Nurturing and automation have become critical components of understanding the customer's path to purchase. Set the foundation for a solid customer journey by exploring these three key elements.
Ready to dig deeper? Check out the full interview with Dale Riether, Creative Manager and Subject Matter Expert on Nurturing and Automation, as he dissects the stages and needs of the customer journey in a 2021 world.
1. Purposeful Messaging Content
Nurturing the customer means giving them the right information, at the right time, as they’re working through their path to purchase. Each stage of this path is an opportunity for a different type of content.
Awareness Stage: In the awareness phase, people are still trying to figure out what issue they’re trying to solve in the first place. Once that’s identified, then what’s the solution? In terms of content, now is the time to provide information - e-books or white papers, for example - that will help educate them on the solutions that your brand can offer.
Evaluation Stage: People have become more aware of your brand and more aware of others seeking similar solutions. They’re research gathering, talking to colleagues, ultimately seeing what the different solutions are for their identified problem, and deciphering what’s best for them. What can you leverage at this point? Showcase the different solutions in your content by using things like webinars, value-solution propositions and competitive comparisons.
Consideration Stage: By the consideration, or “buying,” phase, people are asking, “What is it going to take for me to be a customer, and what will that look like?” Support the thought process now with free trials, live demos, and introductions to team members.
2. Marketing Automation
Setting up automation for actions such as form submissions, order placements, or cart abandonments is key. Without it, you’ll never be able to get back to potential customers as fast as they’re expecting. This takes work off your shoulders so you can focus on essential elements like messaging and content, rather than the logistics of it.
CRM: A good first step, essential to a good nurture strategy, is having the proper CRM setup to make sure you’re organizing all your customer data in a way you can determine what stage of the buying journey they’re in. Through CRM you’ll be able to map out who your prospects are, what they need, thus determining what types of content you need to develop.
Lead Scoring: Specifically, you can determine a customer’s stage in the buying process through lead scoring. Set up all the rules ahead of time so the platforms are telling you when a person is ready for a particular piece of content. This will help deliver the right content at the right time.
Email Automation: In terms of singular email marketing efforts, it depends on your industry. For e-commerce, quick wins can be new customer emails for people that are new subscribers to see your site or abandoned cart emails. For B2B, a one to two email series after someone fills out a form, letting them know you received the communication. Other examples are free trials and email series reminding users of key features. Ultimately, you want a potential customer to take the next step toward your intended outcome, so ensure your emails give them the resources to take the next step
3. Take An Omni-Channel Approach
You should be leveraging multiple platforms, not just email, social media, display, and search. It depends on where they are, what your product is, and where you might reach them at different places. For example, with the shift towards customers not wanting to speak to humans as often, more people are using text messages and chat bots instead of calling for interest. By prioritizing omni-channel, we can apply heuristic frameworks like email marketing to chat bots or SMS.
Nurturing is an overall strategy, and without specific tactics on multiple platforms like remarketing, CRM, email automation, anything we’ve mentioned, that are not in service to reaching the customer with the right message, at the right time, for where they are in the journey, it’s not going to be a very effective strategy.
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