From Summit, I made a blog post from my notes on one of the sessions. Check out the full post here: 3 Reasons for Engagement Marketing
Here's the short version, though:
Reason #1: Building Your Brand
This is an easy one. Engaging with your leads and prospects with useful content establishes credibility for your brand. Being informative, useful, and empathetic does much more for your brand than the shotgun blast that takes lazy aim at a large list with single-target messaging. Instead, the hands-off approach builds credibility for your brand and practically guarantees good vibrations with your prospects right from the start. This harkens back to one of the most basic human characteristics: we like people that like us.
Reason #2: Building Relationships with Your Leads
All of the above is backstory to this central idea: Engagement Marketing helps you build effective relationships with potential customers at any stage of their buying journey. If they’re teetering on the edge of the top of your funnel, push them over the edge by serving up information that’s useful to them. Use a light touch– they’re not ready for late-stage sales messages yet. Set up some triggers to track how they interact with your emails and website so that when they exhibit further signs of interest, they’re automatically embraced into the next level of your relationship. To illustrate this point, think of the last time you met a good friend for the first time. Did they drone on and on endlessly about themselves, or show interest in your interests, needs, and desires?
I’m betting on the latter. Now think about all the shenanigans and high jinks you’ve gotten into with that friend. Kind of worth it, right?
Reason #3: Engagement Programs Curtail The Sales Cycle
Like I said above, I work with a fairly long sales cycle. I read a recent statistic from an IDG study that claimed most B2B purchase decisions involve an average of 7.5 decision-makers in the buying process. Thinking about conversions and ROI, the faster you can get those 7.5 people to agree that you’re the one, the faster you’ll prove marketing’s value to sales… And that support doesn’t come easily. If you’ve been able to start the conversation early with an informative and useful Engagement Program, you’ve essentially made the sales teams’ job exponentially easier. Your sales team will appreciate having to do less convincing, and this will also free them up to keep turning the crank on their other accounts.
Additionally, leads that believe in the value of your solutions tend to buy more. Any sales person can corroborate that story– in fact, for most businesses, it’s not about competing on price but instead about proving value. Be valuable to your leads and prospects at every touchpoint you have with them, and they’ll pay it forward.
Literally, though. They’ll pay you. With money. And probably a fair amount of goodwill, too.