Think about the people you work with. Think about the different personalities, the cultural differences, and the different ways they approach their work. You’ll probably find at least one super organized note taker. Maybe another who keeps everything in her head, yet never loses her place. Some are deliberate and some move quickly. Companies thrive with this type of diversity. I know Audienz does.
But it does pose a few interesting questions for marketers. In this age of Account-Based Marketing (ABM), how do you market to a company with many different types of decision makers? How do you cater to the deliberator without boring those who like to choose quickly? And can you shorten the cycle for everyone?
Shortening the customer journey should be the goal. Of course, shorten is a relative term. It could mean reducing an 18-month journey to 12 months, or a 3-month campaign to 1 month. Regardless, any reduction in the time it takes to qualify a lead will likely result in a faster return on your marketing investment.
Check out these three steps to an accelerated customer journey that accommodates most types of decision makers.
- Research and target – The etymology of the word research includes the Latin root of circare, which means “to wander hither and thither.” Did you know that? I didn’t either. I learned it while researching for this post. Yes, I literally researched the word research (my nerd game is on point). It also means that I can cross “hither and thither” off my blog post word Bingo, which I never thought would happen. Many people still think about research as wandering process. I prefer the more modern definition provided by the world’s most ubiquitous research tool, Wikipedia (don’t judge me). “It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or develop new theories.” Sounds good, but how can research shorten the customer journey? Well, researching enables targeting. An investment in research allows you to create a targeted campaign. Researching your audience’s pain points can help you address them with a targeted message. Researching your industry can help you target the areas that differentiate you from competitors. Researching buying patterns can help you create targeted marketing tactics. A well-researched, targeted campaign will speed up the customer journey for any type of decision maker.
- Identify and accelerate – This may seem obvious, but some people are ready to move forward after the first touchpoint. You should let them. Every campaign should ensure that they provide an accelerated path for quick deciders. Give customers a chance to contact you directly from your landing page (or have you contact them), or provide a chat service that lets people interact early and often. Use lead scoring and metrics to identify high-propensity customers. Don’t make customers go through a long nurture process when they don’t need it.
- Shorten your nurture stream by adding binge content – It’s not as simple as “either people are ready or they need more time.” When people do not identify as hot leads, they may just need more information. If you provide binge-worthy content, you can help a motivated buyer get to a decision much faster. Of course, it’s important to continue to nurture and drip content to those that do require more time, but you’ll allow others to move down the sales funnel while they catch up.
When you create a targeted customer journey that embraces customer differences, you can start generating faster results.
Need help crafting a journey or campaign that breaks through? Contact us today. We live and breathe this stuff.