As digital marketers, we have grown up through the ‘batch and blast’ era of marketing. We have been blessed and cursed to live and work during a time where there is more data than we are able to process and glean insights from.  As a result, we don’t know where to start, are sometimes paralyzed, and instead, we find comfort in sticking with our old habits of sending email campaigns to a wide and unsegmented audience. Because of this, we run a greater risk of our recipients opting out due to the irrelevance of what they’ve received.

The other thing we all have in common? We know it’s wrong. Many reports and studies such as Forrester’s, have mentioned time and time again that we “Need to say ‘goodbye’ to campaigns, and ‘hello’ to AI-driven conversations with customers.” We know we should be slicing and dicing our data and developing campaigns around key leads and prospects, client service mailings, and other segments based on sales and marketing activities.

But, the most common thing that we all share is a lack of time and resources. In a time of budget cuts and increasing demands, enhancing the digital offering may sometimes be an after-hours job. We aren’t able to spend the time and focus on developing a jungle gym of workflows and user journeys, making it a challenge to get a hold on fully integrating our many, complicated systems.

Now let’s flip to the recipient’s perspective for a second. Our clients and prospects don’t live under a rock, and also know that we live in a data-filled world. They know that their every move is likely being captured and that some companies have managed to breakthrough cross-device marketing as well as through social platforms. Therefore, they have expectations that we not only know what they are investing in, but that we also know what they are doing with our emails, on our websites and other digital entities. They don’t want to be a number in a campaign, but an individual in a conversation.  They don’t want to be marketed to about long-term returns when they are worried about short-term income.

So where do we start? Many of us may be at different phases of personalized and customized campaigns, but we would like to lay out a few potential phases and areas where data can help provide a more individualized journey for your audience. IDC Technology Marketing Blog puts it in an interesting perspective, saying, “Marketing is not a candy machine. Instead, view each piece (of candy) as a link in a chain of events each of which leads to other actions.”  You can start with the following workflows:

Website Registration

Perhaps one of the more basic campaigns, this individualized journey is typically triggered by the user proactively going to your website and registering in order to subscribe to insights, gain access to tools and other tailored online experiences. From this action, we enter them into a welcome campaign that includes multiple touchpoints to engage them to hopefully become a more qualified lead.

The first touchpoint welcomes them and highlights key areas where they can customize their experience on the website now that they are registered. Depending on what they click on within the email, they can receive more information around setting up product alerts or subscribing to insights. After the second touchpoint, if they are showing more interest in product information, or spending more time on your website, this contact can now get pushed to the CRM as a more highly engaged individual. From there they can receive an email to schedule a call with a wholesaler, etc.

Webcast Invites and Attendance

An example of kicking off a workflow using a webcast would start by sending an invite out to attend a webinar on a particular market update tied to a product focus. A reminder is then set up to only send to those who haven’t yet registered. The day of the webcast, only those who registered are sent login information. Post webcast, all of those who attended at least 70% of the webcast are tagged with an interest in that particular product and entered into a ‘product’ workflow. There, they may receive an email with three product highlights such as the fund page, a whitepaper, fact sheet, and investment solution. Depending on which they click, they will receive a more in-depth piece and action-oriented, and then potentially a follow-up call as well.

Client Services Follow Ups

Woohoo, so all of the marketing and sales tactics worked! You successfully moved a contact through the pipeline, and they dropped a ticket on your focus fund. So now what? Is your job done? No.

Now is the perfect time to continue that conversation with another communication. Use the transaction reporting in your CRM as a trigger to send a client services email. This doesn’t need to be the same sort of B2B ‘thanks for your purchase’, but instead provide them with the latest quarterly report on the fund and ask if they’d like to subscribe to the fund’s marketing materials now that they are a producer.

While the three scenarios mentioned above may seem basic or conceptual to some, they help to set more of an individualized journey mindset. Throughout each of the steps mentioned, there are additional queries that are occurring on the backend to add and remove people based on activity. To add more complexity, these actions can be paired with website activity or downloads, other activity recorded in the CRM, and tags that may be paired with the contact around products and asset classes.

As digital marketers, it is our job to add value by carving out the customer journey and delivering marketing and sales communications when and where our clients and prospects want to receive them. We must remove the language of ‘batch and blast’ from our colleague’s lexicon, and change the mindset to be focused on the individual personas we are reaching out to through a conversational approach. After all, we are in the relationship business right? This is no easy task and will not occur overnight, but through proper planning and slowly introducing one conversational journey at a time, we can build and show value in what we are implementing and how it can make a greater impact on the business.

If you’d like to discuss your challenges with marketing automation and personalizing your communications, or have any questions around the StoneShot platform and how it can help you reach your business goals, please get in touch with our team.