I was asked to answer a few questions recently for a paper by DemandGen Report and Vidyard on measuring lead nurturing. You can access the full report here, but here is the full Q&A providing some thoughts on lead nurturing and measurement of content performance.
How can B2B marketers identify what’s resonating and driving people through the funnel?
This is a tricky one, and it really depends on what you want to measure. If you can monitor or track all the content offers a prospect has downloaded before a purchase, it could be very telling to identify the common pieces that show up across those purchases. What you might find is that your most “popular” pieces, from a downloads perspective, are might not be the ones that are actually driving revenue.
What challenges are preventing marketers from measuring lead nurturing success?
One of the biggest challenges to measuring lead nurturing success is not a new one … it can be difficult to measure interactions with content outside of the nurture program without planning for it. It’s easy to measure opens and clicks and downloads from a nurture email, but you need to also measure the prospect’s interactions with content outside of the confines of the nurture to get the full picture because the best nurtures foster further interactions with your content that might be harder to track. Blog posts, web pages, other pieces of content they fond on their own. Scoring needs to account for all interactions, not just the ones connected to responses to email.
Another huge mistake is creating only one nurture, and then assuming that every member of the buying committee will respond to it. Typically, it is a buying committee and not a single buyer in B2B but many companies cram every different persona into the same nurture, regardless of differences in priorities and pains across that committee.
How do they overcome these challenges?
Step one to overcoming this challenge is to make sure you selected the right system, that can track all of a prospect’s interactions across channels.
Step two is to build a nurture that encourages people to interact with that content — don’t make them wait for the next email before seeing more content that is relevant to their journey.
Step three is to make sure that all interactions are scored, so that prospects that are proactively seeking out valuable content get pushed through the nurture faster, and that their next email in the stream accounts for any interactions they may have had outside of the email string.
For the second issue, they need to create a different nurture stream for every member of the committee, and make sure to capture persona information up front so they can place prospects into the nurtures that are most relevant to their interests and needs.
What tips/best practices would you share to help B2B marketers measure success with lead nurturing campaigns?
Track the content accessed by prospects that have actually purchased, and use that information to help determine which offers to promote via paid channels and make sure it is featured prominently in your nurtures.
What’s data’s role in maximizing nurturing initiatives? What grade would you give the industry for their use of data insights to enhancing nurturing capabilities? Why?
Typically, B2Bs are doing a very poor job of measuring content performance — largely because they are limiting measurement to statistics like downloads and not taking into account what happens next. Which piece is more valuable, the one that had 500 downloads that led to 2 sales, or the one that had 50 downloads that led to 5 sales?
Any relevant B2B use cases you’d be willing to share that highlight effective lead nurture campaigns?
PR Newswire took all of these factors into account when they launched a nurture program optimized for multi-channel interactions and that supported multiple, very different personas. Within five months of the program’s launch, PR Newswire’s engaged leads grew by 22%, and qualified leads saw a 7% increase. By supplying the sales forces with leads that were vetted and pre-qualified beforehand, the number of sales closed also increased by 7%. You can check out a case study here.