Cattle Dog Digital

Global vs Nurture Campaigns

What’s the Difference and Why Should I Care?

by Deirdre Mahon 

September 25, 2020

In our unleashed webcast with partner Pendula and guest Georgia White, we covered important considerations when activating or tuning your marketing automation (MA) practices with your fave MA toolset. Automation is primarily focused on streamlining, making everything run efficiently so that both marketing and sales capture critical data to inform what’s working and what’s not. Conversions across top, middle and bottom of funnel are important so you know exactly where to invest by campaign topic, asset type as well as channel (e.g. LinkedIN, Google Adwords, Twitter, Facebook,+  industry-relevant channels). The other major purpose is to deeply understand your customer and their buying journey which is the ability to take an outside-in view so you provide an excellent experience and they engage when the time is right to buy, renew or upsell. 

Buyer Journey Stages by Functional Ownership (example):

Awareness  

Research

Initiate Contact (⇉ Buyer’s Journey)

Evaluation

(⇉ Buyer’s Journey) Purchase

Expansion

Marketing 

Marketing + PMM 

Marketing (Digital + PMM + SDR)

Sales & Product

Sales, Ops,
Finance

Customer Success + Support

As with any discipline, MA takes practice and lots of testing, iterating and improving. Be patient because it does take time. Don’t forget! The closer you get to understanding your buyer’s journey plus personas including demographics, needs, desires, inspires and turn-offs are critical to finding a successful growth path.

In our previous blog, we covered the topic of Inbound vs Outbound and how to strike the right balance which covered aspects such as the importance of agreeing on objectives including measurable goals, how to conduct rapid tests with smaller pushes and balancing a flexible approach with the assumption that it’s never a one size fits all. Some buyers don’t like email, instead preferring social engagement or in app-messages.

There are so many factors that can change how customers engage. From pricing changes to a new feature launch can affect response rates and conversions so beware of all moving parts when planning and launching campaigns. Keep your finger on the business and market pulse to set expectations for all stakeholders, most importantly sales leadership teams.

Segmentation is Key Before Planning Global Campaigns and Nurtures:

The more prescriptive you are in communication and content, the higher the probability of soliciting a response. You’ve likely been subject to annoying salesy emails from a vendor that comes off as pushy or maybe even creepy, exposing how much they know about you. Perhaps they miss the mark entirely and tout an offer that you’ve already tried? It’s interruptive, annoying and lacks helpful insights for doing your daily job. This is classic mediocre marketing and you’ve been a victim of an undiscerning team who are not inspecting the data, targeting your exact persona, and the actions you’ve taken so far. You’ve probably been put in the wrong segment and perhaps the wrong persona categorization. It’s off-putting and you probably hit unsubscribe.

Segmentation and personalization is hard. There are many moving parts so let’s separate out the difference between conducting a general update campaign which we’ll call Global vs a campaign that is intended to nurture along a buying journey, based on phase and level of engagement.

All leads and contacts (records) inside your MA / SFDC systems can and should be segmented into different ‘buckets’ or smart-lists. Over time you’ll get more sophisticated in terms of defining segmentation rules but at a minimum, you want to separate current customers from prospects. Partners should be segmented separately and depending on your model, existing vs prospective.

Further customer segmentation would likely be former customers (churned) vs active customers or perhaps a division or group within a paying account that you’ll need to demarcate with agreed naming conventions. For churned or lost/recycled accounts and contacts, you may want to segment further as the nature of your “conversation” will be different.

Within each of those segments, you want to sub-segment by potential opportunity size, region, industry, account size, named account, and will be based on how granular you want to shape with distinct messages. This categorization will rely on existing fields which are hopefully complete enough to yield as clean a list as possible. 

The bottom line is you must get intimately familiar with your system’s leads and contacts, start to apply the right business logic and thinking before determining campaign touches and assets because you don’t want to waste an opportunity to engage, especially when as it takes a lot of resources, time and money to build your database in the first place. 

Content is Queen (or King 😉 )

So once you know that your accounts, contacts and leads are logically separated to fit your business, you want to determine what important content is worth sharing by topical area etc.. For Global campaigns, do you have upcoming product announcements or corporate news? Which contacts will need to know and do they actually care? Is there a distinct CTA? Perhaps you want feedback on a new beta release. Sometimes there is no CTA and it’s more a ‘check this out, we just completed an acquisition’ or ‘we closed a big deal and thought you’d like to know the company you keep’. Such global campaign touches need to be planned and calendared in advance so you proactively manage the cadence of ‘drips’. A calendar view is critical so you can really step back and know how often you’re communicating. Project tracking tools such as Asana are great to stay on top of all such details.

Nurtures are Nuanced, Highly Relevant and Focus on Engagement 

By contrast, a nurture is intended to tickle based on knowing where your buyer is along the journey. You need to make some assumptions but it should absolutely be data driven and therefore rely on your MA analytics along with SFDC to inform exactly whom, when and why. Knowing that contact’s last touch and engagement is important to place them on a buyer journey phase. You could map all contacts who took X action into X phase. Building the workflow, time lapses and next touch is critical and requires lots of thinking and planning. Below are some examples about the types of nurtures you can build:

Entry Point

Next Nurture Touch

Then Nurture

Attended an industry event

Informative eGuide on problem set & challenges

Podcast on specific use-case

Registered for a joint partner event

On-demand webcast & how you + partner solve issue

Case-study proof – “check this out” (with partner sol)

Started a product trial but didn’t complete

Helpful tips for in-trial PDF

Demo recording on unique ‘power’ features

 

Whatever the asset, it informs and enlightens your buyer to ‘lean-in’ and engage. Every single touch is representative of your brand and how helpful you are will not be forgotten when it comes to making a decision.

All too often teams rely too heavily on marketing to do the selling. Most research and evaluation takes place before a sales conversation ever occurs. However, the human touch in selling continues to be important. Think about your own buying processes you follow — whether it’s a car, a piece of furniture, tech equipment or a vacation experience — you start with online research, reviews, ask your friends and family before ever talking to a sales person. The nurture touches are key to keeping engagement levels high and knowing when the human touch is important is critical.

Databox conducted research that covers lots of best practices on this topic. Nurtures are critical to improving response rates with many different mediums of communicating, all worth testing including email, social engagement, retargeting, incorporating video, imagery, gifs etc. One data point worth calling out is that a third of respondents say >50% of their qualified leads aren’t ready to buy. You must nurture buyers along. Don’t leave it to chance and let them fall through the net because the competition will absolutely scoop them up.

 

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