Utilising 'True' Insight to Deliver Better Engagement - How to Deliver your Proposition with Purpose and Relevance at the Right Time

All marketeers and sales professionals have their favoured means of engaging with prospects, but one thing’s for certain - any successful sales or marketing campaign needs to have some degree of personalisation. However, a few things still remain open to opinion:

  • Where’s the sweet spot?

  • When have you ‘earned the right’ to personalise your communication with individual prospects?

  • How personal is too personal?

  • Is the content/communication you’re delivering truly relevant & useful?

In this blog post, we’ll briefly discuss some key tactics from the current communication techniques at BuyingTime alongside how to build a smarter strategy, including things we’ve seen that do and don’t work. There is not a ‘one size fits all’ for every campaign.

Basic personalisation fails to engage (particularly in retail)

We don’t work for consumer brands and retailers, but we do deliver client propositions into that industry, so we know that when it comes to implementing personalisation, many retail brands still rely on basic tactics. However, ‘basic personalisation is failing to make an impact according to the following statistics from various studies and research:

  • Roughly 8-10% of consumers are convinced to engage with a retail brand because of digital marketing that addresses them by their first name – so if a brand does personalise an email with someone’s name (as most brands do) this alone wouldn’t be enough to encourage them to read or take action from it

  • Just 7-10% are likely to engage due to a birthday-themed email. Again, this suggests that a brand’s knowledge of someone’s personal information isn’t enough to motivate a consumer to take action

  • However, more than 50% of consumers are likely to engage with a brand when they receive an interesting offer

The above emphasises a marketing fundamental – relevance of the communication is key. Addressing someone by their first name is personal in a sense, but if the accompanying message doesn’t address a customer’s need or have usefulness then it’ll fail to do its job. Brands and businesses who keep their customers at the heart of everything they do will ALWAYS be far more successful. So, with that in mind how should brands and businesses build their communication and personalisation strategies from here?

Now, before you all run off trying to find a personalisation platform or start amending your whole communication strategy to incorporate personalised messaging at every level, remember what it is you’re actually trying to achieve - selling your product or service. Yes, personalised content is important and can help to open the door with new customers/prospects, but shouldn’t you really only talk to people who have a need or desire for what you’re selling?

Communication needs to be relevant - using the right data and insight

Time to let you in on a little secret. You DON’T need to personalise all the time to win new business/customers. Necessity, timeliness, desire, and demand are key factors when someone makes a decision to purchase anything. Therefore a build-up of valuable data and insight on your customers/prospects including the following will help aid your communication strategy towards them:-

  • Demographic data

  • Firmographic data

  • Technographic data

  • Behavioural insight

  • Company structure

  • Current providers/suppliers

  • Why do they want your product/service?

As part of all our client campaigns at BuyingTime we try, where possible, to almost pre-qualify prospects before speaking to them and most definitely before we go and deliver a proposition to a decision-maker. Our Data & Insight Specialists work tirelessly alongside the ABM Consultants to find every little nugget of relevant information they can about a company or individual before any communication begins. A couple of techniques and sources we use to find all the insight and data are:-

  • Low-level contact - junior employees

  • Customer interviews/Secret shopping

  • Proposition testing via email with small portions of contact data

  • LinkedIn messaging

  • Conducting market research over the phone

Sell to everyone, not just the decision-maker - take your prospects on a journey

Once you have enough data and insight built-up (there is no such thing as too much data/insight by the way) and you’ve done as much as you can to pre-qualify a target it’s time to start properly communicating with and messaging to them. However, this doesn’t mean going straight to the top and trying to sell head-on to the decision-maker from the get go. One of our key techniques is talking to lower-level contacts and end-users to build up a picture - finding inefficiencies, problems, and pain-points that your product/service can provide a solution for or assist with solving.

The easiest way to sell your product/service is if you’ve found a distinct problem or any inefficiencies you can help solve or improve for end-users - gently pitch and sell your solution to them, raising awareness and your profile within a target business. Don’t just do this with one or two, talk to and build relationships with as many lower-level contacts as you can. Get them talking about your product/service to advocate it upwards, so that when it comes to communicating with a Director/Head of/C-Level (who will ultimately decide on buying your product/service) they should already know who you are. You should have enough insight about inefficiencies or pain-points that they’re receptive to you and open to you asking any further questions, so much so that when you deliver your proposition it is entirely compelling.

First Name, Last Name, Age, Company… it just doesn’t cut-it anymore

Standard communication and basic personalisation tactics are no longer enough to engage with customers/prospects - you need to have enough relevant data and insight to create context within your messaging and communications. Making sure you have context and relevance backed-up by unique company insight means you can position your product/service in such a specific case-by-case way that the decision-maker is often much more receptive to not only your proposition, but you as well.

Always ALWAYS make sure you have a distinct reason for contacting and selling to a customer/prospect. There’s no point in going straight to a decision-maker with a proposition that has no USP or solution specific to that company that is either able to assist the business or solve any problems - you NEED to appear relevant to the right person at the right time.