Online interactions and unique visits to your website aren’t necessarily customers for your business, or even prospective customers. Companies often make the mistake of assuming that every visit to a website is someone who’s interested in their products, or that everyone who downloads a single whitepaper is ready to buy.
Not so. Not so at all.
A web visitor can have many different reasons for perusing your site and spending time with your content, none of which have to do with becoming an actual customer. For example, visitors to your site could be:
- Competitors keeping an eye on you.
- Job seekers looking for a better gig.
- Students researching a college term paper.
And yet, nearly everyone who falls within these three categories is often at risk of getting a phone call or winding up on an email list.
Putting every visitor into a customer bucket is a dangerous practice. It’s not only a huge drain on resources to pursue each and every person who shares his or her phone number or email address, but it can also create a negative experience for people who had no intention of becoming the target for a barrage of marketing material.
Converting visitors to customers, or even just knowing which visitors are a fit to convert, requires a deeper understanding of who they are. This is where 3D (three-dimensional) lead scoring comes into play.
Lead scoring isn’t new, but the rise of Big Data has ushered in a new generation of 3D lead scoring solutions that are adding depth to how marketers and sales professionals view customers and prospects. 3D scoring is the natural evolution of the valuable data you’ve been collecting on your customers for years, and using it to best serve these customers and ultimately, increase your sales and your bottom line.
Whether a business is focused on B2C or B2B marketing strategies, a 3D lead scoring can help them measure how closely a prospect or customer matches their “ideal” profile, all while tracking their level of engagement and commitment. This ensures that your focus is on the people who really could buy, rather than casting a wide—and expensive—net to reach every visitor who just happened to arrive on your site.
First, Identify demographics or firmagraphics
You’ll build your 3D scoring by identifying your customer. You’ll want to know “Who is this person? Are they the right fit for my company?” The type of business you’re in will determine which profile you will use to 3D score your customers.
B2C organizations should focus on demographic data, such as their age, gender, income, occupation, marital status, number of children, square footage of their home, zip code, reading subscriptions, association memberships and affiliations, and so on.
B2B organizations should focus on firmagraphicdata, which includes company revenue, years in business, number of employees, proximity to other buildings, zip code, minority-owned status, number of service centers and factors like that.
The second piece of 3D scoring is engagement
In other words, you will want to know how this customer is engaged with your brand? Do they only see you at trade shows? Do they speak to you by phone regularly? Do they follow you on Twitter, Facebook and Instragram and check in on FourSquare when they visit your location? Do they join your webinars? How they engage with you can affect their relationship with you. More personal interactions often means more personal relationships.
Third, identify where your customer is in their relationship with you
If you aren’t already, you need to segment your database according to the length of time your customer has been your customer. Is this a lifelong customer who has bought every product you have? Is this a new customer who is unaware of all of your company’s offerings? As you can imagine, the type of email you send to a lifelong customer differs greatly from the one you send to someone early in his or her relationship with you.
While many marketers segment their databases by demographics or firmagraphics alone, they need to be sensitive to the customer’s stage in the lifecycle and rely more on 3D scoring. A new customer who has only ever emailed you won’t be as strong as the long-term customer who has visited your office. Similarly, the person you met at the trade show may be the weaker customer than the one who has silently purchased from you for five years. You won’t know that without 3D scoring.
Give every visitor the white-glove treatment.
Amid all this talk about using 3D lead scoring to focus on visitors who have the potential to buy, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that every interaction with a visitor should be a white-glove treatment experience — attentive, friendly and solution-driven in the visitor’s favor. Remember, it’s not about making the most money on that first sale. It’s about providing what the visitor really needs, which will result in a positive customer experience and future sales. Extend this courtesy to every visitor, even the competitors, job seekers, and college students. You never know when a small kindness is going to pay dividends later.
You can’t simply find best-fit customers. You must cultivate them. How? By enabling them to move seamlessly through each phase of the lifecycle, finding the right content or connection they seek along the way. This is the strength of Right On Interactive’s Lifecycle Marketing solution: empowering organizations to know exactly where a prospect or customer is in their relationship with a brand—from prospect to raving fan—and how best to approach them to maximize lifetime value.
Disclosure: Right On Interactive is a client of ours and sponsor of Martech Zone. Learn more about their lifecycle marketing solution today: