The ABCDE (and F)s of Engagement Marketing: Lessons Learned at the Marketo Roadshow

The hot topic at the #MKTGnation tour stop in Toronto was the importance of engagement marketing and the best ways to reach busy prospects. Marketo’s presenters shared their easy to remember “ABCDE”s of engagement marketing with great tips for ways to bring the prospect to the content and grab their attention. But grabbing attention is one thing; holding on to it and converting it into deeper engagement with your content is quite another. Marketers need to ensure that there is a continued journey on the other side of the click that allows prospects to engage with as much content as they need whenever they want and for as long as they like.

To help you hold on to attention while you’ve got it, we’ve added another letter -- and a 6th all-important step -- to the Marketo formula: Our letter “F” is about focusing someone’s attention once you get it and accelerating prospects down the funnel. Before we get there, though, here’s a quick overview of Marketo’s “ABCDE”s of engagement:

1. As Individuals
As a marketer, you should tailor your approach to attracting prospects to engage with your content by providing them with a personalized experience. These personalized journeys are traditionally created through the use of personas and demographics. New ways of doing this are using tools that allow marketers to track engagement data and serve prospects content that is specifically tailored to them as an individual. You can tailor individual experiences based on anything from job title to geographical location to their previous engagement behavior with your content.

2. Based on what they do
Marketers should try and engage people based on what they do and their interests. To do this it is important to listen to customers deeply in order to fully understand what their specific interests are. A case study that was mentioned was, who hired the eHarmony founder to help create profiles for each of their customers and determine their financial patterns so that could provide a more engaging, personalized experience.

By creating profiles of your customers and prospects you will have a better snapshot of who they are. For example, if you are marketing concerts to an elderly lady, your first thought may be to send her promotions for Elton John, Neil Young or Celine Dion -- calmer music which attracts an older crowd. If you hadn’t looked at this particular lady’s activities with your content and website, you would have missed that she does not fall into the usual demographics of “old people music,” but instead has a huge love for alternative rock music. Demographics miss what engagement data can catch -- the individual nuances in a group of people and the exceptions that can mean the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity.

3. Continuously over time
In the marketing community, there has been a lot of discussion about the importance of creating a journey for prospects and fostering a relationship over the course of that journey. When you go on a first date with someone, you don’t immediately ask them to marry you -- not if you want a second date, anyway! You need to build trust and grow a deeper understanding for the other person over a period of time. It’s no different when you’re marketing to prospects. 60-70% of the customer journey happens before the prospect ever speaks with sales -- therefore as a marketer you need to make sure that your prospect has the ability to get to know you better by giving them access to as much content as possible. Show your prospects a little love before you expect them to commit to you for life.

4. Directed towards an outcome
The outcome that every marketer works towards is the sale. However, to reach this outcome the prospect must take a journey. The three outcomes associated with different marketing journeys, as outlined by Marketo, were: Buy, Renew and Advocate. The buying journey is where the prospect first engages, then learns and then evaluates the product. The renewal journey begins with use of the product, then ROI, and then growth in use of the product. The final outcome a marketer wants their prospects to reach is becoming an advocate.

The advocate journey takes the longest amount of time because the prospect needs to learn to trust, share and then refer the product as their relationship with it grows. Similar to the previous step, it takes time to progress a prospect to become a customer, then renew the product, and then to become an advocate. This means that marketers must always be nurturing. Having a set plan of how you want your prospect to progress is crucial in creating journeys in your marketing campaigns both through Marketo and through use of content engagement tools.

5. Everywhere they are
It is important to reach prospects wherever they are using the channel and type of communication they prefer -- email might work best for one individual while another might prefer mobile or online ads, etc. Marketo stated that 40 percent of buyers shop on different channels simultaneously, therefore emphasizing the importance of marketers using many different methods to reach them.

Most importantly, all of the content presented to a prospect should be focused on their experience. Many companies’ websites need to be less of a “corporate selfie” -- using lots of “we do this” and “our company does that.” Instead, turn the cellphone camera around and focus on “you” (your prospect and his/her challenges). This not-so-subtle change of perspective will allow your prospect to become the focus of the narrative on your website and across any content that they engage with, everywhere they are.

6. Fill your funnel by focusing on content engagement
The sixth step that many marketers miss is the importance of holding on to your prospects attention once you have it. The “ABCDE” steps covered by Marketo allow you to get your prospect to open your email, complete a form or download your PDF. They create attention, but once you have it, many marketers deliver one piece of content per click and then lose the ability to track what their prospect is doing. Did they actually read that white paper or is it sitting in their downloads folder? With “one-and-done” marketing, the prospect hits a dead end with no more content to consume in the moment when they are most interested and engaged.

“Always-on” content engagement allows the prospect the reach the “ABCDEF” (sixth letter- F) which is to focus their attention and “self-nurture” their way through your funnel. Always-on content engagement focuses your prospect on your marketing content by creating a compelling content experience and allowing them to access more than one piece of content at a time (unlike traditional “one-and-done” marketing). By satisfying the engaged buyer’s craving for more content here and now, always-on content engagement accelerates the prospect down the funnel, creating better, faster MQLs and shortening the buyer’s journey. It also captures real engagement metrics that track their interests and behaviour and allow you to identify who is sales-ready right now.

Will you be at the Marketo Marketing Nation Online? Join us on 9/2 at 12 pm PST for our session: Accelerate the Buyer's Journey with Always-On Nurturing. LookBookHQ Co-Founder & CMO, Nick Edouard, will reveal the secrets of holding on to your buyer's attention while you have it. Register here for free