One of the most important things that sets your marketing message apart from the others is “relevance” – if your message is relevant to the recipient, it’ll go a lot more smoothly from the inbox to your prospect’s brain.
If you can understand who the various people are who buy your products or services, you’re much more likely to be able to select (or create) relevant messaging (or “content”) to send to them.
That’s why thinking through “personas” for your customers is the very first project that Eloqua recommends.
This is clearly not the “automation” portion of “marketing automation”, it’s the “marketing” part. You may have heard the tech-related phrase, “garbage in, garbage out”. This is where you need to make certain you are working with good information. This is the foundation for the rest of your efforts.
(In a sense, it’s a shame that marketing “automation” companies need to remind their customers of this).
It’s all about the money, and this is where “marketing” meets “the money”. It’s where you, as a marketer, sit down with your sales and product management teams and understand, who’s buying each product or service that you sell, how they are involved in the purchasing decision, and what their “buying cycle” is.
At a later date, for each of these, you’ll think through their “buying cycle” their particular needs (or “pain points”) at varying points of the buying cycle, and also the type of “content” that you will address to them.
But for now, what’s the point?
Thinking through your customer demographics should be a standard operating procedure for any business, and for some, it is a science. Consumer marketing companies have come up with a number of different personas — some of these, such as “soccer moms”, have become well-known through such marketing processes as political campaigns.
If you properly understand who the buyers are, and what they’re buying, you can automate your marketing efforts to them in an effective way. If you don’t get them right, it’s going to be a case of “garbage in, garbage out”.
If you click on the “Persona Development” link on http://growth.eloqua.com/, it’ll take you to the page where Eloqua makes its “persona development” materials available.
(If you aren’t already a member of their Topliners community, you may need to join in order to access this material.)