Old vs. new way of approaching Omni-channel marketing – What’s Changed?

Omni-channel marketing is certainly a buzzword. In the B2B world, most marketers are feeling the strain of trying to achieve omni-channel marketing, but that is easier said than done. As I had explained in an earlier blog post, omni-channel marketing is an engagement strategy that is only successful from a top down approach. So, your VP or CMO has indicated that seamless customer engagement across channels is a major priority for 2017, what does that look like? In this blog post, I’d like to walk you through how you can change some of your more traditional demand generation campaigns into more effective omni-channel campaigns. This post is going to get tactical, so I decided a video tutorial would also help get the ideas across:

To help highlight old campaigns vs new, let me take a moment to paint a picture of a demand generation campaign most of us are familiar with. Think of the following as a waterfall experience from acquisition to conversion to qualification.

Engagement 1: Inbound Acquisition

Prospects reach your website through organic search or paid traffic. They may click to get to your landing page either through a specific paid ad or display ad. They may also conduct an organic search query that puts your website on the first page of search results (lucky you!) thus getting them to land on your website.

Engagement 2: Web Visits

Once they make it to a page on your website, the main goal is to get them to convert via form submission. This conversion may happen directly on the landing page, or after a few clicks as they browse the website. Ideally, you are not sending your inbound leads to your home page since it is more generic, will result in more bounces, and there may not be a focus on a single conversion mechanism.

Engagement 3: Form Conversion

For the organic search visitors, after a few page visits, your prospect may land on a page with a form. The page with the form should be connected to your marketing automation platform. The visitor may even see their information pre-populate if they have visited your site before or engaged with an email from your marketing automation system. Our goal is conversion, so a short form that promises a useful offer or CTA should do the trick.

Engagement 4: Email Nurture

Once someone has submitted a form on your website, you should have enough basic information to add them to a nurture stream. The purpose of this email nurture stream is to engage the prospect repeatedly such that they ultimately qualify as an MQL. Get the prospect to engage through clicking, downloading, viewing, and filling out forms so we can score their behavior.

Now, after that explanation, you might be thinking to yourself “why is this considered the old way?” A few reasons:

  • In this model, we’re assuming that a prospect gives you their identity (via form fill) after just one click from that display ad or website visit. These days it is more likely that an anonymous visitor will not give up their identity until they have engaged with your digital properties on multiple occasions.
  • Inbound paid search can get expensive quickly. Competition for clicks drives up prices so your display and paid search drives up the cost of a lead you haven’t even qualified yet. You’re also limited to keywords only for your search campaigns.
  • Once you paid for the click, and a visitor doesn’t fill in your form, you have no further ability to interact with that person.
  • We’re also assuming that a visitor doesn’t become a lead until you have their email address, thus nurturing only happens via email.
  • In this model, your results are measured in number of leads. Quantity, and not quality, is probably your basis for ROI. Wouldn’t you like to attract only more qualified leads instead to engage with?

While this is a lengthy explanation, here is the point – inbound can be used to nurture leads and convert qualified leads in a more cost effective manner. How you ask? Let’s take a look at the newer model – omni-channel campaigns.

Below is the previous model with some updates. B2B marketers can use multiple channels in a single campaign to provide a more seamless experience to their customers and prospects for acquisition and for nurturing. This model below will help you acquire more quality leads that convert faster. Let’s examine each of these new engagements and how you can implement them in your campaigns.

Engagement 5: Social Media Pixelation

Alongside our traditional model, we’ve added 3 new entrants all within the realm of social media. The purpose of these does not focus on the initial promoted post or paid ad, but the pixel action. Within your marketing automation system, you can “cookie” your anonymous visitors. With this information, you can track what pages they visit. The same strategy applies within social media. Let’s say someone clicks from a social ad to a blog. Your blog may not have a conversion point, but we have captured that visit and visitor by tagging them, and we can now target them with a specific social media re-nurture campaign even before we ever reach a conversion event and get their email address.

Engagement 6: Retargeting

Now that we have a pixel of this person, we can now showcase ads within social media to get them to re-engage. Once you paid for the click, you have them pixeled, and you can re-market to them until the cookie is deleted (lasts up to 180 days). This is the same time frame for most marketing automation platforms. The nurturing begins in social media while they are still anonymous, without an email address.

Why this model works:

  • Now, you are not expecting a prospect to convert after 1 click. With the addition of retargeting, you can assume a few interactions and track those interactions before a conversion. Typically, a prospect gives you their identity after up to 8 clicks.
  • Nurture happens before and after we know email address! This is crucial, we’re not just waiting on an outbound nurture to occur, we are utilizing an inbound nurturing system.
  • Prospects are leads as soon as they are pixeled, and they can be nurtured with retargeting campaigns directing them to content, just like email does.
  • We can target social channels by complete persona (job titles, interests, etc.), Facebook in particular has many segments that you can levergae to create specific lists.
  • From an ROI perspective, click prices for social retargeting are 1/10th to 1/100th of paid search, thus you are getting more bang for your buck and you are not having to work to get an email address to begin nurturing.
  • Results are measured in leads AND in number of people pixeled for future retargeting campaigns.

I hope reviewing the difference in the two models provided some insight into how you can craft a more multi-channel experience with your campaigns. Overall, these engagement paths can, and should be, scaled to help reach your revenue goals. Questions or comments? Tell us what you think.