We now live in a world where data is king. If you don’t use data properly, you may leave leads on the cutting room floor. Buyers “research solutions, rank options, set requirements and compare pricing – all before they even have one conversation with a sales representative”. Are you afraid that you may be missing out on possible future revenue? If not, you should be.
With digital leads, you may only go for the “easy wins”, such as someone filling out the “Contact Us” form on your business’s website. But what about the plethora of other hidden data gems you could be missing out on or just not using to their full potential? For example:
- Users who visit your website and use the search box, but don’t fill out the contact forms
- Those that subscribe to your social media and video channels and which videos they watch
- People searching for solutions you can provide and coming across your online reviews
Data from these actions (and more) bring in a steady flow of leads to your sales funnel. If you aren’t monitoring this information, how will you know which form of content your audience desires the most?
To better understand the importance of data, understand where it fits in each stage of the buyer’s journey. Otherwise, you may use the right data at the wrong time, which could be just as bad as not having data at all.
How the Buyer’s Journey Fuels Data Collection
Here are the 4 stages of the buyer’s journey and the data resources that could cost you leads if used incorrectly:
During the Awareness Stage, leads are searching for information. They may or may not currently know of your brand, but they are seeking educational materials to help them make their own buying decision. This is where you can use your knowledge to gain their attention (and their data).
This audience typically converts from a visitor to a lead by downloading some form of white paper, infographic, tip sheet, checklist, eBook, or analyst report. Use this to your advantage: You have captured the audience’s interest; now is your opportunity to ask for their data! Ask for information such as name, email address, company, etc., to allow them access to the resource(s) they desire.
Remember: Not all important data is tied directly to a person’s identity. You can collect other data to create ideas for new content. What do users search for most when they get to your website? Which social media posts get the most likes and shares? Which videos get the most views on your YouTube channel? Use this data to create more content you know your audience will search for.
Typical sources for data during this stage include:
- Social channels
- Website search boxes
- Video views
- Website sign-ups for eBooks, webinars, checklists, etc.
In the Consideration Stage, you have earned the attention of your potential buyer. This is when you need to hit them with branded content. But, you may ask, “How do I know what content to send them?” Simple. Use the data you gathered in the Awareness Stage to suit your future client’s needs.
This could be provided in downloadable form—case studies, customer stories, how-to guides, vendor comparisons, data sheets, FAQs, samples, demos, playbooks, online assessments and more. Observing the behavior and data of the lead in this stage is critical in determining what type of content is most likely to convert them to a Sales Qualified Lead.
In the Decision Stage, the lead is nearly ready to make a purchase, but that doesn’t mean you can become lax in your quest for the sale. Now is the time to use the data gathered in previous stages to set up a win. How did they find you? What content did they download from you? Use this to target the pain points you know your future client has.
The content in this phase should lean toward budgeting, planning, implementing, and managing or using the product or service. Use videos, webinars, free trials, consultations, ROI calculators, estimates or coupons. While not every customer is the same, this is a good jumping off point to get content to potential leads. Use previous data to improve future decisions.
Brand Advocate Stage
Once you’ve made the sale, the new customer now moves into the Brand Advocate Stage. Did you provide all the information the customer needed, or do they still have questions? Was the customer satisfied with the overall buying experience? If they were satisfied, now is the time to build your data by asking for customer reviews, testimonials, and other information you can pass along to future leads as proof of your dedication and great work.
Even after the sale, the buyer will continue to research best practices, implementation guides and how-to guides. Make sure you have content and collect data to support them after the sale. This can be in the form of videos, tip sheets, checklists, apps, tools, plug-ins and e-newsletters. If you don’t utilize the data you have collected from them correctly, they may search for a new provider.
Pulling It All Together
Is all this information overwhelming? Do you have the data but are unable to use it effectively? Is gathering data is taking up too much time and resources for your sales team?
Whether you need consulting, coaching or full inbound digital marketing program management, Marketing Essentials uses a data-driven, performance-based approach to generate higher quality leads for your sales team.
Take advantage of our free, personalized, 30-minute consultation on how best to position your business for inbound digital marketing success.