PathFactory offers Concierge and other tools to create Netflix-style B2B online content experiences

PathFactory Concierge
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PathFactory is trying to bridge the gap between consumer experiences like Netflix and Amazon by offering tools that let B2B marketers recommend  web site content based on visitors’ behaviour, what’s popular and what will help them take the next step in a buying journey.

The Toronto-based firm is using this week’s Sirius Decisions Summit in Austin to release Guide, which it describes as a way to promote content via categories like “Recommended for you” and “Popular” based on machine learning software. Web site tracking tools, meanwhile, will show marketers how much time a buyer spent with an asset or page to qualify leads more accurately. Concierge, however, represents PathFactory’s answer to the Netflix home screen, with curated web pages tailored to an individual buyer.

According to PathFactory president and chief product officer Nick Edouard, Concierge and the other tools are inspired by the way Netflix eases the process of choosing what to stream next, or how Amazon offers ideas to buy books and how UberEats simplifies ordering meals.

“Those all do one thing really well: match demand to supply in a frictionless way,” Edouard told B2B News Network. “Buyers are going into these sites with B2C and consumer expectations, and finding the experience is sadly lacking. They’re finding it hard and complicated. Most martech vendors aren’t really solving for that.”

PathFactory has been focused on the idea of helping encourage B2B buyers to binge content the way they do Netflix shows all along, of course, but the new tools allow its customers to so do outside of its own platform and on their own web sites, Edouard explained.

The content suggestions are based on assets they might have seen before, things their peers have engaged with that they haven’t seen, as well as things a marketing team might want to promote based on the visitor’s role or other behaviour. PathFactory will use cookies that track IP addresses to fuel the recommendations of Concierge and its Guide tool.

While B2B firms can use PathFactory’s tools for traditional demand generation and inbound activity, Edouard admitted there could be a powerful use case for those focused on account-based marketing, where personalization is considered a key element of the strategy. Analytics is key here, he added.

“People aren’t reading this stuff just to be informed or entertained. They’re trying to get something done,” he said. “If you have nine people a buying group that you can see have all spent four hours looking at the same asset, that’s a real signal of intent.”

Over time, Edouard said he hopes the kind of tools PathFactory is offering, along with the rise of customer data platforms, will encourage more B2B marketers to shift from a largely campaign-driven approach to one that’s more dynamic and responds to the journey buyers are actually taking in real-time. This represents a significant evolution from looking at what he called “binary sets of data,” such as visits to a landing page of the number of form fills.

“People will say, ‘We had 100 people download this white paper,’ but they don’t know how many people within a buying group actually read it all the way through,” he said.  “(Those metrics) tell me quantity — it doesn’t tell me anything about the quality of the content.”

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Shane Schick

Shane Schick

Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.