Forget the Proverbial “Marriage on the first date!”
If you walk into a casual setting by yourself in a room full of people what do you do? Do you drift around until you feel comfortable enough to have a conversation? We have all been in these types of settings, but for people like me as an introvert, it can be hard to be outgoing and start or join in a conversation. However, if I am going to be in the situation for a long period of time, there always seems to be something that draws me to bond with a particular group.
Think of us marketers as the group of people in the room wanting a conversation with that lone stranger that just walked in. How do we create that bond that draws that person to us? How do we connect in a transparent way that is not overbearing or unnoticed? And by the way, just to get it out there, the worst person in the casual setting analogy is the loud mouth that knows it all. We avoid them like the plague, but sometimes we are that person because of our bad marketing strategies. What do we have in the marketing arsenal that allows us to interact effectively? There are a lot of tools and strategies in the MARTech stack that allows us to do this, but let us consider three of the biggest.
When we think of the above scenario how can we as marketers bring “that person” into the conversation? If we could focus on whats relevant to them would they listen? I guarantee you they will listen much better than someone that has zero interest in what you are saying. So why is segmentation so important to what we are marketing? It all starts with our data and how we utilize it.
What you have vs. what you need – You first need to look at your data for an overall analysis which will reward you with needs, wants, and ideas. By looking at your data, you will inherently come up with ideas on what data to segment and how to target that segment. You also will realize what data you are missing. There are a lot of ways to seek out new data and append it to a contact. There are even vendors that will enrich your data for a price. The point is, we should never be hindered by what we do not have and always looking at how to enrich the data we have by constantly appending it as the prospect/client travels down the funnel.
Segmentation for targeting – Segmenting our data into groups will allow us to create targeted content per group. Is your data enriched enough to know if a prospect/client is female or male? If you know the gender of whom you are speaking to, the language and imagery of that content can change. Does your data define who an MQL and SQL are? Your marketing messages should definitely be different between those two segments.
Advanced segmentation – This segmentation goes even further and is necessary for most marketing efforts to get a true “one-2-one” conversation. Just to name a few would be: Past interactions online/offline – the date they became a customer – behavior that is implicit and explicit – date of purchase – credit history, etc.
Whether you start with simple segmentation or advanced I hope you see the importance of splitting your data into segments to progress your strategies, creative, and who you should market too.
One of the most overused words in Marketing, but one of the most important. I guarantee you if you ask any Sales Manager what one of the biggest hurdles they face is, it will be their sales staff activities. There are many reasons why the nurturing of clients from the sales side is lacking. I am not here to bash any sales person as I am well aware of the difficulty of the process. Marketing Automation takes the human out of that process and automates it. That is why automated nurturing in the sales cycle is critical for conversion.
We live in a day and age where it is impossible to be in front of a buyer as many times as needed in all the spaces they live. Whether it be offline or online MA can serve those buyers with nurturing content that pushes them further down the buying funnel. That is why the largest to the smallest business can benefit from MA.
Check out these stats on lead nurturing.
- 67% of B2B marketers say they see at least a 10% increase in sales opportunities through lead nurturing, with 15% seeing opportunities increase by 30% or more. (DemandGen Report)
- MarketingSherpa states that 65% of B2B marketers have NOT established lead nurturing.
- Gleanster reports that using lead nurturing showed that 15-20%of the “not yet ready to purchase” opportunities converted into sales.
- According to Eloqua, Taleo Corporation saw these benefits from lead nurturing:
- increased the number of opportunities entering the pipeline by 118%
- nearly eliminated “unrated” leads from their database
- improved conversion rates at every stage of the funnel
- saw an additional 30% of visitors convert to marketing qualified leads
- Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts. (DemandGen Report)
- According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales leads at 33% lower cost per lead. (DemandGen Report)
- According to Gartner Research, lead nurturing can potentially save 80% of your direct mail budget and bring a 10% or greater increase in revenue over 6-9 months
- Gleanster reports that 74% of top-performing companies use automated lead nurturing.
- 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily. (Statista)
- B2B marketers say the #1 benefit of marketing automation is the ability to generate more and better leads. (Pepper Global)
- 64% of marketers say they saw the benefits of using marketing automation within the first six months of its implementation. (Regalix)
- Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. (Demand Gen Report)
- By spending as little as six hours per week, 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media. (Social Media Examiner)
Lead nurturing is a complex process that takes time to get integrated effectively. An analysis of sales and marketing is critical to align the strategies successfully. Once implemented, a nurturing sales cycle via MA will pay dividends in the future.
Lead nurturing content should always be personal. All buyers are at different stages in our funnel, and we have to speak to them differently or risk losing them amongst all the other marketing minutia they are hit with on a daily basis.
So, if all the planets are aligned, and all the gears in our marketing machine are spinning in the right direction we will have our data segmented and our messages tailored via our nurturing strategies. The nurturing strategies work hand-in-hand with personalization. As we are developing those strategies, we should be thinking about how we can implement personalization into the content. Each message that the potential buyer sees should look like it is a message meant exactly for them. The use of data, delivery and context is succinct in that each message feels one-2-one instead of one-2-many.
Personalization is not just variable data integrated into a printed piece or a first name in an email. It is a combination of the message, imagery, and cadence of the message based on implicit and explicit data. All of the personalization derives from the nurturing strategies and segmentation of data where all these efforts work as one.
Combining the power of segmentation, nurturing, and personalization will raise engagement which in turn will increase conversion and solidify retention. Like all MARTech efforts think big, work hard, and optimize.