235 billion emails exchanged. 18 billion texts and 500 million tweets sent. 82 million automated calls performed. If those aren’t examples of a daily dose of “noise” of this new decade, then I’m not sure what is.
Now while my 20 something seems to delight in contributing to the plethora of digital noise (how many Instagram selfies does one need to post with the same snowflake filter!?) today, most shrewd prospects have learned to look the other way. They now prefer to self-educate and have tremendously high expectations as to how they interact and engage with brands. Welcome to a new decade – a new digital era of customer engagement. In other words, like consumer brands have, B2B companies need to find innovative, simple, and effective ways to engage in the long term and build lasting relationships. The Amazon effect, anyone? Guilty – as I’m an Amazon Prime addict.
As you feverishly start preparing your post-Holiday campaigns, we have put together the Top 3 Tips to consider as you try and raise the customer engagement ‘bar’ this New Year. If only us parents had a ‘Top 3’ list of practical advice on how best to motivate our kids for re-entry into school mode. (Now that’s another post for another day.)
TIP # 1: Create engaging and immersive content experiences
According to a recent Forrester Research report, “60% [of buyers] say vendors give them too much content, and most say what they get is useless.” In order to quickly build powerful engagement, consider building immersive content experiences, via “content boards” or “content sites” that wow prospects with relevant information that rises above the noise.
These branded content-based microsites can be leveraged in various ways, from web resource centers to knowledge bases to product launches to regional sites. They can also serve various purposes, from top of funnel awareness to demand generation to sales enablement. Additionally, because they can be built as content journeys leveraging various sources of acquired data, they are highly engaging (almost addictive!), keeping people longer and learning more about the value you can bring them.
Example content experience could include:
- Content/Resource Center: Build a “content site” using Folloze and embedded it as the resource center of your corporate website. All the content assets you need are in one place, searchable and easy to navigate by topic, product, or solution. A website resource center is one of the most important areas of your online presence, where your buyers come to learn. Give them a super great experience and they will come back for your products too.
- Demand Generation Site: Create a content experience that tells a story for campaigns, events, launches, verticals, regions or accounts. Many demand gen teams today use “content boards” for activities such as product launches, events and webinars (before/after), ABM, upsell/cross-sell campaigns, newsletters, and even RFP responses.
- Sales/Partner Enablement Hub: Develop a content package for field teams and partners, integrated into your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Today, some of our Folloze customers create a hub internally for sales enablement, both as a content repository and as an internal informational campaign, leading to increased marketing and sales alignment.
TIP # 2: Further customize those content experiences with hyper-personalization
While including content experience in your modern engagement strategy really should be foundational, in order to take things to the next level, you should consider enhancing those experiences with hyper-personalization. Hyper-personalization, or full funnel personalization, is the act of incorporating unique visitor, account, predictive, and intent data to deliver extremely customized, interactive, and curated experiences throughout the entire buyer’s journey.
While “89% of digital businesses recognize the value in investing in personalization in order to deliver the right message to the right customer, at the right time” per Forrester, many businesses today still struggle with gathering the right data and effectively putting it into action to deliver a truly valuable interaction. One hyper-personalization example could include:
- Strategic ABM: Promote new offering and expand with existing accounts: When targeting existing customers for renewal or expansion, incorporate the rich account data you have gathered, such as name-dropping key stakeholders or products they’ve previously deployed into your content experiences. With the right integrations, you can also leverage third-party AI data from sources like Demandbase, Bombora and Salesforce. Next assign a salesperson with a dynamic contact card for personalized follow-up, and surface account specific messaging that speaks directly to their pain points. Using firmographic data, you can also offer up dynamic content based on account stage, use case, and/or intent, or even persona or industry-based content such as case studies. By doing so, you can deepen those insights and better nurture account relationships, essentially giving every single customer the engagement experience they want – even before they know they want it.
TIP # 3: Orchestrate and promote those content experiences consistently across all touchpoints
Once you have created your content experiences and have augmented them with hyper-personalization, you need to ensure your messaging is delivered consistently across all functions and channels. While many of the traditional means of socialization and amplification of content still remain trusted methods (think social media/ads etc), campaigns that are orchestrated by sales delivering customized content via a marketing managed library – now that’s powerful stuff. For example, one unique orchestration use case could include:
- Send-on-Behalf Campaigns: Consider executing collaborative campaigns that are developed by marketing (drafted and designed), yet delivered by sales via ABM, upsell/cross-sell, newsletters, onboarding, motions etc. By incorporating this strategy, you enable your sellers to maintain consultative relationship with buyers, while allowing marketing to keep a close eye on asset messaging, tone of voice and adherence brand guidelines. In essence, this Send-on-Behalf technique empowers sales and marketing teams to focus on what they do best, while providing the best engagement experience for prospective customers.
Yes, it’s true; we now live in a post-automation world where savvy audiences have learned to tune marketing messages out. And while B2C companies like Netflix, Starbucks, or Amazon have been trailblazers when it comes to executing top notch of customer engagement, most B2B organizations still seem to fall flat. However, offering highly engaging and data powered personalized experiences, can not only raise the bar in terms of new customer engagement, but it is an extremely effective way to help expand revenue with existing customers.
How have you incorporated content experiences, hyper-personalization and/or orchestrated campaigns into your go-to-market efforts? We’d love to know! Share with us an exciting campaign idea you have for this New Year season.