The million dollar question to every modern marketer right now: how do we get the right message in front of the right person at the right time?
The availability of multiple online channels to connect and engage with these groups offers immense opportunities to inspire our audiences to take the next best action. As marketers, we are tasked with designing and developing results-driven, yet customer-centric, programs to support these efforts. However, these programs often exist, siloed, within their own respective channel -- a significant disconnect when we know our most engaged audiences are interacting with our brand across multiple channels.
So, what is the answer to the million dollar question? Design and deploy cross-channel automated marketing programs.
AUTOMATING CROSS-CHANNEL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS
To begin developing cross-channel or integrated marketing programs, however, we need to adjust our approach. We need to look at the entirety of someone’s journey from prospect to lead, to opportunity to customer. This is done by establishing a uniquely defined lead lifecycle specific to our brand or company. Using a lead lifecycle approach lets you bubble up warmer leads to the sales team and it’s easier to optimize campaigns by evaluating conversion rates of each stage.
From a customer experience perspective, applying the lead lifecycle approach to marketing automation organically puts the intended audience first. Communication written with the audience’s perspective in mind, or audience-first content, naturally increases engagement with communication across channels. This is especially important as you interact with leads across channels to then personalize the experience, delivering the right message at the right time.
Using this approach lets you then design and develop personalization campaigns to reach your audience at each stage of their buying journey. This is especially critical when using a real-time personalization tool like Interaction Studio. With Interaction Studio, marketers now have the unique opportunity to personalize communication to any on-site visitor based on their behavior and engagement. This ability to segment your visitors using behavior-based data points lets you focus on critical visitors, like first-time visitors, and engage with them at a one-to-one level.
RIGHT TIME, RIGHT MESSAGE
Another way to automate cross-channel communications is by using an audience segmentation strategy. Real-time personalization tools, like Interaction Studio, let you link a visitor’s behaviors and actions on your site to predefined audience segments. Using a behavior-based segmentation strategy lets you gain a deeper understanding of who is doing what on your website. This insight into your audiences lets you evaluate site performance from the perspective of your target audience, not just new or returning visitors.
In addition to site performance, an audience segmentation strategy lets you leverage the powerful Engagement Score feature within Interaction Studio. The engagement score is an index that tracks engagement of your visitors. The Engagement Score is calculated based on visitor data as it relates to pages visits, actions, custom key performance indicators (KPIs) and segments. This ability to combine both indirect and direct data points about your visitors brings in a new perspective about the efficacy of your website. Especially as it relates to moving leads through the lifecycle.
The shift to cross-channel marketing strategy often poses challenges internally for organizations, especially those that depend on Sales to seal the deals. This shift in approach, while establishing better automation and laying the foundation for scalable growth, naturally affects the Sales-side of the business. As we nurture leads through the lifecycle, we must also prepare Sales for the desired and eventual hand-off.
Getting buy-in early and often from Sales is critical for any organizational shift toward marketing automation. Especially where Sales has owned much of the relationship and nurturing of leads, helping them pivot their efforts to focus on opportunities further down the funnel makes this change in process much less overwhelming. Put your Sales teams at ease by focusing on marketing automation’s value to bring in more qualified, more confident opportunities and how that results in quicker closed deals.
About the Author
Julia Gandy is a Strategic Consultant helping Lev clients take their existing marketing program and elevate it to the next Lev-el. A passionate writer, Julia studied Journalism in college. A brief stint as a reporter, Julia quickly realized she’s a better storyteller than a facts reporter. She went on to receive a Master’s degree in Public Communication. Julia has spent her career experimenting with digital marketing tactics and executing data-driven multi-channel campaigns. She is passionate about creating one-to-one online experiences to help deliver results for brands and businesses.