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The Power of Stereotyping

Recently the topic of lead score has heated up again. It must be a full moon or a shift in the tides or something. Or maybe that ball just came up in the lottery. It’s cool, I love lead quantification – so I’ll bite.

I thought it was interesting that the notion of lead score is often looked at separately from buyer/user persona development. I guess ultimately that’s more of a commentary on how marketers tend to view lead score – as some sort of formula that quantifies potential for lead ratings and ultimately monetization. In essence, “where’s the low hanging fruit”? Because all of our time is so valuable that we can’t be bothered with lead follow up unless it’s truly warranted… right? Wrong. Lead Scoring should be a derivative from good buyer persona development. This means after looking at WHY and HOW past customers purchased or interacted with your business, you will likely see similar personality trends emerge. What does your buyer need in order to FEEL fulfilled when purchasing, why do they LIKE you and your widgets better than the next guy. After we get to the root of WHY and HOW buyers behave the way they do – then we can develop score models and hopefully apply them correctly.

So what’s the problem? Well, most marketers can’t tell you why their buyer buys or what the product actually gives the buyer, which fulfills him/her. What is the psychological reason why our best customers like us? The disconnect between buyer motives and the seller interpretations of those needs is a sad reality – and relevant to organizations of all size. Some enterprise level orgs are even worse than SMB’s because they have so many moving parts that the disconnect their marketing decision makers from the actual sale that the message maker and the listener distance becomes a true chasm.

So what’s the fix? Well, we propose with every engagement that clients first recognize that before you can establish Lead Score or develop Buyer Personas or purchase Marketing Automation – you probably need to take your marketing team back to square one. One of the most successful ways to do so, we’ve found, is have a third party act as the buyer and analyze their experience. This allows the entire marketing team to look at their product and their buyer through untrained eyes, free from their long accepted assumptions and well-developed reports and analysis. I guarantee there will be a lot of light bulb moments during this exercise. It’s the poor man’s focus group – and it works.

This kind of back to basics approach has yielded some huge results btw. The largest area of which happens to be the nurturing funnel. This area of marketing is supposed to be more of a two-way conversation than anything else. The trade off is that as you Mr./Ms. prospect tell us more about yourself the more relevant the information you receive becomes. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. If we’ve gone through those early exercises this can truly be effective and in many cases more effective than a sales conversation because we remove the negotiation (read lying) element.

So what’s the result? We ran a client through this scenario and within 3 months they had seen a 240% lift in marketing driven deals. That stat doesn’t lie. So was it painful to “pause” some outbound campaigning to re-explore the message and pinpoint the buyer – sure. Marketers need to be executing in order to yield results, but sometimes it’s what we STOP doing that wins big in the long run.

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