December 27, 2016
Marketers are increasingly investing in personalization. Personalization is a marketing strategy in which companies leverage data analysis and digital technology to deliver individualized messages and product offerings to current or prospective customers. This also implies that marketers anticipate consumers' needs.
The main key to success when it comes to personalization is understanding your leads' preferences. I personally believe that the Janrain 2013 study on "Online Consumers Fed Up With Irrelevant Content on Favorite Websites" is still relevant today. In the study, they showed that 74% of leads become frustrated when they see content that has nothing to do with their interests. Knowing consumers' preferences and tastes is essential to avoid frustration.
1. Implementing a Marketing Automation Tool
Avoiding customer frustration is a big deal. Good insights can come from big data technologies, which unite offline and online data. Thanks to this, you can determine the behavior profile, and from there it is possible to personalize marketing opportunities. Marketing automation tools can play an important role in supporting personalization. Thanks to these, prospects/leads receive dynamic content and real-time actions across channels (websites, social media, mobile, tablet and more).
Depending on the size and needs of the company, you will probably select a fully automated tool such as Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot or A La Carte Solutions. For instance, you can use Autopilot for email automation, unbounce to create new landing pages, Google Adwords Retargeting for retargeting, and SalesWings to determine which leads are sales-ready.
2. Personal Sales Team
All these technologies are fabulous, but at the end of the day, unless you are selling soup or are in e-commerce, closing a deal is not going to happen online. At that point you need to switch from "machine" personalization to human personalization, and this has to happen in real time. Salespeople are there to close the deal. Take the example of Princeton Review. Princeton Review is a college admission services company. They have a great marketing team that produces tons of leads.
Some of their leads are good, while others are less interested in the product. For instance, as revealed in the study "The Critical Importance of Lead Validation", approximately 50% of a company's website conversions are not sales leads. However, good leads will close the deal with a salesperson. Timing is also fundamental in closing the deal, and even though real-time emails are good, nothing compares to real-time salespeople who have taken the time to study your dossier and give you a call. In education, banking and many other sectors, the human touch is fundamental in closing the deal.
3. Accurate Data
Coming back to the Princeton Review example, the marketing team generates leads while the sales team receives a real-time list of hot leads from the SalesWings lead scoring add-on. Next, SalesWings lists the pages visited by the hottest lead. This means that the Sales team can start the conversation on the right foot.
Once they are ready and have all the relevant information, it's time to shift the conversation from online to offline. This is where the skill of a salesperson lies, in understanding the person's need, adapting to the interlocutor, adapting the conversation to the interlocutor and following up with a personalized email or connecting on a social network. In the article "9 Crucial Ways to Integrate Social Selling," Alice Heiman explains that social networks can be use to keep in contact with the client, thus giving salespeople an opportunity to pursue the conversation in a personalized way.
To sum up, these days in order to create a company success story, you need a combination of data, an automation system and the human touch. Although marketing automation tools enable tailored communication, it is the salesperson that closes the deal by gathering the information from the tools and using human contact.