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PERSPECTIVE
Does your website give M & Ms?

This blog is targeted towards B2B Technology marketers interested in understanding how traffic is converted to leads

Yes, “M&Ms” as in Meaningful and Memorable moments…well, candy works just as well in acquiring new customers, as Credit Card marketers using airport kiosks would attest…It certainly does work with me, and my love for the humble treat led me to coin the term for the web…

Most website marketers put lot of effort into driving traffic and bringing users to their content, but the Conversion Strategy is quite often poor – they miss out on two things which are critical to getting customers:

1. They do not create Meaningful and Memorable moments where credibility is built, prospects engage with the product and the brand and convert into high quality leads.

2. They do not seize the moment and tip prospects to leads when the Prospect has an M&M

A combination of Content Management, Analytics and Marketing Automation allows marketers to profile users and personalize messages to create M&M moments

Before I get into explaining how M&M moments occur, let’s take a look at how this fits into the buying process to understand why this is important.

Research and Compare -> Value Proposition -> Prospect Engagement -> Purchase-> Customer Engagement

M&M moments are created during the Research-and-Compare and Value Proposition phase of the buying lifecycle that moves a prospect into the Prospect Engagement phase of the buying lifecycle. Once your product is in consideration by the prospect, you’ve got to be on your game – It’s during this stage that the business needs to enhance the product’s value proposition through sales and marketing strategies.

Understanding who the prospect is, and providing relevant information at the right step in the buying process, will allow you to engage the prospect and convert the prospect to a lead or help him make a purchase.

So how do you give out M&Ms? It’s a combination of things really, but encompassed in a simple statement:

Get the right message to the right user at the right time

The right user

The ability to profile a user is the first step in targeting messages to the user.

Creating ‘User Personas’ will allow you to understand what different users are looking for.‘User Profiling’ is a mechanism used by website technologies like Content Management Systems and Analytics Software to segregate user groups and target them with relevant messages. One of our Content Management partners, Sitecore, provides an online marketing suite that allows marketers to profile the users who visit their site.

Website content structure: you can use the content structure on your website to guide the user down a defined path.

Examples:

- B2B electronics sites such as Lenovo allow users to select which business type they belong to, home, small, enterprise, etc., and provide relevant content based on the type of user they are.

- Amazon suggests ‘you might be interested in’ products that are aligned with usage patterns on the site

The right message

When a user is looking for, or perhaps considering, a product, the appropriate message can turn that user into lead. B2B marketers use case studies, video testimonial and product demos to enhance the Value Proposition of the product.

So, how does giving the right message to the right user at the right time create an M&M moment that tips a user to become a prospect (ie register on your site to get more information of the product or engage with you)?

If you are able to capture the buyer’s interest when they are considering your product, it will go a long way in closing the sale.

Example:

1. If a user is on the product page of a software product site such as that of Microsoft Sharepoint, offering video testimonials, demos and whitepapers on the product will help enhance the value proposition of product

The right time

What’s true in life is true in converting traffic to leads: timing is everything. Getting the appropriate message to the user at the right time to either create an M&M moment or tip the user over to become a lead is important.

Here’s how you do it…

Information Architecture design process – During the design process, scenarios and use cases are used to create user flows that allow you engineer website processes that are efficient and target appropriate messaging at appropriate steps

Personalized messages – Content management systems allow you to deliver dynamic personalized messages to users based on the path taken through the site. The URL for Sitecore provides details on how CMS’s accomplish this.

Examples:

The Salesfoce.com website has targeted messaging to get traffic to convert to leads across the site..Request demo, free trial and Contact me are examples of messaging used to convert prospects to leads.

So if you’ve targeted the right user with the right message at the right time, you have understood the users needs, created credibility and emotional linkage for your product, you would’ve created M&M moments for the prospect to want to buy your product

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