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Published by caitlinmsmith, 2016-06-27 08:26:20



Top B2B Marketers Measure
Lead Nurturing Effectiveness

To Boost Performance

Sponsored by

Special Report


While B2B marketers rely on lead nurturing as Multiple industry experts noted that content “In short, content
part of their lead generation strategy, many consumption, especially through social consumption
continue to struggle to measure the overall channels, tells only a fraction of the story. does not predict
impact of their nurturing campaigns — which buyer interest nor
could mean they are leaving precious time “In fact when we recently analyzed buying propensity to buy. It
and resources on the table. behavior for a customer for whom we were simply means you
implementing predictive data modeling, we have interesting
Research from Demand Gen Report’s 2015 found that content consumption was correlated content.”
Lead Nurturing Benchmark Study shows to less than 2% of buying actions,” said Justin
that roughly 40% of respondents are not Gray, CEO of LeadMD. “In short, content - Justin Gray, LeadMD
sure how their campaigns are performing. consumption does not predict buyer interest
For those that do measure their nurture nor propensity to buy. It simply means you
campaigns, one-quarter (25%) are seeing have interesting content.”
20% to 30% better response rates to nurture
campaigns compared to non-nurtures. Campaign attribution can help B2B marketers
focus less on consumption and more on
Leading companies such as Sage and nurture performance, according to Gray. “Yes,
PRNewswire track engagement and consumption is important; but without adding
conversions rates, among other performance buying cycle performance [insight], it’s just an
indicators, to measure the success of their overrated popularity contest.”
nurture campaigns.
LeadMD suggests measuring lead nurturing
The lack of insight among many B2B content by:
marketers into the performance of their nurture
campaigns can be attributed focusing on the • The channel that drove the traffic (Twitter,
wrong metrics, according to Jason Stewart, VP LinkedIn, email, etc.);
of Content Strategy for ANNUITAS.
• A buyer’s interaction with the content (did
“Typically, B2Bs are doing a very poor job of they view, download, share, etc.); and
measuring content performance — largely
because they are limiting measurement to • A prospect’s movement in the buyer’s
statistics such as downloads and not taking journey as a direct or indirect result.
into account what happens next,” Stewart
added. “For example, which piece [of content] “To do this you have to tie in social, web
is more valuable — the one that had 500 analytics, marketing automation and CRM all
downloads and led to two sales, or the one back to the content creation process,” Gray
that had 50 downloads and led to five sales?” added. “This can also become a great buyer
persona revision and planning tool.”

2 • Top B2B Marketers Measure Lead Nurturing Effectiveness To Boost Performance


Sources noted that a common misconception Sewell highlighted a large IT services “It’s a huge mistake
is the idea that one nurture track works for company that wanted to address its low MQL to create only one
any — and all — prospective buyers. Content conversion rate. After an audit, the company nurture message
relevance and preferred channels can vary by was suggested to create segmented nurturing and assume that
the individual’s role in the buying process. tracks tailored to the company’s key buyer every member of the
personas — along with revamping email buying committee
“It’s a huge mistake to create only one nurture initiatives and adding nurture campaigns to will respond to it.”
message and assume that every member multiple areas of the buying journey
of the buying committee will respond to - Jason Stewart, ANNUITAS
it,” Stewart said. “Typically, it is a buying The results were dramatic, according to
committee and not a single buyer in B2B Sewell. “Email open rates increased more than
[purchases], but many companies cram every 260%, click-through rates more than doubled
different persona into the same nurture, and the Lead to MQL conversion rate for
regardless of differences in priorities and pains online programs such as content syndication,
across that committee.” banner ads, SEM, webinars, etc. increased a
massive 75%.”
PR Newswire took these factors into account
when they launched a nurture program
optimized for multi-channel interactions and
that supported multiple personas. Within
five months of the program’s launch, PR
Newswire’s engaged leads grew by 22%,
and qualified leads saw a 7% increase. By
supplying the sales forces with leads that
were vetted and pre-qualified beforehand, the
number of sales closed also increased by 7%.

While producing nurture campaigns for key
personas is key to enhancing engagement and
conversion rates, industry experts noted that
it is also crucial to incorporate nurturing into
every stage of the buying journey.

“But more important is having clear, precise
definitions for each stage – whatever those
definitions are - that both marketing and sales
buy into,” said Howard Sewell, President of
Spear Marketing Group. “If leads are being
converted to MQLs, for example, without much
regard to status or qualification simply because
someone in inside sales feels that’s his/her job
(to convert leads), then the underlying data will
be suspect from Day One.”

3 • Top B2B Marketers Measure Lead Nurturing Effectiveness To Boost Performance


As with many elements of today’s B2B • Leverage the tools available to help you “You can’t run a
marketing approach, lead nurturing is determine if your results are statistically nurture campaign
oftentimes limited by the data marketers relevant. “We’re not all statisticians.” without data.”
collect. Quantitative metrics — such as clicks,
downloads, etc. — continue to be prioritized • Don’t wait until the end of the campaign to - Martin Carr,
over qualitative metrics that can help paint a measure and deem something a success Bulldog Solutions
clearer picture of lead nurturing success. or failure. “Ongoing and regular reporting
and optimization is a must.”
“I fault most companies for running campaigns
that are focused on short-term “hot leads” When formulating a new nurture campaign,
and ignore the value of data that could and business management software supplier
should be collected to enable more effective Sage targeted its North American database
lead nurturing programs,” said Dan McDade, and purchased lists comprised of economic
President and CEO of PointClear. and functional decision-makers in the
construction and real estate industries. This
These smaller, behavior-focused metrics bring clear understanding of their target enabled the
more value to the marketing table than the company to deliver relevant, timely and valuable
bigger numbers, experts noted. content to an audience notorious for slowly
adopting change within their organizations.
“For most companies it is not ‘Big Data’ or
‘analytics’ that is going to make the difference,” Implementation of the campaign took 14 weeks,
McDade noted. “It is ‘little data’ and and the company has since seen a roughly 60%
conversation that will make or break success.” increase in their qualified lead-to-sales close
rate. Sage also saw its cost per qualified lead
Sources indicated that by shifting focus to decrease by a little more than 18%.
different metrics, B2B marketers can position
themselves to make quick fixes to campaigns In many cases, the data is available and the
that generate bigger results. challenge is the people utilizing the data.
Ultimately, B2B marketers need to get in the
“You can’t run a nurture campaign without mindset to understand what specific metrics
data,” said Martin Carr, VP of Sales for Bulldog mean to their nurturer campaigns. This mind
Solutions. “Even simple nurtures require solid shift can then help these organizations spend
data and tracking to answer common questions less time on the wrong metrics and more time
[such as] the cadence of communications.” enhancing campaigns and maximizing results.

Carr highlighted three tips for effectively “Big Data can provide much more visibility to
measuring nurture campaigns: what your prospects are doing outside your
web properties,” Carr concluded. “They may
• Classify promotions and assets with a not be engaging with your content on a given
formal set of attributes to provide an topic… but they could be consuming very
entirely new dimension of measurement. similar content from your competitors in the far
“For example, ‘Email #1 did better than corners of the Internet.”
Email #2’ isn’t an actionable insight. But
‘humorous emails outperformed urgent
emails’… that’s an insight you can put
to use. This has a dramatic impact on
planning and retaining key information.”

4 • Top B2B Marketers Measure Lead Nurturing Effectiveness To Boost Performance

Tailoring Nurture Content With Personalization “The goal of
personalization is to
Behavioral data and buyer personas not only DGR: When can personalization do more increase engagement
position companies to identify how successful harm than good? throughout a nurture
their nurture campaigns are performing, but campaign.”
also provide B2B marketers the insight they Gelata: Context is an effective way to show
need to personalize content and messaging a prospect that you know a lot about them - Joe Gelata, Vidyard
throughout future campaigns to continue as long as the information you share is
adapting and meet buyer needs. incorporated into the message in an organic
and authentic way. However, personalization
In an interview with Demand Gen Report, Joe for the sake of personalization can come off as
Gelata, Head of Global Demand Generation creepy and have a negative effect.
and Revenue Operations at Vidyard,
discussed how personalized content can fuel DGR: What results can B2B marketers
nurture campaigns. achieve with more personalized
nurture campaigns?
Demand Gen Report: How important is
personalization to lead nurturing success? Gelata: Personalized content acts as a
catalyst to improve conversions at any stage
Joe Gelata: Personalization has proven to be of a nurture campaign. For example, including
an effective way to do this at scale. It grabs a a person’s name in the subject line of an
prospect’s attention by tailoring the information email will increase email open rates. Including
perfectly to their interests, and even their a video thumbnail with the person’s name
identity. Plus, it builds a positive relationship in the body of an email will increase email
by showing them that they are an individual click-through rates. We’ve run campaigns with
worthy of the company’s time and effort. these two tactics together that have shown a
16X increase in total clicks when compared
DGR: How can B2B marketers to non-personalized campaigns. The end
prove success? result is that marketers can expect to drive
far more prospects to the next step in their
Gelata: The goal of personalization is to buying journey by leveraging personalization
increase engagement throughout a nurture techniques in their nurturing programs.
campaign. This comes in many forms: higher
email opens, higher click-through rates on
emails and online ads, increased landing page
conversions, increased time-on-page, and
reduced bounces. Ultimately, this all adds up
to more prospects moving beyond the nurture
stage and progressing to the next step in their
buying journey.

Marketers need to compare conversions before
and after implementing personalization or A/B
test specific components of the program.

5 • Top B2B Marketers Measure Lead Nurturing Effectiveness To Boost Performance

119 King St West
Suite 400 Vidyard is the industry’s leading video marketing p“laWtfoermnheatehdelepsd higher-
Kitchener, ON, Canada marketing and sales teams drive results and ROI witqh uonalilniteyvidleeoadcosn.teAntn. d we
N2G 1A7
With Vidyard, customers can add video to their webnsiteeseidn emdinuttoes,fignedt retahl-ose
1.800.530.3878 time analytics, syndicate video to hsiotsc,iaclanpettuwreorlkesadasnc,dauYnsodtuobTurmabnede, crthsreeairwtephlcaaoyellsrwere
to action, optimize search engine
[email protected]
skins all from one place. Vidyard integrates with keyrmeaarkdeytintgoaubtoumya.t”ion

and CRM tools to deliver user-level video engagement data that can be used

to turn viewers into customers. - John C. Fernandez,


411 State Rt. 17 South
Suite 410 Demand Gen Report is a targeted e-media publication spotlighting the
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604 strategies and solutions that help companies better align their sales and
marketing organizations, and ultimately drive growth. A key component
201.257.8528 of the publication’s editorial coverage focuses on the sales and marketing
automation tools that enable companies to better measure and manage their
[email protected] multichannel demand generation efforts.

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