The term “Nurturing” is often used in the context of Leads. Before technology this meant a salesperson would stay close to their prospect essentially ensuring competitors wouldn’t get a foot hold on their opportunity.
When Marketing Automation arrived it allowed Marketing to support the Sales team by delivering relevant content based on the buyer’s journey, their profile and perhaps the product or service on offer.
CRM integration makes Lead Nurturing work even better
Using the various stages of the CRM Opportunity object, each change in the stage of the opportunity is used as a trigger to send relevant content to support the prospect in their buying decision.
CX should be a constant reminder as you build your nurturing campaigns
Customer Experience is shown above as an infinity loop, it’s a constant and ongoing process. The buyer’s journey begins at the “need” stage. From here the buyer will research and evaluate the various solutions to the problem they have and eventually select a solution and then purchase your goods or services.
We know through research from various organisations that the B2B buyer and increasingly the B2C buyer won’t make a buying decision until they’ve researched using social media. For the B2B buyer this means LinkedIn, usually working their way through various LinkedIn Groups.
Here are some interesting statistics regarding new consumer behaviour as reported by CMS Wire:
- 68% of smart phone users plan to use mobile devices for holiday shopping.
- 59% of consumers would be more likely to shop at a store with mobile self-checkout capabilities.
- 56% search for store locations on their mobile devices.
- 54% will check and compare prices via mobile.
- 47% will obtain product info on the mobile phone or tablet.
Social media also plays a big part:
- 81% say posts by friends on social media influences their buying decisions.
- 30% of frequent online shoppers use Pinterest to discover new products.
- 78% of consumers say posts made by companies influence their purchases.
How can nurturing campaigns help?
The key to a successful nurturing campaign is to ensure content is delivered at the right time and is relevant to where the buyer is up to in their buyer’s journey. How do you know where a buyer is up to in their journey? In the B2B setting where a CRM is being used to track the buyer’s journey, delivery of the right content at the tight time is much easier.
For the B2C marketer with buying journey’s that range from minutes, to days or even weeks and months, this becomes a little harder to execute on. One way to gain this knowledge is to develop “buyer personas“.
A persona is a profile of sorts, created based on research and an understanding of a specific buyer. For example, your product ABC is generally purchased by female buyers aged between 35 and 45 years of age. They’re from a specific geographical region and they typically go on to buy product XYZ.
Once you’ve created your persona’s, marketers can stick the one page persona’s to their office or cube wall and have it as a constant reminder as they build various campaigns. There’s no point developing the persona’s and having them sit on someone’s C:Drive.
Big Data can provide the insight you need
Analyse your existing customer data to help understand and identify trends in buyer’s behaviour. This could go as far as understanding the click stream of various buyers on your website and how they end up in your shopping cart.
How many clicks are there from your website entry point to checkout and everything in-between? Use this data in conjunction with your CRM data and you start to build a persona of your buyer.
The fundamentals of nurturing can be applied to additional groups, not just prospects during an opportunity management phase. Once customer on-boarding campaigns have completed, a customer nurturing campaign is the next consideration. It may take the form of a monthly newsletter or, based on the product or service the buyer has purchased, it could be more specific providing information and content on how to get more out of what they’ve purchased.
If you provide a time bound service i.e. something with a 12 month contract that requires renewal to continue with the service, nurturing provides a tool to help keep your brand in front of the customer constantly reminding them of the value they’re receiving.
Marketing Automation is the must have tool
A nurturing campaign has many moving parts and managing those parts without an automation platform like Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud would be a considerable challenge for a marketer.