Featuring Dina Baird, Sales Director, True Influence
Sometimes with today’s tools and technology evolution, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the changes. But how much has really changed? I’ve been cleaning out my files this week and ran across some older research from 2008—2011 from market leaders that still applies today. Here’s what I relearned and reaffirmed in going through old printouts from Eloqua, Google, Marketing Sherpa, and others.
1. Your website can’t suck or be outdated. SEO and mobile compatibility are your starting points. If you don’t have the right tags, relevant content, and mobile compatibility nothing else matters. If search engines can’t find you, that means prospects can’t find you. If prospects can’t navigate your site on their phone, they are going to leave and go somewhere else.
2. Act more patient in lead conversion efforts. The key word here is “act“. Do not ignore the time involved in the purchase/buying cycle. You must identify where prospects are in the buying cycle and have a process for each phase within an ecosystem that allows for a long-term conversion process. I see many companies using a short-term turn-and-burn process of calling leads, running through a fast nurture course (that is at best 3 weeks long), and then abandoning leads they haven’t converted in 3 weeks. Think 6 to 12 months, not 3 weeks.
3. Include everyone. Buying today happens more by consensus than ever before with five people involved in the decision-making process. Your best bet at winning is making sure they all know your name and value propositions — for them as individuals in their role and for the organization as a whole.
4. Measure thoughtfully. Don’t measure it if you’re not going to use it. Make sure you are measuring the variables that matter. As you measure clicks and views and visits and conversions, remember, these measurements are one-sided, and only based on your outreach and internal results. Think about what you need to ask and gather through 3rd parties outside of your world to understand your prospects.
5. Integrate and nurture based on behavior and non-behavior. Just because you are sending or posting, doesn’t mean they are reading. Base your marketing strategy on what your prospects are doing but also on what they are not doing. Integration is a key component to marketing success. You can’t rely on just email, or just social, etc. You must identify your key prospects and become excellent at giving them the information they need, when they need it, and where they want it to ultimately help them. Try new things to elicit new responses. It doesn’t mean they are a bad lead if they don’t want you to call them after they download a piece of content. It just means… maybe you shouldn’t call them after they download a piece of content.
6. Explicit and implicit. Include lead scoring based on explicit information and implicit behavior. Explicit data is what you know about them from demographic or factual information. It used to be what they told you on forms, now it’s what you gather from multiple sources. Implicit is what they do, how they behave. You used to do this based on your emails and websites, now you can do this based on behavior before they come to your site.
7. Video is visual. Offer content in a variety of formats, and use video, but don’t make them too long–and remember, it’s video. The lighting counts, the background counts, the presenter should think about their gestures, their eye contact, and their voice as much as the quality of the content.
8. It’s not about you. Stop pitching your product over and over again in your communications. Think about what your prospect needs at each phase of the buying cycle and provide information accordingly. Stop thinking about you, and always think about them.
It’s a natural time of year for reflection. It’ll do you some good to take a step back from your data and technology and consider your foundation. Things probably haven’t changed as much as you think and revisiting the ‘knowns’ may be the direction you need to go to feel refreshed for your approach moving forward.