Consumer and business buying habits have changed, and so has your customer’s buyer journey. As marketing has evolved over the years, and the advent of the internet age brought about huge change, it has influenced and significantly transformed the sales and marketing process.
The buyer’s journey has shifted from a seller-controlled experience where everything happened in the form of face-to-face communication, to a self-powered and self-guided tour by a buyer on the internet. Previously, the buyer’s journey was focused on the seller’s contact with a potential buyer but now it is more focused on the buyer finding what they need on their own.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
What is the buyer’s journey?
The buyer’s journey is the movement of a buyer from the initial stage of awareness through to consideration where they are eliminating competitors, to when they then decide to purchase an item. The critical thing about this journey is that communication needs to happen at each stage, and that it changes at each of the different steps of the buyer’s journey.
Let’s look at the experience of buying a car…
In the 1990’s when someone needed to buy a car, they would probably look at television for ads or read the newspaper for car dealers. After this, they would probably then go to the dealership and talk to a sales person before buying the car. Fast forward to the current times, the experience of buying a car is wildly different.
People go online first and search for auto manufacturers and then look at car review sites before they even talk to a salesperson. When they go to a dealership, they know exactly what car they want and even know how much they should pay for it. Crazy difference, right?
If you compare and contrast these experiences, you realise that a real shift has happened. The buyer’s journey had really shifted from a seller-controlled experience where everything happened in face-to-face communication to a buyer-powered experience where customers get the information they want on their own terms.
The critical thing to understand about the buyer’s journey is that critical communication needs to happen along the entire journey, and that communication needs to happen at each stage of the buyer journey. In the past, the buyer’s journey involved unique experiences, unique decisions, and unique points of interest for each person.
This has however changed where buyers are treated as a whole and not as individuals. Now, buyers wander in the dark; searching, sorting and sifting for static data points from a sea of information. Sellers also overwhelmed buyers with generic content and glorified digital billboards. But what if you could bring back the previous era of human conversations and mix it up with the new era of digital marketing?
A New Approach
You need to take a hyper personalised approach that is more meaningful, engaging and fulfilling for both the buyer and you, the seller.
Marketing automation makes it possible to create content that is hyper-personalised and put it in front of the right people at exactly the right time in the buyer’s journey. It refers to a set of tools that can be used across the marketing funnel that seeks to offer real time responsive communication to potential buyers through technology.
It enables you to leverage features such as web visitor ID, dynamic list building, next generation emails, campaign tracking, dynamic landing pages, CRM integration, and lead scoring to engage a buyer as a unique individual. You get to do this through ongoing, two-way, hyper-personalised conversations.
Munro Agency makes use of marketing automation to enable personalised conversations based on the content that marketers create. The focus is on putting the right message in front of the right people at the right time in their buyer’s journey. Personalised content can double the conversion rates on your website. Email communication that is personalised has both a large increase in both open rates and click through rates. This results in increased conversion rates across the board.
Companies that adopt persona’s to categorize their leads and prospects will have significantly better results. The idea behind this is to widen the sales funnel from top to bottom across the whole funnel. This happens because marketing automation helps you drive leads to the top of the funnel when they become aware of your product or what you have to offer.
Personalisation and personalised content makes them move further down the funnel and helps you turn the leads into opportunities. Once you have the opportunities, you can use our tools to turn them into sales and conversions.
Personalised Content Best Practices
You can also improve your conversions by taking up new practices that provide you with better results. The first thing you need to do is to eliminate the following practices that could be the reason why your marketing efforts are not working:
- Static, one way websites
- Digital billboards
- Generic email blasts
- Treating all leads equally
- Having the same conversation with all leads
Instead, take up these best practices for higher conversions:
- Adaptive websites based on needs
- Hyper-personalised relevant emails
- Qualifying leads based on behaviour
- Smart responsive websites that engage users
- Two-way communication with buyers
- Custom nurturing based on funnel stage
How exactly does Marketing Automation Enable Hyper-personalisation? At every stage of the traditional marketing funnel, as leads moved through the funnel, more than 50% of them disappeared, leaving you with few conversions at the end.
In a traditional marketing funnel, most of the leads go flying right past your funnel. The ones that get into your funnel exit the funnel constantly as they work through the buyer’s journey. In the traditional funnel, there is minimal communication, nurturing and no personalisation which is why very few leads convert. At every stage of this marketing funnel, more than 50% of leads get lost at each stage of the funnel.
Marketing automation allows you to tailor the first 85% of the buyer’s journey with hyper-personalised conversations in real time. It helps buyers to get the answers to the specific questions that they are asking instead of having generic content that is broad and not specific. It provides real-time responsive communication.
Marketing automation is also useful to a seller because it helps them qualify leads. This means that they get to identify which leads they should work with and where they should spend their resources. Through marketing automation, you can integrate modern digital marketing methods to the traditional marketing funnel.
When it comes to driving leads and lead generation, one of the tools you can use is next generation email campaigns. These are dynamic emails that adapt to make the content more personal to the receiver. Another tool you can use is AdWords integration where you can see the keywords that people are searching for to come to your website. You can create a way that your website adapts in real time to that information. Other marketing automation tools that you can use to drive leads include campaign tracking, dynamic landing forms and landing pages, visitor ID, and analytics or reporting.
Dynamic forms can change based on the information you already know about a lead, where they only include questions for information that you do not have. Dynamic emails also change depending on the information that you have of the recipient such as past experience and user behaviour on your website. Giving people information that they want at that moment leads to conversions more often than giving them generic information.
This is where you can collect every meaningful information about the lead on a single timeline and use it in a variety of ways to personalise your communication with them in an automated fashion. All your interaction and tracking can be wrapped up in a lead score, which is a numerical representation of how interested your lead is to your product or service and how much of a fit they are to your product or service. This eliminates leads who are interested but are not a fit because they are not likely to convert.
Another tool that can be used here is dynamic list building where you can create dynamic lists based on user behaviour. As new members meet the set criteria, they are automatically added to the list and other members break the criteria they get removed from the list. The third tool that is useful when it comes to nurturing is the use of persona’s where we can group people based on their behaviours and interests. This enables you to write content specifically targeted to a certain persona. Other tools that you can use at this stage include behavioural based lead tracking and dynamic behaviour based email drip campaigns.
This is where all the tools you have been using tie in to make a sale. Some of the marketing automation tools that you can use to close the deal include CRM/CRM integration, lead scoring, social integration, sales management/ notification, smart emails and trackable media, sales email automations for post-contact nurturing, end to end ROI, reporting and analytics, sales automation dashboards, and shopping cart integration or abandonment. Using these tools will produce more leads at the top of the funnel and the process repeats itself. Combining marketing automation and hyper-personalisation therefore leads to a wider funnel.
Personalise your marketing with dynamic content
The goal of delivering personalised content isn’t just to increase conversions, but also to meet the growing expectations of your customers. In the past, website users were amazed that they would get recommendations for products they were interested in. Today, users expect that they will get these recommendations from various platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. More than 74% of users get frustrated when they do not get personalised content from a website.
So how can you meet this high demand in the market? The answer lies in using dynamic content.
Dynamic content has more or less made static content marketing obsolete. Delivering dynamic content to your audience is all about making your content tailored to each individual website visitor, and not just auto-generated. It means having elements on your website or email that change depending on a user’s past behaviour or information.
An example of dynamic content is where an image for a marketing email will change to a beautiful travel destination because you searched for top travel destinations last week. To understand the concept of dynamic content better, let’s look at some real-world examples.
Amazon was really the pioneer of dynamic content in the retail space. When you go to the Amazon website, you will find that the product ads suggested for you will either be in like with what you have searched for on the Internet before or something that is in line with your interests. No, that’s not magic. It’s dynamic content.
Netflix also uses dynamic content to improve your experience on the platform. They track what you’ve been watching and give you recommendations based on your tastes and preferences. Their entire homepage is filled with aspects of dynamic content and you’ll find that your Netflix homepage will be completely different from the next person’s homepage.
As the most visited website in the world, Google has not been left behind. One way Google uses dynamic content is to personalise their content based on your location. When you search for “a shop or service near me” you will get suggestions based on your location. A person in Chicago, US and another person in Glasgow, UK will see completely different results.
How can dynamic content work for you?
Understanding how dynamic content works is the first step. The next step is to understand how dynamic content can work for you. Marketing automation platforms make it much easier for you to provide dynamic content to your audience.
Once your website is up and running, begin collecting relevant data and information about your customers. This includes things like location, name, their purchases and which pages they visit. You can then use this data to create targeted emails and landing pages. Some elements you need to provide users with dynamic content include:
A marketing database
When you start collecting data about your website visitors, you need to store it in a central location. Each user will have a unique ID and even interaction they have on the website will be recorded and stored within the database.
A dynamic content generator
The function of a dynamic content generator will be to take data from your database and display it on the email or the page. The generator will use various elements and automatically display them based on the available data.
A landing page that can be edited
You must build your web page in a malleable way, so that the content generator can work. Having an editable landing page will let you place the dynamic content code as needed and implement other aspects of personalisation as well.
How you can use dynamic content for personalised content?
There are so many ways you can integrate dynamic content into your marketing strategy. Here are some of the most common examples that you can start with:
A landing page is a great way to convert users to customers. You can use dynamic content on a landing page by interacting the name of the lead into the page design, or referencing their recent searches of interests. You can also personalise the call to action for better results.
Emails are some of the best channels to integrate dynamic content. You can go much further than just having the user’s name on the email. You can change email content depending on the browsing history or location of the user.
Personalised forms have higher chances of getting sign-ups. Your website can offer different versions of a form to users depending on their individual information. You can even have different offers depending on their stage in the buyer’s journey.
You can also use redirects to convert users into customers. Depending on their most frequently visited pages on your website, you can redirect them to a page that has more information about what they are looking for.
You can use dynamic content to personalise your Web page pop-ups by using length of user inactivity, time spent on the page, and user clicks. You can even use pop-ups to redirect users to different pages.
Recommendations are some of the ways you can use dynamic content to personalise the user experience. Amazon and Netflix do it, and so can you. Recommendations don’t have to be product based, they can also be based on the user behaviour on your website and what they are interested in.
You can use site-wide data as well as individual user data to deliver a user-friendly, personalised experience to your website visitors when they are searching for something on your page. One way you can do this is by delivering results based on user experiences or by suggesting the most frequent search queries.
At Munro Agency, we offer a variety of marketing automation tools that help you produce personalised content that converts. We are a SharpSpring Platinum Agency dedicated to helping you bridge the gap between your sales and marketing efforts. Reach out to us today and request a free trial.