It is human nature to want to be listened to. If someone asks a question they expect an answer. If they get an acceptable response in a timely manner they may ask another question and open themselves up to discussing wants and needs. Trust builds.
To nurture is defined in the dictionary as to support and encourage or to bring up; train; educate. Much has been written about how customers now drive the buying process. The buyer’s journey is 70% complete by the time they contact a sales person (SiriusDecisions). The job of a seller is to educate the buyer, give them information they want and need BEFORE they make a buying decision.
How do we know what the buyer wants before they contact us?
How can we nurture a prospect or customer in a timely, information, measurable and cost effective way before they are ready to buy? That is the question marketers in many B2B and B2C businesses struggle with on a daily basis.
Technology such as Google Analytics has allowed marketing and sales professionals to see how many individuals are coming to a website, where they are going, where they came from, whether they are using a computer or a smartphone, what keywords are drawing them in. It is an incredible tool and it is free.
BUT if you want to nurture a prospect you need more information!
Google Analytics only provides a macro-level of activity. If we want to understand the needs and nurture an individual buyer we need to know what they want on an individual level. We need more than Google Analytics. Marketing Automation is allowing marketers to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers.
Marketing automation software is provided by a number of vendors. Marketo, Hubspot, Act-On, Aprimo (Teradata Applications), Pardot are a few of the major players. The software and training is not free (nothing of real value is) but multiple studies have found that nurturing clients lead to high return on investment. For example Forrester Research has published a study that states companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost.
One of the key things marketing automation software allows you to is respond to your customers immediately and automatically. Trigger Marketing is defined as that precipitates other events. When a prospect attempt downloads a white paper trigger marketing allows you to send them a short form to fill out asking for name & email address. The marketing automation software will track where this individual goes on your site, and how long they stay. It will measure if your contact forwards white papers to others and what they did. Other triggers can be activated which will send your new customer email when they perform a specific activity. Drip Marketing (or action after a certain amount of time has passed) can also be used to engage your customer with a personal message.
Everything your customer does (or doesn’t do) as a result of your marketing can be tracked on an individual basis. Their actions are scored. Once a certain score is reached their name can be passed to sales as a hot lead.
Sales wants hot leads! A hot lead is more willing to buy. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group)
Now you have a way to track sales back through Marketing. An investment in marketing drives revenue which leads to more investment!!
Success is a partnership with marketing, sales and customer service. Please let me know if you have questions / comments.
Until next time – all the best!