Creating a memorable customer experience…admittedly, there are days when this feels like an insurmountable task. I’m sure we’ve all heard that the human attention span is at its lowest ever, clocking in at a whopping 8 seconds. (That’s one second less than the attention span of a goldfish, to give you context.) Combine this with an estimated 4,000-10,000 marketing messages the average consumer receives each day, and it’s no wonder brands have difficulty standing out.
So how can your organization break through the noise and create a unique experience for your customers? We posed the question to Jason Yarborough, Director of Strategic Alliances at PFL and Perkuto’s own Jason Raisleger. Their advice? Think beyond digital. It’s possible to track and measure offline campaigns in Marketo and, incorporating direct mail into your campaigns could add that extra spark you’re seeking.
Focus On Being Memorable – The ROI Will Follow
Our goal as marketers is to focus on being memorable. Oxford scholars have documented the connection between memory and distinctiveness— someone who does something unexpected, unusual or otherwise unique, creates an unforgettable impression. Whether your role is on the creative side or in marketing operations, we can all contribute to helping our brand stand out. How so?
46% of marketing execs prioritize customized messaging and personalized customer experiences.
Of course, it’s the marketing operations team that holds the keys to understanding customer data and turning that data into actionable insights. “It’s a collaborative process and there are many functionalities within Marketo you can leverage to facilitate cross-department communications,” noted Jason Raisleger, a consultant at Perkuto. Jason Yarborough added, “A customer experience is an impression you leave with your customer— how they think of your brand— across every stage of the buyer journey.” So what are actionable steps you can take to improving your customer experience?
“Business buyers don’t go to work and forget what they do as humans. There’s a new normal that blurs the lines between B2B and B2C. They just want things personalized.” – Brian Solis
Even in the B2B world, buying decisions are still being made by people, so appealing to the human side of things makes good sense. Do your research and leverage your data to tailor your message— and your call to action— to your target recipient appropriately. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all mass communications; leverage variable data to make your messages more personal and relevant.
“Value is the professional, social and emotional benefits you experience, beyond just the actual product,” explains Jason Yarborough. What are your customers’ problems? A good customer experience solves their problems and answers their questions, even the tough ones. Bottom line: focus on helping people.
Design Your Story
Storytelling taps different parts of the brain to implant thoughts and feelings about concepts, making them more apparent and memorable. Engaging storytelling allows the audience to become participants and follows a structure: the beginning (think delivery), the middle (think message) and the end (think follow-up). To illustrate, the average email open rate is 15-25%, whereas the average open rate of a FedEx package is 100%. Why is that? The excitement, nostalgia, and mystery of receiving a package create a narrative that’s irresistible— recipients open packages out of curiosity, without hesitation. And when that happens, your exposure and reception to your message increases, opening the door to more thoughtful follow-up.
Create A Journey
Direct mail, email, events— people aren’t going to experience your brand through one single channel, it’s about the overall experience. Consider how are you coordinating interactions across your organization— are you integrating sales as a part of the customer journey? And more importantly, how do you communicate, track and measure all the touchpoints to orchestrate a cohesive experience?
It starts with harnessing and taking your data to heart. Then, align across departments to help keep things customer-centric.
Measuring Offline Campaigns
While we often think of Marketo in terms of tracking digital campaigns, you may track direct mail and events effectively too, with the right set-up.
For starters, create a direct mail channel in Marketo and use the status field on the custom object to show progression— in production, shipped, canceled or undeliverable, and delivered. The status updates will act as a trigger to call the webhook which sends order information to PFL as well as execute the subsequent flow steps including updating the program status for tracking purposes.
For example, let’s say you want to incorporate a direct mail effort into your engagement program. “To accomplish, you’ll set it up as a nested program within your engagement program, targeting the titles of your preference. Once the package has been delivered, the custom object is updated with a status of ‘delivered’ which triggers a sales alert and task for your sales team to follow-up with the lead. Leads that are moved to the ‘delivered’ stage (or here at Perkuto, we add the extra step of ‘responded’ to our package) can then be counted as a touchpoint and tracked for generating opportunities and the impact on closed/won sales,” advises Jason Raisleger.
Reactivating Disengaged Leads
Let’s look at another example, re-engaging dormant leads. Perhaps your emails are getting lost in the noise. Instead of writing them off, it can be worthwhile to identify and attempt to re-engage these leads with a custom postcard with a special offer that sends them to a landing page to redeem. “Use the same type of approach as your engagement program,” says Raisleger, “you’ll need a landing page, a form, four smart campaigns and two reports for best results.”
The Marketo steps as he outlines:
- Identify your disengaged audience. Use a smart list to define what “disengaged” means to you. Add a flow step to request the mail campaign.
- Call the Webhook. Again, using a smart list, your campaign is requested from the previous step. A flow step then calls the Webhook.
- Track the progression of your postcard. Use a smart list to update the marketing automation order where status is “shipped.” Use a flow step to change the program status to Direct Mail > Shipped.
- Track reactivated leads. Using your fourth and final smart list, add in the criteria of “visits web page” (the landing page in your program) and “is a member of this reactivation program.” Your final flow step will update the records to Direct Mail > Delivered.
Success! You are now able to track the conversion rate of dormant leads.
Customers expect a better experience, including B2B interactions. In fact, according to Forbes, 88% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, but only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations.
Direct mail creates a memorable moment; use the power of Marketo to create a unique campaign that can still be tracked and measured for success, including the impact on your sales.