A couple of weeks ago, Doug and I attended Content Marketing World, where we were surrounded by content geeks like ourselves and we even saw a keynote by Mr. Kevin Spacey. (Yes, he quoted Frank Underwood 3 times. No, we didn’t get a picture. Yes, I love him even more). It’s always like a vacation to attend these events, and while the sessions are educational, I always find myself learning something outside of the classroom.
I don’t know the details, but I’m assuming that the vendors who had booths at Content Marketing World were given access to the email addresses of the attendees of the events. I know for a fact that they received access if they scanned our badges at their booth. Nonetheless, I have received a number of promotional emails after attending Content Marketing World from the vendors I visited or didn’t visit, promoting something that inevitably tied into Content Marketing World and their product or service offering.
Interestingly enough, when I received emails from the companies I don’t remember visiting or did not visit, I found myself having a different reaction to their emails than to those of the vendors who I did visit. To be quite honest, even as a marketing gal, I found myself being somewhat more dismissive to their material than to the vendors I had visited. Some, I just deleted if the subject line didn’t do anything for me. Some, I read, but I didn’t find any urge to click further. One hit the spot and I clicked through, but I don’t know if I’ll go back to their site again unless otherwise provoked. However, when I received emails for the vendors I had talked to, I think I clicked through on almost all of their emails, and I am actually considering making a serious recommendation to a client to invest in their software.
Needless to say, the human interaction had made a difference. Duh. We know this.
But, this got me thinking. If I attend a booth and talk to a team member (even if it was just for a fruit infused water and water bottle), then I’m already one step further on the marketing scale; I could be considered a marketing qualified lead or a sales qualified lead, depending on the company. In other words, I’m officially a “qualified prospect.” I skipped (in most instances) the marketing stage, besides the pretty colors of the booth graphics or the schnazzy dressed sales people. Email marketing from a company I saw at the event, but did not interact with, proved to produce little to no results, and I dismissed their messaging or marketing a lot quicker. So, if this is true for others, how in the world do companies connect with an individual and move them to the “qualified” stage without sending them a million marketing messages trying to find that one that will make them click?
Sure, there are some companies that just don’t make sense for me to interact with. But I can honestly say that every vendor at Content Marketing World was relevant to our business, and I only felt compelled to visit a few. Marketing sets the stage for prospecting. If you can’t get that subject line right or your social account is boring or your content doesn’t speak to someone loud enough, then they’re never going to make it to the qualified stage. Let’s face it – there are a ton of other companies in this day and age who do what we do. Differentiation is survival and commonality is death.
Without that human connection, companies need to continue to find ways to use marketing to generate those conversions. So, how do you differentiate yourself in a world full of people who do the same thing you do?
As a marketer who faces that marketing challenge every week, I’m still trying to figure it out.
If you liked this article and are looking for more information on prospecting, access our on-demand webinar with sales automation sponsor, Salesvue. Learn how you can increase your sales connections by 40%.
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