables an internal discipline for B2B GTM teams to follow. 

You shouldn’t need to select or prioritize one persona over another because the reality is in today’s buying journeys there are multiple personas in your buying group. And speaking of the B2B buying group…

A new generation of B2B buyers has entered the chat.

Amy Hayes, vice president and research director of Forrester’s portfolio marketing practice, painted a portrait of today’s wild frontier where the majority of business buyers are Millenials and Gen Zers, bringing a different set of expectations to the buying process and customer experience than their peers. The younger gens have eclipsed Boomers and Gen X buyers in numbers—71% of buyers were under 45 in 2023—but also in influence.

What does this generational shift mean for GTM teams? Evolve or lose. 

Businesses that stay the course with traditional approaches are guaranteed to lose. Rather than relying solely on marketing or sales-qualified leads, businesses need to pay attention to the collective insights of buying groups by knowing who is in the group and anticipating their questions. Amy highlighted four shifts these younger buyers are driving, the primary one being a shift from Financial Drivers Balanced Focus. Younger buyers are not solely influenced by growing revenue or reducing costs, but rather driven by a mix of business priorities, such as improving and advancing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. B2B marketing leaders need to mirror these drivers in their messaging. For instance, beyond the financial impact that personalized video delivers, SundaySky’s buyers and customers deeply value the speed that AI-powered video creation achieves.

The Forrester B2B Summit crystallized the need to keep up with the latest solutions, frameworks, technologies, and trends while maintaining a focus on the basics of audience targeting, persona segmentation, and GTM alignment. Video should play a vital role in this approach, offering an engaging, personalized solution for organizations to activate their intent data and win over younger generations of B2B buyers.