B2B marketing professionals know that a marketing automation campaign is most effective when it integrates ‘Off-Site’ channels (SEO, SEM, Email) with ‘On-Site’ marketing (landing pages, blogs, ecommerce) with the ultimate goal of personally engaging your customer from the first touch point through the targeted conversion event.
Recently, Dayna Rothman of Marketo discussed the limitations of email marketing due to the inability to keep leads engaged through one channel of communication.
“You have this huge database of leads that you are not able to leverage and you feel like you are having trouble keeping them engaged. You send out a couple of email blasts per month, but you have no idea where they are in the buying cycle or if your content is really resonating.”
The key is nurturing your leads and customers depending upon where they are in the buying process – whether they are on your site or off your site in a way that resonates.
The Fundamentals of Off-Site Marketing
Most businesses are better at marketing to customers who are off their site and away from their business than they are at marketing to customers who are on their site and already engaged. Still, to be effective using Off-Site channels, your communication with customers must be as Seth Godin evangelizes “anticipated, personal, and relevant.”
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1) Search Engine Optimization and Blog Content — You are pursuing a content strategy where you generate high value content. The Search Engine’s job is to serve it up in response to people’s search in a way that is anticipated and relevant.
2) Search Engine Marketing and Advertising — You’re target advertising to specific keywords for which relevant customers will be searching or to specific sites and blogs where relevant customers will be spending time. Your advertisement says different things depending on the keyword or location.
3) Marketing Automation Leveraging Email — You capture information about your customers’ attributes and behavior, segment your customers based on this information, and target them with relevant communication.
Marketing automation leveraging email is the most personal method of communication discussed so far. What if you could leverage the personalization of email marketing onto your website?
The Power of On-Site Marketing
Today, most marketers don’t leverage the power of On-Site marketing because it it is difficult to vary their web-based content based on a visitor’s attributes and behavior. As a result, customers, often arriving from a personalized and targeted email communication, are served up a purely generic user experience. The two exceptions to this rule are as follows:
1) Landing Pages — When a customer first arrives at your site, you target him with appropriate content depending on where he came from with a clear value proposition and call to action that is consistent with the Off-Site communication.
2) On-Site Messaging — Marketers can apply the same power and principles of targeted email campaigns but with embedded messaging while on the website depending upon certain behavioral triggers. Customers and/or leads are segmented based on attributes for targeted behaviors based on the state of the sales process and are served up personalized and relevant messages to help them to the next stage. You get the added benefit of communicating in-context as the customer is experiencing your site.
Examples of On-Site Messaging in Action
The following are examples of On-Site messaging that target users’ behavior on the simple criteria of whether they have used a new feature or if they’ve visited a specific page of content.
1) Marketo’s pop-up social message on their blog is a step toward an On-Site message. Its encouraging readers of the blog to share it.
2) Atlassian’s JIRA communicates new features and help to all users.
3) Over the past year, Google has added many in-app messages to guide and educate users and to encourage behaviors. Here, they made a change and they wanted me to know about it.
Examples of Behaviorally-Targeted On-Site Marketing in Action
The most powerful use cases for messaging are those that are truly targeted to users based on their attributes and behaviors in the context of their experience.
1) Salesforce’s Chatter integration encourages me to get my colleagues involved.
2) LinkedIn guides me through each next step of setting up my profile
3) On our site, we are helping nuture, convert, guide, and retain our own customers using On-Site Marketing, particularly through behaviorally targeted in-context messages.
We will welcome and guide you differently depending on how often you have visited and what aspects of the site you have explored:
We will show you different targeted offers or useful guidance depending on who you are and what you have done.
What are you doing to communicate with your customers On-Site with the same power and sophistication as Off-Site? I’d love to learn from you and discuss this with you in the comments below.