Customers frequently tell me their worst nightmare is a phone call or email from a sales leader, complaining that they contacted one of my leads, who doesn’t recall any previous contact or the content that they registered for. (And, oftentimes, those “leads” add: don’t contact me again).
Are these prospects suffering a sudden case of amnesia? Lying to get off the phone as quickly as possible? Probably neither. Rather, top tech decision makers have so many daily interactions that it’s tough to recall which form went with that asset they downloaded three days ago, or a call they answered that wasn’t their highest priority at that moment.
Since your success as a marketer – and your relationship with sales leaders – depends heavily on creating memorable engagements with prospects and customers, I want to share tangible steps you can take so all your leads recall their interactions with your brand, and so they are neither surprised nor angry when they get a follow-up call from your sales team.
I have five concrete suggestions to maximize engagement and prevent the “I can’t recall” outcome. The more of these practices you can apply and enforce, the stronger your customer engagements and the higher likelihood of conversion. That, in turn, leads to a better relationship with sales.
1. Define the Process
Ensure there have been multiple engagements for any lead you turn over to sales. Call it multiple touches, nurturing, lead scoring or whatever you’d like. The key is to have a clearly defined, actively governed set of steps – which sales has agreed to – that MUST happen before any name goes to sales. And share details on each of those engagements with sales.
2. Create Multi-Channel Touch Points
Leverage at least two to four channels to get those multiple touches. There’s a reason they call it multi-channel marketing. Coordinated engagement spanning email, phone, social and other channels is more likely to create memorable engagements and a lasting impression, while overcoming the recall problem. Bonus insight: using phone calls to validate or reconfirm data captured in email is a proven performer – make sure you do it before turning your leads over to sales.
3. Invest in more Content
Build, expand and leverage your content inventory to maximize engagement. “Content is about relationships. You’re not going to build a relationship with a single piece of content,” said Lindsay Nelson, Global Head of Brand Marketing & Strategy, Vox Media, during the recent CES show. Memorable content – developed for the target buyer and with messaging that resonates — is the best way a marketer can contribute to building relationships. Content must be high quality, timely and span the stages of the funnel. We often find clients don’t have content that maps to all stages. This insufficiency undermines the relationship you’re striving to build.
4. Examine Analytics
Provide granular data on: the content they engaged with, where and how they engaged and their level of participation in any online or live event. Ideally, that should be appended with third-party or augmentative data – social media, career profile — to provide the most possible insight to sales. Marketing automation systems are a huge value add for delivering such insight.
5. Get Creative
Have them complete a short survey or questionnaire that drills into their buying plans and timeframe. Give them a low-cost gift and contact them shortly after the gift has arrived. Run a Facebook contest to place your brand top of mind. As marketers, you’ll have plenty of your own ideas on how to create memorable engagement. Test those ideas and stick by the ones that perform.
Of course, Activate would love to help you in any or all of these five areas but, most importantly, we’d love to help you with these strategies – regardless of the partners you choose to work with, and help you achieve what we refer to as “recall squared.”
I hope 2017 brings lots of high-quality, memorable engagements with your prospects and leads. Let’s resolve as marketing leaders to build great relationships that drive revenue.
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