Do you normally bring new clients into your business? I bet you do…
Hopefully, you have a clearly defined process in place for how you find, target and recruit new buyers for your brand. Regardless, that is called a customer acquisition process. When well thought out, customer acquisition can be a great strategy that not only complements your customer retention efforts, but also sustains a steady stream of new customers even when the business environment gets tough.
But, the process of customer acquisition is one fraught with challenges. Let’s take a loo at some of those challenges before we explore solution: Intent data
Customer acquisition challenges
Although customer acquisition is important for most companies, the process of getting new customers can be quite challenging. Some common customer acquisition challenges include:
- It costs 60% more today to acquire a new customer, as compared to 5 years ago (Source: ProfitWell)
- Decreasing levels of trust among customers. 65% of customers distrust advertisements, while 71% do not trust sponsored ads on social media. (Source: Hubspot Research)
- An increasingly impatient consumer. You only have 30 minutes or less to respond to a customer. (Source: Hubspot Research)
- Difficultly proving ROI
These challenges are not only limited to b2b brands. Online b2c businesses that have traditionally relied on social media for their marketing needs have over time had to face higher Facebook and google advertising costs. An analysis conducted by Adstage found that as at Q2 2019, the average cost per click for Facebook ads was $0.64, up from $0.43 in Q2 2018.
Intent data: The Answer to Customer Acquisition challenges
The statistics listed above might make things sound quite bleak. But, fear not because intent data may be the answer you are looking for.
To understand the role of intent data for customer acquisition, we must first understand the lead generation funnel.
A Customer’s journey typically progresses through 3 main stages: awareness, consideration and conversion. (Note that this is in the very basic sense, as the b2b customer journey is more cyclical and loopier).
Throughout these stages, the customer leaves a digital footprint, which if you dig further into, will show you “intent”. Intent indicates the next steps that a customer is most likely to take.
If you can tap into this, acquiring your next customer will be a whole lot easier for these reasons:
1. Go from broad targeting to addressing active demand
A common lead generation strategy at the top of the funnel is to target a huge pool of prospects by casting a wide net. While this strategy works (because you can nurture a broad generic market and narrow down to the last converting few), it can take unnecessarily long and even worse, cost more.
It’s far more efficient to start off by working with prospects who signify active demand. These are specific accounts that are actively searching for a solution. Broad targeting will lead you to prospects ranging from companies that have just converted with your competitor to those who aren’t aware they need your product.
We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t target people who don’t know they have a problem…No, not in the least. The awareness stage is after all how you make prospects problem aware. What we are saying is that with intent data, you can optimize your customer acquisition campaigns even more.
Perhaps to run counter to this should be awareness campaigns, but that’s a topic for another day.
2. Personalize your campaigns
Running segmented campaigns has been shown to yield a higher ROI. For instance, segmented email campaigns have been shown to yield 760% more revenue than generic campaigns. (Source: DMA via Campaign Monitor)
That said, you will miss over “70% of potential mobile shoppers” if you base your campaigns solely on demographic segmentation.
Because demographic segmentation focusses on broad audience characteristics such as gender, income, occupation, level of education, income level and nationality. Since these parameters are quite broad, demographic segmentation is usually the first stage of any segmentation exercise. But it shouldn’t be the last, because it gives you a very vague understanding of your audience. Sure, Sue, Jen and Ben are all 35. But what then? Is there anything that connects them besides the fact that they were all born in the same year? Do they for instance share the same values, interests etc.? Did they all spend several hours on websites selling baby diapers?
When you are armed with user-specific data for each person you are targeting,
- You stand a better chance of increasing your click through rates. Intent data allows you to get very specific.
- You will also get fewer “unsubscribes” in the future.
So, how, specifically, can you benefit from personalization with intent data?
Email campaign personalization
Deliver email messaging better suited to your customer and experience open rates up to 5.7% higher. For instance, if a customer is in the buying stage, sending them an email specific to their transaction is more relevant.
Have your leads gone cold on you? No problem. You can always reengage them when they start browsing the same or similar topics again. That simple action implies they may be ready to hear from you again because they most likely intend to buy.
3. Publish content that converts
Content marketing is a great tool for building relationships organically without incurring any ad spend. Organic content gets 3 times more leads than paid ads -assuming of course that you have a smart content marketing strategy.
But a content marketing strategy based on guess work or the opinions of team members, carries a high risk of backfiring and racking up content production costs.
Hence for a content strategy to be cost efficient, the messaging you create must match your audience’s needs. Intent data eliminates the need for guesswork by providing you with insight into the content that prospects engage with, in addition to how, where and when they engage with that content.
This way, you can publish content that is impactful and generates better ROI.
With data, you can plan every aspect of your content plan including:
- With intent data, you can develop personas who are representative of your ideal customers’
- Appropriate content delivery. Buyers consume content at certain times of the day. Understand this and your content delivery will target buyers when and where they are most likely to read it.
- Journey map. Understand your customers’ journey maps and reach them with the right content format and on the right device.
- Call to action. Time your call to action to your customer’s position in the buyer journey
With intent data, you can gain an edge on your competitors by targeting your buyers at the right position in their journey and thereby improve conversion rates for your campaigns.
4. Align Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing should work in collaboration with each other as failing to do so results in a lost prospect. Not only that, but when there’s a communication breakdown between marketers and salespeople, marketing pass on low quality leads to sales, who then waste time and valuable budget pursuing accounts that will never convert.
Teams not only need to share the same goals and metrics, but they need to rally around the “how” of pursuing these.
When teams rally around intent data, they will be on the same page about how their target accounts are interacting with their brand, and what to do about it next. They will also agree on what counts as a high quality lead and what doesn’t.
5. Build landing pages that convert better
Landing provide a great opportunity to
- Make a great impression on leads
- Find and nurture serious buyers
Every section of a landing page should be designed to address specific buyer needs and goals. You can leverage intent data to design page elements in the following ways:
- Design titles that a human would actually search. Using click bait or stuffing your titles with keywords will put off a lot of prospective clients. such tactics are indeed unnecessary, because as MarketingSherpa points out, over 90% of visitors will read your CTA if they read your headline. So, really, there’s never any need for clickbait; just give visitors what they want and they’ll naturally find their way to your CTA.
- Use bullet points in your landing page copy to make it easy to read
- Vary your text formatting, such as using bolded or larger text where you want to attract attention
- Design a landing page for each stage of your campaign
- If you include a link, make sure it leads to more relevant information.
6. Build landing pages that convert better
According to blue corona, 49% of people click on text ads. The key here? Relevance.
There is a tendency to look for search volume when choosing keywords to bid on. While this will contribute to the success of your ad campaigns, its even more effective to choose keywords based on the value they will deliver to people who search for a product or service you provide.
- Bid on keywords with high intent.
- Practice more accurate retargeting. Accurate retargeting is only possible when you have intent data. If you conduct retargeting campaigns without data, you will annoy potential customers.
Last wordsThat’s it! Marketing should never be about guess work. As well, you shouldn’t cast a wide net and hope that out of 1000, maybe 100 will convert. You’ll find that converting 100 poorly targeted leads will cost more than converting the same number of well-targeted leads.
So why not use intent data and make things easier for yourself?
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