How to Move from Monologues to Dialogues with Engagement Marketing

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Posted: September 19, 2016 | Engagement Marketing

A few weeks ago, I participated in a great meeting with one of our customers. But it didn’t start out that way.

It started slowly and our content was missing the mark. Fortunately for our team, we were able to “read the room” and discern from our customers’ behaviors and postures which direction we should take the discussion. Based on those cues, we altered the content of our presentation and even the order in which we presented, and we turned what could have been an unsuccessful meeting into a very productive one, with a positive outcome.

After the meeting, it struck me that this was a microcosm of the challenges facing today’s marketers: how to foster this type of responsive, flexible dialogue with prospects, customers, and influencers; sense and respond based on their behaviors, preferences, and actions; and do all of this across millions of interactions a day.

Today’s marketers need to be able to conduct millions of 1:1 dialogues like this daily, at scale, with the speed and precision of a person-to-person conversation. To do this, it’s critical to adopt engagement marketing, leveraging a sophisticated marketing automation platform.

In this blog, I’ll reveal three engagement marketing lessons we learned in our meeting and how they’re applicable to marketing, the campaigns you run, and the technologies you use:

1. Pay Attention to Inactivity

Responding to lack of behavior is just as important as responding to behavior; sometimes, it’s even more critical. In our meeting, an uncomfortable silence and lack of questions indicated we were on the wrong track, so we revised our presentation and “woke up the room.” Similarly, while the main purpose of your marketing programs is to get customers and prospects to do something, you need to be able to discern the reasons why they don’t respond the way you prefer. Don’t just continue marketing to them with the same message or content in a “spray and pray” methodology. Instead, revise your delivery, content, even the mode of communication.

2. Personalize Your Message

During our presentation, we were able to tailor the discussion based on our participant’s desired outcomes. But for your marketing campaigns, that’s difficult to do at the scale and volume of today’s business without technology. With an engagement marketing platform, you can leverage technology like web personalization and dynamic content to tailor each digital experience (web, mobile, content delivery, etc.) based on a buyer’s digital footprint, industry, geography, and more.

3. Use the Right Content

We changed the examples we used and even showed different slides to our customers that we thought would resonate better, and it worked. The proper engagement marketing tool can help you do that at scale and volume across all of your marketing programs. In fact, studies show that people respond better to relevant content. According to MarketingSherpa, 82% of prospects value content made for their specific industries, and 67% say the same of content created for their specific job functions. So, make sure you’ve aligned your content creation with your campaigns so that you can properly respond and target your audience not just with a generic offering, but with one that’s relevant to each buyer at that moment in time.

Your buyers are bombarded with so many messages each day, and they’re tired of being talked at; they want to be engaged with. While that’s easy to do in a meeting, it’s much harder to do across millions of interactions daily in a way that’s scalable, flexible, and fast. As the #1 internal customer/beneficiary of our marketing team and technology here at Marketo, I’m fortunate that we have the technology that “thinks on its feet” and helps us engage in many 1:1 conversations daily around the world. Is your team empowered with the tools and knowledge they need to do the same?

 

Jim Kowalski

Jim Kowalski currently leads Marketo’s sales and delivery teams for North America. He also leads all worldwide field operations. His teams work with Marketo’s largest, most strategic customers to help them engage their prospects and customers more effectively using marketing automation. Prior to this role, Jim held a number of leadership positions with Oracle, Inc, leading teams focused on services-based industries. Jim has a BBA in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Detroit.

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Speak with your prospects and customers, not at them. 3 ways to move from monologues to dialogues:

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