Mass adoption of the Internet has given birth to a marketing revolution. Marketers are seeing tried and true traditional outbound tactics begin to diminish in favor of online inbound strategies and tactics. Budgets are shifting and Internet marketing service and SaaS companies are thriving.
However, not all Internet marketers and agencies are created equal. There’s a clear delineation between their personae. Whether or not the differences are realized and leveraged can have real bottom-line implications for companies and their marketing departments.
The below personae are defined by the strategies, tactics and the technologies they deploy. So as these things evolve, so will the personae. They also represent the level of Internet marketing sophistication possessed by organizations, businesses and people, and the level of education that will be required to successfully work with them as an agency.
The vast majority of the Internet is filled with the work of the traditionalist. These are folks that deploy brochure websites with a “contact us” page. Many of them also rely on outbound marketing methods almost exclusively to drive traffic.
Pay per click and banner ads are usually in the mix and the vast majority of marketing budgets go to offline channels like yellow pages, radio, call centers and TV commercials.
Social and Search Brochurists
This persona represents one level of sophistication higher than the traditionalists. These social and search brochurists are hip to the knowledge that organic search and social media is a good thing for their brochure website. They may also do some email blasts.
However, social and search campaigns from these marketers don’t leverage the power of full-fledged content marketing.
They typically lack the appropriate amount of traffic-driving blog posts and top-of-the-funnel content for conversions. Instead, they’re forced to rely mostly on bottom-of-the-funnel offers and content pages to drive organic search and social traffic.
According to HubSpot, 96 percent of the people who visit a website aren’t ready to buy yet. They need to be presented with less “salesy” top-of-the-funnel content and then be slowly nurtured down to the bottom of the funnel.
These are the folks that understand the art and importance of online conversion. Conversionists understand that the most valuable intangible assets a website visitor can leave behind on a website are an email and IP address. They typically have many whitepapers, ebooks and/or case studies at their disposal to offer up as top-of-the-funnel content.
They are adept at using calls-to-action, and many of them also deploy A/B or multivariate testing on landing pages. They’re constantly trying to optimize landing pages for conversions. It’s also very common for them to utilize PPC advertising in a robust fashion and even deploy some email lead-nurturing.
This persona represents a culmination of all of the techniques and tactics already mentioned above. However, the whole Internet marketing strategy of the content marketer is powered with copious amounts of great, problem-solving and/or entertaining content.
The content produced is usually diverse and can include blog posts, press releases, videos, podcasts, webinars, infographics, whitepapers, ebooks, etc. Targeted and segmented email lists are typically used to deploy content, too.
The content marketer also realizes that not all content and leads are created equal. Content is mapped and organized by persona, content category and where the consumer resides in the sales funnel.
This is to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time in order to maximize profitable consumer action or reduce churn via robust lead-nurturing.
Leads are identified, qualified, segmented and scored in order to determine which content will best drive customer acquisition.
Behavior-driven nurturers leverage the power of technology to dynamically deliver the right content on the best channel based on the online and/or offline behavior of the consumer.
USAA Bank sends out direct mail based on the pages consumed on its website. Coach dynamically sends customized emails based on the products viewed by the consumer on its website. Amazon dynamically changes the content on its website, in real time, based on consumer behavior.
This dynamic lead nurturing can be done using social media and SMS, too. Behavior triggers can be website action, QR code scans, phone call activity, tradeshow attendance, emails received or anything that can be tracked. The behavior-driven nurturers represent the most advanced Internet marketer today.
Which persona represents your level of Internet marketing sophistication? Is your brand leveraging the power of content marketing across all of the inbound channels? For help valuing your inbound channels, download Valuing Digital Marketing Channels with Attribution Models.
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