Lead Nurturing Part 1 – The Branding Phase

I was rereading a blog post from Gilbert Bailey. with Beanstalk Data, a Charlotte-base marketing automation company that we partner with, and thought his insights on lead-nurturing were on point.  In a high-consideration purchase keeping relevant information in front of your potential customers is paramount to closing business.  In this article we review the “branding phase” of the nurturing process.  Enjoy.

Executing a successful customer acquisition campaign can be one of the more challenging tasks that any marketing professional may face.  In this series we will examine how lead nurturing, completed in phases, can be employed to acquire new customers.

Lead nurturing is a process of automating contact, or “touch points”, with a prospective customer over time.  You might be asking isn’t that drip marketing? Not really.  A phased lead nurturing campaign has considerably more depth than traditional drip marketing.

Leads are acquired through lists, trade shows, the web and the like.  With traditional drip marketing, you begin touching the leads each month with something that has your logo on it (and everybody receives the same message).  The goal is to stay front of mind and wear the leads down through attrition.  Your sales people begin, day one, calling down through the vast list of leads.  Calls are prioritized (if at all) by list segmentation.  Lead nurturing on the other hand is a process where leads will be warmed up before ever being turned over to sales.  Rather than attrition, the process of staying front of mind with a lead is thoughtful and serves a greater purpose.  The nurturing process itself will prioritize the calls, determine the messages a prospect will see and ultimately determine the amount of marketing dollars spent on a lead.

Phase one, “the branding phase”, consists of leads receiving email or print material from you which speaks to your brand.  These “touch points” should familiarize the lead with your name, logo / mascot, type of widgets or services (broadly described) that you offer.   Think of it in terms of the following: would you rather a sales person call a lead and say this is Joe with company ABC and the lead says AB Who?  Never heard of that…what in the world is AB-what was that? Or would you rather the call went – yes Joe, I have heard of ABC or Joe, aren’t you the people who sell widgets XYZ?  The sales call is one step ahead if the branding phase has occurred.

This phase can last from 3 to 6 months depending on your market space.  Two things will happen to leads during this phase:

  1. Leads that respond quickly to your branding message will be pulled automatically through “lead scoring” (which we will talk about in another series), given to sales for an immediate call and then placed into phase two (the content-educational phase) – no more phase one marketing dollars will be spent …or…
  2. They will complete phase one (the branding phase) and then flow into phase two (the content-educational phase) without receiving a call.  These prospects will receive all of phase one’s marketing dollars

From Gilbert Bailey, VP, Sales & Marketing with Beanstalk Data

JC Thomas and Beanstalk Data work together to help companies bridge the gap between sales and marketing utilizing great creative minds and innovative marketing automation software. 

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