Using customer intent and multichannel engagement to drive sales

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Working with a global IT organisation, we introduced ‘intent’ to focus engagement activity based on customer interest. We designed a full engagement framework across a range of channels, to ensure that contacts in the right accounts were engaged with content they wanted, at the right time in their buyer journey.

Our client is a leading cloud security vendor and helps the world’s largest organisations take full advantage of the cloud and web without sacrificing security. Founded in 2012, our client wanted to expand rapidly into EMEA and needed a way to identify, acquire and engage contacts in accounts which represented the greatest opportunity.

We introduced ‘intent’ as a mechanism to indicate accounts that could be in an active buying cycle, enabling our client to determine which accounts would be targeted with what message, when, and how. We designed a full engagement framework using a range of channels including IP-targeted display, location-based ads, social, retargeting and email nurture, to ensure that contacts in the right accounts were engaged with content they wanted, at the right time in their buyer journey.

Targeting accounts which represent the greatest opportunity

Our client needed a way to identify which accounts represented the greatest opportunity and a methodology to reach new audiences within these big accounts. This was no small task given that they had a small post-GDPR marketable database, minimal inside sales / sales development resources to profile accounts and qualify and nurture leads, limited marketing resources and low brand awareness outside the US.

They needed a way to maximise the opportunities to engage with the right accounts at the right time and reduce any wasted effort.

Showing customers’ interest and triggers rather than trying to guess

Following a series of discovery workshops with sales and marketing stakeholders across the region, we proposed intent as the methodology to indicate interest in a specific topic related to our client’s solution.

‘Intent’ is derived from a custom-built engine which captures keyword data daily from 3,500+ sources. The keyword data is translated into a score and then expressed as a spike of interest “above the norm”.

We gathered input from sales and marketing to determine the relevant topics and keywords for our client, and then started to track the data at an account level to determine the baseline.

Once the baseline was established, we delivered the insights via an interactive weekly report, using intent spikes to determine which accounts would be targeted with what message, when, and through which channels. To optimise this process, we designed and built a full engagement framework using a range of channels including IP-targeted display, location-based ads, social, retargeting and Marketo email nurture. This was to ensure that contacts in target accounts were acquired, engaged, and nurtured through exploring the possibilities to making the selection.

In addition, the intent insights were used by the regional sales teams to help guide relevant conversations and ‘reasons to call’ in a subset of focus accounts.

Uncovering real business opportunities

Already, 45% of accounts tracked have displayed intent across 22 related keywords. These intent spikes have provided new insights to guide sales conversations around actual business opportunities. In addition, the insights have been used to inform messaging and content development, uncovering some effective new insights. For instance, if an account showed an interest in a certain topic, we found that it typically led to an increasing interest in a hot topic for our client.

Choosing a broad range of keywords can enable you to identify trends to engage with an account and at a much earlier point in the buying cycle than previously.

If you have any comments or would like to talk to us about how we can use intent to track what your customers are doing and uncover real business opportunities, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

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