Since email and online advertising first developed, the data we can glean from it has advanced way beyond just tracking who clicked on what.
By evaluating the buying signals online behaviour reveals, marketing departments can now see which prospects are at the stage where they are just about to become customers, which content triggers buying decisions effectively and the areas where customers get bogged down in the sales process and need some help.
Marketing professionals can either pass this information onto the sales team or follow it up themselves to constantly improve users’ online experience and inform company web strategy.
Simple in theory – but in practice, it requires strategic insight into who your customers are and knowing what they want. A strategy that dictates that if a person researches or buys product or service A, they should be sent content B, can really engage customers and prospects and deliver value for them, enhancing your brand reputation and pushing those leads towards the closing line.
A great example of how to do this well was discussed in a recent article on the HubSpot blog: Is Marketing Getting Too Creepy? The blog post discusses how online travel booking company Orbitz recognised from the data it gathered that Mac users tended to spend more on hotels than PC users.
So it adapted its content delivery strategy so that any visitors using the site on a Mac are presented with the more expensive options in the ‘Recommended for you’ section. Some people might consider this taking it too far and the company has since revoked the policy – but we salute the fact that their marketing team understood their customers and used technology to give them what they wanted.
Feeding data like this into the databases you already keep about your prospects and customers in your Customer Relationship Management system can help you to target specific groups even better and ensure that the information they receive really is relevant to them.
Behavioural targeting has taken off in a big way; M&M Global’s article The Clicks of the Trade reveals that it has been growing at 20% or more every year and is predicted to keep on growing until 2014. The article also revealed that consumers were 30% more likely to revisit a site if they were presented with relevant advertising there; a statistic which must also translate to the B2B arena.
Analysing the data your website reveals then creating campaigns based on it and tracking their effectiveness through your CRM system can deliver a continuous circle of improvement that shows the exact ROI on all marketing activity and turns more leads into customers. Make sure that the CRM system you use delivers a platform to join up all of your business processes so that information about your customers’ behaviour at every stage of the relationship is used throughout your business’ departments.