Een collega vroeg me deze bijdrage in het Engels te schrijven.
Shifting audience behavior
Audience behavior is changing fast. There’s a lot happening in the marketing and communications space to illustrate the shift. It’s not in everybody talking Social Media (instead of doing it). It’s not in Apple announcing the iPad. It’s not even in Facebook beating Google as number 1 US website. It’s much more profound – these are all just agents of a fundamental shift in information consumption, that has changed the face of marketing and communications.
In day-to-day business we already see Pay-Per-Click performance deteriorating at tremendous pace, traditional advertising and media agencies dropping out of business, new marketing services emerging every day, start-ups being able to beat established brands in pr ink shares. Smart marketers beat rich marketers across the board.
Prospective customers do not respond to traditional triggers anymore. They found new ways to gather buyer information, delaying or even suspending their dropping into the qualifying mechanisms marketers have put in place over the last 10 years: CRM, telemarketing, lead management. If we are unable to capture the prospective customers’ attention with the right message, at the right time, at the right place, we will fail. The prospect is changing the game, taking charge of the relationship.
3 converging trends enabling target syndication
Over the next weeks, I will dig in to the 3 converging trends that together allow vendors to regain control of their go-to-market, and deploy sales/marketing strategies that will bring more focus and revenues than ever before.
1. Data quality & Buyer persona definition
Advanced CRM and database systems bring rich detail to any suspect, prospect and (ex-)customer database. With the right allocation of resources, strategies for enrichment, cleansing and augmentation, corporate databases will become more powerful than anything any media agency or buyer could ever provide. Deliverable: a 360 degree view of the prospective buyer – whether that is a net new contact, a customer looking for refresh or upgrade or a former customer deciding to return.
2. Content Marketing
Marketing PR is changing from a pure mass-marketing push to a much more intelligent, laser-targeted, audience-based communication instrument, that will take on a new task: deliver the various segments of our audiences within – or outside of – our database with exactly the right content, at exactly the right time. Knowing the audience means understanding where they are in the buying cycle, and providing them with exactly the right sequence of content pieces, allowing them to gather information, discover value propositions, evaluate alternatives, consider competitive offerings, and finally decide on investing. New e-marketing technology and methodology, like marketing automation, prospect nurturing and lead scoring, will help the marketer to deliver these tailor-made content pieces when they are most effective.
3. Marketing Automation
As audiences evade traditional lead qualification schemes – i.e. attend marketing events, subscribe to e-newsletters, download fact sheets from corporate websites, call internal sales desks – new technology enables us to track audience behavior and build our databases on a unprecedented scale. Marketing Systems – like Eloqua, Silverpop, Marketo – are taking over behavioral tracking, information delivery and follow-up, lead nurturing and scoring, opportunity hand-off to sales. Marketers will focus on data analysis and segmentation, campaign strategy, content creation, and lead reporting.
Knowing where tomorrow’s buyer is, is easy. She’s already in our database. Knowing where next year’s buyer is, is what marketers will be focusing on more and more. How do we home them in on our value propositions? Our databases will be bigger, broader and deeper. Our campaigns will not be 1-on-1 yet, but they’ll be targeting clearly defined buyer personas, and provide them with exactly the right content. We will syndicate this content through all available channels in order to deliver our targeted messages: landing pads, social media, search, blogosphere, 3rd party comms, online and offline events, publishers, strategic alliances – we will find our prospects, and we will tell our sales in great detail who they’ll be calling on, kind of like in the old days.