7 Step Approach to Real Website Customer Segmentation
aka Practical Account Based Marketing
William R. Benz
March 22, 2017
Companies in all industries remain frustrated by the level of marketing noise across all channels, frozen by analysis attempting to re-invent the marketing infrastructure necessary to deliver on the promise of enhanced customer service. With the increased adoption, not delivery, of Marketing Automation, marketers are shifting to an automation nomenclature defining and modeling efforts that create Qualified Marketing Leads in pursuit of the aforementioned goal. In order to achieve this objective, the message and Call-To-Action (CTA) need to be appropriate for a specific client need. Using this tried and true digital technique outlined below, it is possible to change content on a web page based on the visitor without asking for a single piece of information. This approach adds an advantage which can increase the chances of creating a Qualified Marketing Lead.
Reach the right client / prospect with the appropriate message coupled with a strong call to action.
You hear it so often that you think every other company on this big blue spinning marble we call earth has already figured out how it’s done.
Good news, that is not so.
The idea of using a web visitor’s IP Address to gain a better understanding of a visitor has recently been given a cool name, Account Based Marketing that you may have seen in the trade journals. Let me tell how your organization can jump-start its Qualified Marketing Leads in an easy 7 step-by-step process.
1. Identify your most valuable Clients and Prospects at a company level
Practically speaking, sales activities occur in two universes, existing clients and prospects. These groups may be served by different sales teams within the firm. To use a primitive analogy, talk with the hunters for the whales on their lists and review existing clients for their profiles with the gatherers. Look for strong customers that may have needs for additional products and services. During this step, avoid clients that do not represent true growth opportunities as the effort to collect the necessary data can be arduous.
2. Define the content, message and campaign strategies for each Client and Prospect
Each client has specific needs for the products and services offered by your company. Evaluate each of the business relationships and research the prospects’ requirements in the context of what your firm offers. For this to work properly, discussions between Sales and the client representatives need to be up-to-date as the message can age quickly and become irrelevant. The idea is that, when the right person visits the site or opens an email, they are met with a more relevant message which can then translate to a move further down the sales and marketing funnel.
3. Document all of the target customer touch-points both online and offline
Once all touch-points have been identified for each audiences and focus firm, analyze those individual connectors, searching for the next logical interaction that can be offered as a way to continue the online “conversation”. Repeat this process until the interactions can be moved from marketing oversight considered a Qualified Marketing Lead to a sales oversight Qualified Sales Lead. Documentation of these steps illustrates the business rules able to be recreated on the marketing automation platform.
4. Identify broadcast IP Address(s) for each Client and Prospect
Working with your Technology team, identify all of the ranges of IP addresses broadcast by your clients and prospects. Create a database that uses a lookup functionality to determine the visitor’s home network. This is the hardest step but, once completed, requires little maintenance unless you add other firms. For instance, by using IP Packet Sniffing, your website knows who is visiting and can dynamically change the webpage to the selected campaign(s) associated with the target firm. If the IP Address does not belong to one of the targeted firms, the logic displays a default view of the webpage. This capability can be constructed in-house, is available as a cloud solution or can be purchased for on premise use depending on the software provider.
5. Create templates in the CMS (Content Management System)
While working with your Technology team, create webpage templates that interprets the inbound IP address and renders the page with the proper content. Build a Campaign app in which the content system can draw on the most up-to-date information regarding the client’s sales focus. This is not a new idea and has been refined over the last 10 years so the process is easier than it might appear. Be prepared for a learning curve as some technology teams may not have done this type of work in the past to accommodate the dynamic webpages.
6. Execute a series of campaigns using email and Social Media to attract specific visitors
By customizing the campaign(s) to the focus firm, you are better able to share relevant content to the focus firm visitor, increasing the total number of appropriate prospects into the top of the funnel improves conversion by sheer volume. For this to be effective, persistent communications with a single message needs to be queued in advance and ready to be sent from the beginning of the campaign.
7. Measure the interactions with the targeted visitors and refine
Measurement is the theme for 2017. Understanding causality helps sales and marketing teams create more effective, relevant delivery systems using the interaction to push the client or prospect further down the sales funnel. For the analytics to be valuable, the process needs to be automated and a skilled resource (i.e., team member) should be assigned. Using this approach, the standard reports get delivered to the inbox on pre-determine schedules and the research associated with the campaign and other miscellaneous events can be extracted as custom requests. Think of the metrics as raw numbers, trends and insights. Without all three of these elements, the effectiveness of any other metrics is greatly reduced.
If it was easy or cheap, it would not be interesting or valuable. You might have guessed that there are a few more technical considerations but none that would make this effort unachievable. Although it represents more than a week’s worth of work to complete the project, my experience has shown that it should take about 60 work days to compile a list of your top customers and another couple of weeks to build the necessary applications, so plan for some moderate expenses associated with this deliverable. Be assured that many of your competitors are already using a version of this approach. Some are starting off by using the Geo-location data to display different languages or regionalized content. Others have expanded use of the data by engaging one of the several vendor solutions that augment the IP address with up to 45 pieces of discrete content. Various third-party solutions are now available that run in-line with normal web operations in a premise and cloud configuration. I have evaluated several companies that provide this service and the capabilities are as wide ranging as the price.
About Carnegie Agency
Carnegie Agency is a full service digital first marketing agency, serving small-to-medium-size businesses with a specialty in Financial Services, FinTech, Not for Profit, and Business Services industries. The firm's expertise spans over 120 years providing practical, appropriate marketing solutions for companies across an array of market sectors. Carnegie's client engagement model delivers the optimal solutions with specific plans, follow up and metrics to remove the guess work from determining success. The firm's product offerings include Marketing Automation Risk Assessment Tools and Marketing in a Box. For more information, please visit