How VMware doubled its website clickthrough rates with better personalization

Image source: (08/2020).

VMware delivers technology solutions that provide a “digital foundation” for organizations of all makes and sizes. It empowers a wide array of use cases, all of which are anchored in helping teams drive efficiency and deliver new products or services.

Take T-Mobile, for instance, where VMware solutions help the company accelerate the development and deployment of new consumer services. Or more recently, consider MD Anderson at the University of Texas. When COVID-19 induced a remote workforce, cloud solutions from VMware enabled employees to stay productive and engaged.

The diverse set of use cases that VMware supports means its audiences have grown increasingly complex over the years. Customers and prospects that engage with the company are coming via very different backgrounds, organizations, and roles. As VMware grew its online channels, it saw an opportunity to better personalize the experience. The team tapped Adobe Target to drive the effort and has been able to reduce bounce rates and boost clicks on the website.

How they did it

The VMware website is a primary destination for resources and information on each of its solutions. What the team found, however, was that visitors were not taking full advantage of what the site could offer. It kicked off an effort to understand the engagement data and make relevant information easier to access.

Image source: (08/2020).

In 2015, the marketing team ran a pilot to test its personalization hypothesis. The team provided a targeted trial offer for customers coming from select countries. It was a step in the right direction, with the campaign seeing a clickthrough rate of over 1 percent. By most benchmarks, this would be considered a strong showing.

With a bit of data now to back them up, the team began to ramp up personalization efforts that went beyond trial offers. They focused on the website, and began to analyze firmographic data, user personas, and past interactions to tailor the experience. Artificial intelligence via Adobe Sensei played a helping role in selecting relevant content, via measuring customer affinity for certain products. This strategic effort saw impressive results: Bounce rates dropped anywhere between 5 and 10 percent, and they saw a lift of more than 100 percent in clickthrough rates. In short order, personalization began to be viewed as a significant growth driver for the company.

According to Pranay Goyal, web personalization manager at VMware: “Even though we operate in a B2B space, our customers have expectations that are set by services such as e-commerce or travel. They want the brand to understand what is relevant for them and deliver that in an intuitive fashion. For VMware, a personalization strategy allows us to build a deeper affinity with our customers, which is important given our long sales cycles. Adobe has been an important technology partner in this effort, and we have seen incredible results when it comes to engagement on the website.”

VMware is a success story when it comes to the value of personalization. While we typically associate the craft with services like video streaming or recommendations that appear when we shop online, the marketing team has shown the applicability for any industry. As Pranay notes, the bar is no longer set by the traditional peer set, and this is pushing teams to embrace new ways of interacting digitally with customers and prospects.

For practical tips on how VMware scaled its business with Adobe technology, watch VMware’s full Adobe Summit 2020 session here.