Before putting your marketing automation strategy together, you need to understand four fundamental marketing concepts that will have an immediate impact on your success:
- the personas
- the sales funnel
- the offer
- and lead nurturing
These four concepts are areas you need to think about before building your strategy. This will help you answer these basic questions, among others:
- Who are you targeting?
- Where is your ideal customer in their buying process?
- What are your ideal customer’s needs?
- How do you convert your lead into a customer?
Who are you targeting?
A persona is a representation of your ideal customer. Generally, you seek to define their socio-demographic and behavioral characteristics to ensure that you send the right messages to the right target audience. The personas are, among others, considered when developing the product/services’ features and website content or other communication tools like blog article, newsletters and emails, for example.
Since you don’t have just one type of customer, you should create a primary persona and secondary personas. Are all your customers looking for your products or service the same way? Obviously not. Your customer base is diversified, and your personas should be too!
You should also base the information on facts and observations instead of intuition.
Normally, a persona is developed using primary and secondary data. Here are some sources of information you can use to establish your personas:
- Research: Surveys, preliminary studies
- Current customer data: CRM, analytical data
- Sales and customer service department
- Your experience
Here’s “Sarah”, an example of a persona:
Now that you know your ideal target audience, you are able to send them messages, content and offers based on their needs. Let’s now take a look at the second concept.
The Sales Funnel:
Where is my ideal customer in their buying process?
The sales funnel is a representation of the steps that the customer takes before making a purchase. It’s a simple model that helps to understand and create strategies based on a lead’s needs and their buying process.
The sales funnel’s 5 steps are recognizing a need, searching information, evaluating options, the purchase and retention.
Knowing each of these steps helps you understand your potential customer’s needs and where they are within your sales funnel. Having said that, in-depth knowledge of each step enables you to better implement well thought-out marketing strategies to help your potential customer advance through the steps. As you can likely guess, a lead that is still in the needs recognition step shouldn’t receive the same content or offer as another lead that is in the process of evaluating options.
To do this, your first objective will be to capture your visitor’s information in order to provide content and offers based on their needs. How do you get this information? You should craft an offer that will incite your visitor to provide it to you. Let’s now move on to the third concept.
What are your ideal customer’s needs?
At this stage, you have a representation of your ideal customer(s) and you know where they are within your sales funnel. It is now time to craft a personalized offer based on their needs.
The offer is the heart of lead generation. When your visitors land on your site, you want to obtain their information (at least their email address) in order to be able to revive them with automated emails or your newsletter. Getting their email address is therefore the first step to communicate with them since you can send them emails and different offers.
To define your offer, you must identify your personas’ needs and provide content or even promotional offers that will meet these needs. There are many kinds of offers that you can propose to your visitors to capture their information or convert them into leads or customers. Here are some examples according to the steps in the sales funnel.
Your visitor has left their email, but hasn’t become a customer. The fourth concept will explain how you go about converting your lead into the buying process.
What do you do to convert your lead into a customer?
“On average, 50% of leads are qualified but are not ready to buy.” (Gleanster Research)
When your lead sees your offer, it is very likely that they will have an interest, but they aren’t ready to make a purchase right away. This is when lead nurturing comes into play. Lead nurturing is the action of keeping your leads warm until they’re ready to convert.
More specifically, lead nurturing is the system by which you automatically send a series of emails to a lead with the aim of qualifying them for a sale. As soon as a contact takes an action or communicates their contact information, lead nurturing automatically swings into action. Informative emails, invitations to download other content or to some other action will regularly be sent to them by email.
The objective is to provide them with the information required to make them advance in the sales funnel towards making a purchase.
Here’s a simple example of what you’ve just seen in this section.
You sell Tupperware dishes.
- Primary persona: Women aged 25 to 40 who are active, take their health seriously, who eat healthily and don’t have a lot of time to cook.
- Their need? To create delicious, balanced meals in little time.
- Offer: You attract them with content and offers.
For example: Blog articles about the 10 best recipes to make with Tupperware, how to cook incredibly delicious recipes in less that 10 minutes, etc.
- Lead nurturing: Once you have your lead’s email address, warm them up with promotional offers on your featured products, for example.
There! Now you have grasped the 4 fundamental concepts of building your strategy, and you can begin designing your marketing automation campaign! Learn how to do it in only 4 steps in this article!
Ludis Media: http://ludismedia.com/processus-inbound-marketing/