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How To Create Intentional Paths That Will Win Customers

There’s a concept called Flip My Funnel that the folks at Terminus are using well to promote and explain the concept of account-based marketing.

It’s compelling because it turns the idea of lead-generation on its head and says “stop spraying and praying. Rather, map and focus.”

The data team at SqueezeCMM is in the process of applying the same focus and inversion to the buyer journey, a much-loved but ultimately unsatisfying area of focus. Our data shows a few things:

  • It’s less about buying and more about researching. That’s the part content can influence.
  • It’s not a single journey.
  • It’s not always a journey, but a single stop on an epic adventure.
  • It can be hard to tell apart random behaviour from intentional behaviour.

We see that the following things happen before someone is ready to engage:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Intent

By creating intentional, value-added, progressively more valuable, thematically-related content in what we call a content path or content chain (like a daisy chain), a lot of valuable things happen:

CX: The customer gets value, utility, “they get me” from targeted, relevant content.

Marketer: The marketer gets insights, funnel, systems, conversions from how customers move through content in certain formats, topics and length.

Data analytics: the data analysts get a net new contextual dataset and maps of what customer research journeys look like vs. context-free data.

So what does a choose-your-own adventure content path look like?

  • it’s open
  • it either has options or is very linear
  • it leads to gating but does not start with gating
  • CTAs within each content asset are the linkages, so these need to be optimized

Here’s an example of such a content path:

A new content asset is produced: new research on CX and Facebook ads.

A Tweet to promote that content would read: new research! Did you know CX on Facebook is 39% better than XYZ.

That leads to an article. In article (500-800 words) there are CTAs to download the full, 15-page report.

In the report there are CTAs to attend a webinar, complete an assessment, talk to a rep or subscribe to a list.

Things we’ve seen include batch consumption, email and social sharing waves, and more.

Choose-your-own-adventure marketing can take many forms, but it works best when it’s about a progressive journey through more complex but thematically-related content assets. With this approach, marketers can get ever closer to diagnosing that most ephemeral and critical of buyer conditions: intent.

 

Originally published January 31, 2017 on The ACA Edge.

 

Feature source image: Orlando

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Jennifer Evans
Jennifer Evanshttp://www.b2bnn.com
principal, @patternpulseai. author, THE CEO GUIDE TO INDUSTRY AI. former chair @technationCA, founder @b2bnewsnetwork #basicincome activist. Machine learning since 2009.