Your Lead Nurturing Is Not Successful: What’s Missing?

Behind Every Successful Lead Nurture Program is Segmentation

We all know that content is King, but how do you decide what content to use to support your lead nurture campaigns?

That’s where segmentation comes into play.

Organizations are often challenged with not only generating demand and interest with leads in a highly competitive marketplace, but qualifying leads to pass on to sales. According to SiriusDecisions, of the 20% of leads that sales reps follow-up on, 70% are disqualified; 80% of these disqualified leads will then go on to buy from you or a competitor in the next 24 months. If you want to be competitive and be the organization that remain top of mind when they are ready to buy, nurturing is critical and segmentation is the foundation.

Why should I consider segmentation?

According to a study from MarketingSherpa segmented emails get 50% more clicks than their untargeted counterparts. Segmentation allows you to tailor your content and communications to your audiences’ unique wants and needs and also helps target your learnings based on audience types. Many organizations shy away from developing a proper segmentation model because they have the misconception that segmentation is complicated – however, simple really is better.

What is segmentation?

Every organization’s needs vary and your customers will have significant differences across verticals, job titles, geographies and lead stages that must be considered before developing a lead nurture campaign.

Segmentation by definition, clearly categorizes groups of customers with similar needs, pain points and characteristics. Geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral data are all commonly used to define segments and support the development of content strategies.

More than half (58%) of B2B buyers spent more time researching purchase decisions than they did a year prior, according to Demand Gen Report’s 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey. By defining segments and understanding your target audience(s), you’ll be better positioned to anticipate content needs and align your communications and channels to deliver more targeted conversations and accelerate the buying process.

How do I get started?

As mentioned before, segmentation can be complicated, so it’s important to keep your segments clearly defined and aligned to your business objectives.

  • Step One: Define Target Customer(s)

Begin your segmentation journey by defining your marketing objective and then organizing your prospects/customers into complimentary groups. For example, consider stage of buying journey, buying behavior, learning and engagement preferences or channels. Placing your prospects/customers into different groups based on their preferences and key characteristics helps you tailor your message to their needs.

  • Step Two: Build Buyer Personas & Buyer Scenarios

Next, you’ll need to create detailed profiles – aka buyer personas – for each of your target segments to categorize unique needs and business drivers. Buyer personas should include descriptive characteristics with both qualitative and quantitative information on what a segment really looks like. To further enhance audience understanding, take your personas to the next level with buyer scenarios that describe potential events or triggers a prospective buyer is likely to experience when engaging with your organization. This deeper understanding will help inform your lead nurture content and messaging strategy.

Utilizing buyer personas and buyer scenarios in your nurture campaigns can results in 2x the open rate and 5x the click thru rate because you have a comprehensive understanding of your target segments’ issues, challenges and business drivers that influence the purchasing decision.

  • Step Three: Map Content

As a final step, use your segmentation and historical nurture performance to assign relevant and compelling content and messaging for each identified segment. Then use your content map to determine the optimal execution tactics and cadence for lead nurture communications.

Use Segmentation to Drive Lead Nurture Success

Segmentation is the foundation of lead nurturing and as an organization you want to build a relationship throughout their journey not just at the time of purchase. So remember, the next time you start brainstorming ways to optimize your lead nurture activities, take a step back and ensure you are leveraging the power of segmentation.

Organizations who have identified the importance of engaging with customers and prospects with the right content at the right time are reaping the benefits of segmentation and delivering value in each interaction across the buyer’s journey.