Realisation of Needs
By this point the prospect has found you and consumed several pieces of ‘discovery’ content. They like your style, they have a feel for your company and they are beginning to develop an interest and trust in your opinions. They want to gain a deeper understanding of what it is you’re all about.
You should embed signposts and links from all ‘discovery’ content to deeper level material, designed to put more meat on the bones and generate greater buy-in. Deeper level content includes market reports, buyers’ guides or sector research, that requires an email sign up or data exchange to download or unlock the content. At this point the prospect will be sufficiently engaged to provide you with an email address, name and potentially other information about themselves, such as business sector or job title in order to receive the download content. You will need to build data capture landing pages to simplify this process, leading to the development of an ‘opted-in’ lead nurture database.
Typical ‘realisation of needs’ content:
• Exclusive industry research
• Buyers Guides
• Podcasts or vodcasts
At every stage of their engagement with you, the automated marketing platform will be applying a ‘lead score’. So every time a prospect opens an email, lands on a web page, downloads a report, the system will be tracking and scoring their progress. By the time they reach the consideration stage, in all likelihood they will already have been flagged as a marketing qualified lead to your sales team. At this stage the lead will be looking for evidence to support what you are saying and will want to find out what your customers are saying about you.
You can anticipate these requests by embedding links to content offering proof-points and success stories. Automated lead nurture email conversion programmes should be set up to signpost to next stage content.
Typical ‘consideraton’ content:
• Product guides
• Case studies/client videos
• 3rd Party Product Reviews
• Industry standards
• Industry awards
• Positive editorial
When your prospects have received everything they need to make a decision and purchase – all it takes is a little encouragement in the form of a sales call to prompt an action or answer any last minute questions. By now you will have tracked online engagement at every stage of your prospective customer's journey. Marketing can provide sales teams with a view of the prospect at every stage of the buying funnel, which they can use this to guide the conversation to complete the sale.
Hooray - your lead is now a happy customer. But be warned - it costs 5 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one - so it’s essential to keep communicating with clients by sending them relevant content and offers.
Think about your retention and loyalty programmes – make sure they’re designed to engage existing clients, thereby securing their long-term customer loyalty.
Keeping clients on side will save your business money by reducing the amount you need to spend on costly acquisition activity.
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