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Creating Relationships

Posted by Mike McKinnon on
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hands-holding-a-tree.jpgAs I noted in an earlier blog post, we are in the process of putting together a lead nurturing program for our sales team. I came across this interview between Brian Carroll and John Miller, author of the Marketo blog as I was doing research for our program.

Brian comes up with a very nice succinct definition of lead nurturing, he states that "lead nurturing is having consistent and meaningful communication with viable customers regardless of their time to purchase." I find the key points to be "consistent" and "meaningful" in his definition.

Let me expand. Consistency has three meanings. Consistent tone, content and delivery. In terms of tone, your communication with the prospect should reflect their industry and job function. For example, if you are contacting a marketer in the web conferencing industry, you want to make sure you use the proper jargon and keywords so you are communicating in "their" language.

Your content needs to be consistent as well. Make sure you are sending content at regular intervals (but not too regular) to keep top of mind awareness for the prospect. Also, make sure your calls to action and hooks are consistent. Do not keep changing the call to action.

Perhaps the more important of the two is meaningful. Any content that is not meaningful to the prospect will be considered unwanted spam and will either be deleted at best or, at worse, get you blocked. The purpose of nurturing is to provide the prospect with valuable information that will help them with their jobs. By doing this consistently, you are establishing yourself as a go to resource.

The key, and I think we can all agree on this one, is to form a relationship before the buying process begins so there is already a preference for your product/service.

[tags]B2B, lead generation, nurturing campaigns, Brian Carroll, Jon Miller [/tags]


Name: Jon Miller, Marketo
Time: Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The challenge, of course, is how can you have consistent and meaningful conversions with 1000s or even 100,000s of prospects? You've got to have the right marketing automation tools to support the process. (Of course, Marketo is a provider of such tools, so maybe I'm a bit biased...)

Name: Mike McKinnon
Time: Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hi Jon, Thanks for the comment. We are in the beginning stages of nurturing programs so automation is still a couple of steps away but it is certainly something we want to move towards in the future. As I am sketching out the beginning of our program, I can see how it can get very unwieldy very quickly without some type of automation.

Name: Adam Blitzer
Time: Friday, February 29, 2008

You both make great points. I would also encourage everyone to profile their visitors and use dynamic content in order to make messaging as relevant as possible. In the B2B space we have many chances to interact with site visitors and learn more about them due to the long sales cycles. Having this information is good, but using this information to tailor content on a web site or in marketing materials is even better. Full disclosure: like John, I also work for a marketing automation provider (Pardot).

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