Thursday, April 7, 2011

Which Content Works At Which Stage of Marketing? Tips for B2B-ers.

April Brown, president/CEO, Rubicon Group, presented at the April 6 Marketing Automation 101 webcast sponsored by DM News with Eloqua.

The webcast focused on automated lead management systems (technology) designed to boost prospect conversion and loyalty/retention.

Brown says that automating the marketing process improves results. She cites statistics achieved in key marketing/sales efforts, including: sales forecast accuracy up 17%; lead conversions up 107%; revenue per sales rep up 20%; increase in “deal size” up 40%.

One dimension of the marketing process involves using content (fresh or repurposed) to pull a given prospect into the buying cycle, and then track the stages that prospect goes through in becoming a loyal customer. “What matters is that you are delivering content at the right point in the buying cycle to match with the stages of decision making,” she says.

Brown identifies ten types of content that can be delivered, as well as the various stages of decision-making most affected by each type, in her experience. “In general, here is [the type of content] we have found to work in the various buckets [buyer awareness, comprehension, consideration, preference, loyalty],” she says.

• Industry trends – awareness/comprehension
• Data sheets -- comprehension
• Case studies – consideration, preference
• White paper—comprehension, consideration
• Analyst reports – awareness, preference, loyalty
• Demos/pilots – comprehension, consideration
• F2F meetings – preference, loyalty
• Newsletters -- loyalty
• Promotions – preference, loyalty
• Social media – awareness, consideration

Brown also discussed lead scoring, the process that helps marketers rank one prospect against another and identify where a given prospect sits within the buying cycle. For example is the prospect: a) the right customer, but not interested; b) not the ideal customer, but very interested; c) a good fit and very interested; etc.?

Lead scoring fuses explicit and implicit scoring.

Explicit Scoring relates to the “profile fit” and stems from what prospects say, for example:

• job role
• industry
• pain/need identified
• lead source

As defined, content plays a key role in implicit scoring.

Implicit Scoring relates to a prospect’s behavioral characteristics or what they do, for example:

• attend industry events
• download a high-value asset with last 30 days
• visit high-value content
• click through from an email campaign.

-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

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