Marketing Automation: Four Ways to Cure the Ailments of MOFU
What is MOFU? No, it is not the latest disease that can be treated with a prescription drug with dozens of side effects including death as we see on television all the time! But left untreated MOFU is a serious condition that is proven to make thousands of advanced marketers very sick. MOFU is the Middle Of the FUnnel stage in a marketer’s lead funnel or revenue cycle.
Far too often, a blockage develops in the MOFU stage where sales leads stagnate, wither, and die. Companies suffer painful losses of thousands if not millions of dollars in revenue opportunities. MOFU ailments are usually associated with advanced marketers because they have developed a marketing funnel process and the ailments can be detected with proper analytics. But the problems of MOFU or leads not progressing affect virtually all marketers to one extent or another. MOFU ailments can go undetected for years within a company because most marketers focus their time on generating demand and qualified sales leads (top of the funnel activities.) Sales teams focus their time on closing the opportunities (bottom of the funnel activities.) That leaves the middle for revenue-stealing conditions to grow and negatively affect the health of your marketing funnel.
The good news is that it is not too late to cure the ailments of MOFU within your company.
Here are four ways to cure the ailments of MOFU and prevent the shortened life and health of your leads:
- Get a checkup on a regular basis. Make sure that you are using a marketing automation platform with advanced analytics capabilities. These capabilities will help you analyze flow, conversion, and velocity metrics from stage to stage. You will be able to see trends and SLA violations (sales not following up with qualified leads) over time and take appropriate action such as creating a lead stage conversion campaign. You will become more proactive rather than reactive. Additionally, you will see the right analytics and can spend more time enhancing your lead health, and less time building out more lead generation campaigns at the top of the funnel. You start working smarter, not harder. For example, if you could improve your conversion rates from your prospect stage to your sales lead stage by 10%, what impact would that have on your amount of revenue opportunities and currency (dollars, etc.)?
- Feed and nurture your leads. Just like anything growing, leads need to be fed. Leads respond especially well to high-value content. Make sure that you take the time to identify the personas (executive, power user, mid-level manager) in the middle of your funnel and provide them with tailored diets of content with relevant messaging (buyers guides, RFP templates, industry information). Create specific lead nurturing campaigns for different personas. Many are hungry for information and answers. Some are looking for quantitative proof while others are looking for innovation. In either case, don’t give them empty calories just for the sake of giving them something. Give them thought-provoking content that they can digest quickly and use to move ahead in the marketing funnel. You don’t need to have a lot of content, you just need to have content that makes sense to each persona. You may have to take the core content from a document and repackage the key messages and benefits a few times to meet the needs of your personas. If you have a lot of different personas, make sure that you leverage the power of dynamic content. Let your marketing automation platform do the heavy lifting for you as you push out your content.
- Get your leads out and exercising. It’s great to make sure that your leads are digesting the right content, but they also need to stay engaged. Just like going to the gym, it is often hard to get someone into the mindset to take the next step and engage. Be sure to create calls-to-action in your messaging to the MOFU that drives them to compelling events such as webinar, seminar, or product demos. Get them into an environment where they will ask questions or start thinking about your company, product, or services a little deeper. There is a sense of accomplishment and clarity for them once they have exercised their minds a bit beyond just reading. Often, they are ready to go to the next stage in the marketing funnel.
- Communicate with your leads. You must play the role of personal trainer for your leads. You need to nurture them by feeding them quality content. You need to get them beyond good nutrition and into exercising their mind. However, many will have excuses why they cannot attend one event or another. It is important that your leads get the answers they need when they need them. They need to know that you are accessible to them to provide information. Sometimes, the best way to provide this personal trainer status is via a telequalification team. If you are using the advanced metrics capabilities of your marketing automation platform, you are probably identifying trends and audiences that you can address with your telequalification team. Target specific leads by persona or industry in the middle of the funnel, have the telequalification team work with them, and see if a higher percentage of those leads don’t become Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and sales opportunities. I have known companies that have improved their lead conversion rates by up to 30% by using a telequalification team.
In the end, it is important to remember that there is no marketing funnel that exists separately from a sales funnel. Both funnels are part of one large revenue cycle and if there are problems with the middle of the funnel, they affect the company overall. By spending a little more effort nurturing and exercising MOFU leads, marketers can see significantly more MQLs, sales opportunities, and ultimately, revenue. Good MOFU lead health means good corporate revenue health. What are you doing to nurture your MOFU leads?