Welcome to the Marketing Impact Vlog!

In this episode we’re here to share a new and simplified customer engagement map for marketers because, well, let’s be honest—customer journey mapping can get very complex. While there’s certainly a place for that, it can also be very useful to step back and evaluate your customer engagement through this simpler framework.

We use this framework to quickly assess and ensure that our marketing efforts are effective at every stage of the customer’s buying cycle.

There are four stages of customer engagement:

  1. Identify
  2. Engage
  3. Validate
  4. Close

We’ve written four detailed blog articles on each of these, so today, we’re going to do a round-up of sorts in case you are short on time and want the key points.

First up, Identify.

This is really about how to identify marketing opportunities in your business sector. We cover many strategies including how to look at the competition and analyze the market landscape, but the most important angle to explore to identify marketing opportunities is your list of customers, prospects, and customers you’ve lost.

The insight you gather straight from your customers is literally some of the best insight to use to drive product and service enhancements, to develop supplemental product/service revenue, and to build stronger market awareness and increase customer loyalty.

If you want to see more on this and other ideas to support your Identify stage, read our recent article, How to Identify the Best Market Opportunities For Business Growth.

Next, Engage.

We care about engagement now; it’s not just leads anymore. According to our 2019 Marketing Benchmark Survey, marketers are being measured by sales results—qualified leads and closed deals—as much as they are by marketing results.

We also found out that the biggest lead conversion challenge is engaging prospects so they respond to sales follow-up attempts. If you are being held responsible for the end result, your best bet is to focus on keeping those new leads hot and engaged!

We wrote about 10 different strategies you can implement right away to increase connection, engagement and conversion of leads that are generated. My favorite strategy is to swap out content marketing articles for surveys or tools. I’ve seen case studies of companies that have switched to using a quiz or tool as an engagement tactic with impressive results.

Next then, is Validate.

This is all about asking if your marketing and sales tools are helping you validate that new contacts coming into your marketing and sales funnel are legitimate prospects. Lead validation fills the gap between marketing automation and sales efforts.

Lead validation can help you accurately evaluate the results of, and efficiently improve, your SEO, PPC, display advertising, email, content marketing and social media campaigns. It can also play the very important role of making sure you don’t overstate your marketing campaign ROI.

Our article, Lead Validation Can Make OR Break Marketing, will cover this in detail if you want to know more on this important topic.

Finally, Close.

This is all about seeing where you can focus to improve that very important conversion from Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), ultimately impacting higher close rates.

We outlined 5 ways to boost your MQL to SQL (to close) conversion rate in BtoB marketing. The first is:

Ensure your marketing and sales messaging are aligned. This essentially means that you want to make sure that as your qualified leads start interacting with your sales representatives the core values and key messages they are sharing remain consistent all the way through the sales process. If the sales team shares inconsistent messaging or too much information, it can create confusion, reduce credibility or trust, and slow down the sales process.

You can see the other four tips in our Close article, 7 Creative Ways to Increase MQL to SQL to Close Conversion in BtoB Marketing

And that’s a wrap on our New (& Simplified) Customer Engagement Map for Marketers. Let us know in the comments below which area you are prioritizing in this new year.

Until next time, remember to Grow Your Brand…and Drive Demand!

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