Break Through the Noise to Gain an Edge in Sales


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Most B2B companies leverage soft offers like white papers and on-demand webinars as part of their demand-generation efforts. They spend marketing dollars on campaigns to herd prospects to their web sites (money spent on such elements as key words, banner ads, syndication services and third-party blogs). But once a prospect lands on the “microsite,” he or she sees the same generic content and soft offers presented to other prospects. And that is a low-yield proposition for your firm.

Now you can offer each prospect an individualized web page based on his or her individual profile. Just as with precision-targeted marketing, the “Resource Center” can contain whatever your prospects may be interested in, based on their profiles—allowing you to break through the marketing noise your customers hear, to make your interactions as high-yield as possible. Why not use every interaction to gain deeper knowledge? Customers will see only one new, very relevant question and pre-populated fields each time they visit to the Resource Center. This cuts down on their frustration with web forms while giving you one more insight into their business needs.

In marketing’s previous vocabulary, an “email blast” would go out and responders would be taken to a targeted offer. In the new vocabulary, prospects will go to your web site to receive precision-targeted web pages that are personalized with their names and relevant information based upon their profiles. For example, a clothing retailer would recognize a male prospect who mainly shops for business attire and is 6 feet tall, weighing 200 pounds.

That prospect could then receive an email letting him know about a sale on business attire for men of his size, and clicking on the offer would drive him to a targeted web page. In the past, marketers have always required their customers or prospects to be online to fill out web forms or accept offers. Looking ahead, these marketers will have the capability to increase the use of such offline or mobile marketing techniques as embedding surveys or web forms within the content of their emails.

One of our customers recently implemented the Resource Center. The organization streamlined its complex matrix of offers so company marketers could dynamically offer content and solutions based on prospects’ behavior and self-reported data across numerous touch-points. All of this was accomplished with very minimal IT involvement. The IT organization simply had to create templates to upload in the system, which marketing could then use to build personalized landing pages. The landing page content was dynamically generated based on individualized marketing rules.

Your messaging will be much more targeted and relevant if you know what your prospects are searching for.

Effectively incorporating search marketing with all other campaign efforts is another tool to use in your future marketing. Your messaging will be much more targeted and relevant if you know what your prospects are searching for, and when they are doing those searches. Let’s say our hypothetical 6-foot tall, 200-pound male has conducted three recent web searches and, because cookies were applied, you have all of the pertinent search information at your fingertips.

To start with, he uses one search engine to look for blue, 44 regular men’s suits. He finds a microsite that looks relevant and clicks on the link but gets pulled away to something else and closes his browser before he gets any further. That click is captured and goes into his profile. He uses a second search engine and searches for male wedding attire. He then chooses the site that fits his need and clicks on that microsite link, and that click is recorded, too. Finally, he uses a third search engine to browse for suits for job interviews and again clicks on a microsite of his choice.

Getting to know him

From his searches and profile, you deduce he is in his early 20s, about to be married and interviewing for his first job. How can you use that information to market to him differently from other men? You can offer up a personalized page with a printable on-demand coupon for professional menswear for young adults. Or you can offer him a discount on tuxedos. You can treat him differently than you would a man in his 30s who has been in the workplace for more than a decade.

This approach extends to the call center, too. Imagine using all of the data acquired with every marketing and sales touch to update your call script in real time.

Imagine if that young man called your store to see if you had his chosen tuxedo in stock. By viewing his profile, the contact representative could tell him your company is running a sale on cummerbunds. The effectiveness of your calls would increase dramatically as the caller adjusts his questions and answers in real time based on searches and profiles. And if your calls are more on target, you’ll see an increase in the amount of closed sales.

This isn’t a fantasy. The same customer who recently implemented the Resource Center is using a call center solution that takes any response submitted via registration forms, webinars or any other touch and allows the customer to configure rules. The rules determine whether the prospect’s call goes to the call center for further qualification or gets passed directly to sales. At the call center, the agent will have a full view of the prospect’s past interactions, know what web forms have been submitted and which white papers have been downloaded. All of this, in turn, is used to launch a call script with the intelligence built in, establishing a basis for much more effective conversations.

Regardless of how you touch your customers and prospects, it’s important to draw from each and every experience and use that knowledge to create more relevance. Companies that effectively use each and every touch-point will gain an advantage and will be better able to break through the noisy world of marketing.

Gil Ben-Dov
GBD Enterprises
Gil Ben-Dov, is president of GBD Enterprises, a firm dedicated to helping clients by optimizing the combination of sales, marketing and technology to drive growth and profitability. Geoff Rego is CEO and cofounder of Market2Lead, which helps companies generate better qualified leads and close more sales.


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