Read Your Prospect’s Mind


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As marketing professionals it is often inevitable to fantasize about days when everything will go just as we dream – our campaigns getting our brand a lot of visibility, a lot of buyers queuing up to buy our company products and as a result of these successful campaigns, we getting nominated for the best marketer award by our bosses – the list is endless and priceless. But one fantasy that always topped my list – was to have the power to read my target customer’s mind. I knew, if I could do this one thing, the rest would eventually follow.

With experience you gain confidence and with confidence comes the realization that translating fantasies into realities does not require magical powers but a combination of some tactics and some technology. In this post I share with you some of my secrets.

In B2B Companies – marketing is usually divided into two phases

Phase -I – When you reach out in general to your target audience and get them interested in your offerings.

Phase-II – When you identify your leads or prospects from this larger target base and start to nurture them, till they are sale – ready.

Below are some methods which, I have personally found useful in getting a peek into the minds of prospects in both these phases –


In the first phase to know how your prospects thinks, you will have to do some extensive research on your target customer segment and find answers to the following questions –

– How big is your target customer base?

– What percentage of these customers – are aware of the kind of solutions you offer (probably using competitor solutions) and what percentage need to be educated?

– What is it that motivates your target audience – Earning profits is a universal motivation but beyond that – Are they trying to enhance the productivity of their enterprise, establish it as a socially responsible company trying to manage their carbon footprints etc.?

– What are the challenges they face in translating these objectives into achievements?

– What are the industry trends within your target customer base, especially with respect to the kind of solutions you offer? Every company tracks competition and if a lot of their competitors are doing something and gaining from it – the day is not far, when they will also opt to be part of that trend.

– How does your product/solution fit their scheme of things and accelerate the process?

– Most of all which are the mediums they use or media channels they frequent for information that drives decisions.

Depending on your findings you can then create your marketing collaterals addressing the different issues and concerns unearthed by your findings and populate the channels most frequented by your target customer. What kind (subject) of marketing collateral brings in a prospect to your site is a good indication on what he is looking for.


Engaging a prospect is the second phase of B2B marketing. This gets kicked off as soon as a target customer expresses his interest in the company’s offerings, either explicitly by placing a request for more information and a sales presentation or through his actions – like visiting the website, downloading a whitepaper or case study etc. which can easily be captured by marketing automation solutions available in the market.

In the second phase since the engagement with the prospect is more on a one-on-one basis, understanding him is a little easier.

To begin with knowing what got the prospect interested in your solution is important because that is also an indication of the problem he is trying to solve. People don’t look for solutions unless they realize they can use one – which is only when they realize they have a problem.

Once the answers are there and the nurturing process starts – closely monitoring prospect responses to nurturing collaterals will help in knowing what does and does not interest them. Following collaterals to be sent, should be based on the response to the previous materials shared.

Another way of getting a better understanding of prospects is to engage with them on more informal platforms like – social networks.

People give away a lot about themselves on sites like Twitter – especially about their professional leanings. The kind of tweets they post, the kind of content they endorse can all give away a lot on what they believe in especially enterprises – such insights derived can be used to further customize the lead nurturing collaterals, ensuring a more responsive and interested prospect.


There are different kinds of tools that help you in understanding your prospects better.

Search Engines

Search engines are the most popular channel for people looking for answers, the keywords they type to find these answers are a big give away on the kind of solution they are looking for. Having analytics that supports and gives you information on which keywords brought a prospect to your site, can give a clue on what the prospect is looking for.

Lead Generation tools

There are many solutions available in the markets which help companies find leads on their website, segregating prospects from regular visitors. Since most of this sifting happens basis the scoring pattern they follow, which monitors the pages a prospect visited, the time he spent, the information he downloaded etc. these help in giving an idea on – not just the interest level of a prospect but also the kind of solution he might be looking for.

Intent finding technology

For B2B marketers who find the above mentioned processes cumbersome and lengthy, today there are readymade solutions available. Today companies like LeadForce1 are helping their customers find the intent of their enterprise visitors by analyzing their browsing behavior on multiple visits, which helps both marketing and sales to initiate intent – driven campaigns in the second phase, while giving them a deeper insight into the motivations that usually drive their larger customer base, the channels that bring in more prospects etc.

The kind of tactics a company uses to read its prospect’s mind will depend on the resources at its disposal. It could be one or a combination of these tactics, but the ground rule is – if you want to savor success, take time to understand the needs of your target customer, your prospect – expressed both explicitly and unconsciously.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Merlin Francis
Merlin Francis is Director of Communications for LeadFormix. Merlin has over a decade of combined experience in the field of print and television Media, PR and Corporate communications. This includes her 3 year stint as an entrepreneur running a successful public relations and event management consultancy.


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