Understanding the buyer is critical for todayâ€™s marketers. Understanding what they are interested in, where they are in their buying cycle and what information they would like to receive allows us as marketers to better target our messaging in order to be seen as a valuable source of information in the buying process. Doing this requires understanding the buyersâ€™ Web activityâ€”their â€śdigital body languageâ€ť â€”in context of how you are communicating with them. Here are a few tips on key things to look for and how you can respond:
Steve Woods is co-founder and chief technology officer of Eloqua Corp., a provider of marketing automation technology. He is the author of a forthcoming book, â€śDigital Body Languageâ€ť (New Year Publishing, 2009), and also writes on the topic at his blog http://digitalbodylanguage.blogspot.com/.
- Determine where the prospect is in the buying process. By looking at downloads, areas of interest, and search terms, you can understand whether they are in an education phase, selecting potential short-list vendors or validating a vendor choice. Once you understand this, you can tailor your e-mail marketing messages to match each buyerâ€™s interest stage.
- Establish the prospectâ€™s level of interest. Research shows that many e-mail recipients will think of an e-mail as spamâ€”even if they legitimately subscribedâ€”if they are no longer interested in the company or its products or services. By watching recipientsâ€™ Web activity, you can determine their interest level and identify those who have â€śemotionally unsubscribed,â€ť even if they have not explicitly clicked an unsubscribe link. Catering your messaging content and frequency to this awareness will keep you more engaged with your audience.
- Ascertain the prospectâ€™s area of interest. By understanding what product line, industry or type of information a prospective buyer finds interesting, you can match the content of your e-mail marketing to their interest area. Dynamic content capabilities are available in most leading e-mail and marketing automation platforms. By leveraging the insights available in a prospectâ€™s Web activity, you can make dynamic content even more powerful.