A young man was walking with his boss on the way to talk business with a client. The boss was carrying a small plant under his arm. “Why the plant?,’” asked the young man. “It’s a gift,” replied the boss. “To the lady who writes our contracts; it will serve as a reminder. It will be a constant, growing remembrance of our trust and shared interests. This is part of business.” Indeed, in the course of his time with the company, the young man saw a lot of plants. And guess what? The company never lost a contract during the young man’s time there. That young man is this writer. And since that day, this writer has learned what to call those small, green potted gestures. They’re an example of multi-touch lead engagement. The plant was a clever means to stay in the mind of the business woman and her company. Now, while every company would love to be able to generate an intimate, plant-based relationship with its customers, this is not possible in many cases. Nonetheless, multi-touch lead engagement is the next best thing. We live in a multi-channel marketing world. Yet, a large percentage of leads are abandoned because the prospect did not respond to a few contact attempts via phone or email. To better tap into lead generation attempts, it’s important to understand why multi-touch systems work so well. This post will delve into the human psychology behind multi-touch lead engagement and show how to achieve the best results with it: high ROI, high customer satisfaction, as well as low churn rates.
Why is Multi-Touch Lead Engagement Important Today?
In 2013, Mashable reported that 72% of consumers prefer an integrated marketing approach. This is because, as times have changed and so have our interactions with media types, customers appreciate and respond to a more stimulating approach. For example, not many people would prefer to see a silent film instead of a blockbuster. Combine stimulation with variety and consistency of approach to create results. The freedom to act upon certain touch points is also an empowering factor for leads, and this freedom is a long-term boon for companies with the proper strategies. Multi-channel customers spend 3x – 4x more than single channel customers. With multi-touch marketing, you can:
- – Plan and forecast: marketing expenditure
- – Accelerate the velocity of the sales cycle
- – Streamline your marketing strategy
Customer experience is a very powerful competitive differentiator. The quality and consistency of a company’s brand and presence will directly influence the actions of their customers, and especially quality leads. Customers experience the brand as a whole – whether it’s online, in a store, over the phone, or (preferably) in combination. All it takes is one red flag to signal misgivings. With multi-touch engagement, all channels should be uniform. That is, each will require the same measured treatment to maintain proper customer engagement. Imagine your own life for a minute. Every day you watch commercials, shop online, use your cell phone, listen to the radio – some of them at the same time. The new standard is multitasking – and it only makes sense to try and communicate with people in every way that makes sense. What do your leads do? What do they see? Identifying each channel that touches your target market and building out campaigns around them is where the multi-touch approach shines.
The Psychology of Multi-Touch Engagement
Psychologically, different inputs stimulate and cement ideas in our brains more effectively. For this reason, video is a very retentive mode of learning. It activates both the visual and the audio sections of the brain. Triggering touch points across different channels works in a similar fashion. If your leads engage with your message in front of their laptop, on their phone, through a paid advertisement, an email, a Facebook ad, a phone call – all these channels prompt a different association with the viewer. For this reason, ensuring that a stick-e note is left on the desk of the decision maker you’re targeting could make the all the difference one day soon. This information is processed within different synaptic pathways and so arrives in the memory and decision making centers differently. Using a variety of channels to produce actions is an effective example of multimodality as well as blended learning and the “recurrent regularities” principle. Repetition matters. The recency bias tells us that people tend to believe the things they see most recently. By reminding leads of your presence on a regular basis, you will stay (in terms of the brain’s thinking center, the frontal cortex) in the front of their mind, making them more likely to buy. What’s more, the variety and complexity of mixed messages has been shown to improve overall retention and recall strength. It creates stronger pathways in the brain. And the more that they recall your offering, what’s called the frequency illusion arrives. They begin to see your company everywhere. Say you’re a B2B SaaS company. With a thorough multi-touch engagement strategy in place, if a lead thinks about or hears of a B2B SaaS business, they’ll think of you. The brain works much like shares on social media. It’s fueled by momentum. After you’ve earned that initial space in a lead’s mind, all you need is a few more pushes to the tipping point: a sale. Things to consider: the post a lead likes on Facebook, the whitepaper he or she downloaded a month ago, a webinar you hosted last week, or a cold call your sales rep made 2 weeks back. All these touchpoints bring leads closer to becoming a customer.A typical customer will have accessed as many as 23 touch points before he is even ready to talk to your sales rep.
How to Put in Place Multi-Touch Lead Engagement
Multi-touch channels include:
- – Direct mail
- – Phone calls
- – Emails
- – Ebooks
- – Landing pages
- – Webinars
- – Website
- – Mobile
- – Online Advertising
- – Tradeshows
Hopefully, each lead will move through the buyer’s journey after their first touch. Being aware of the three phases of the journey will inform decision-making. Which channels are best for targeting the most relevant leads? Whether in the top, middle, or end of the engagement cycle, your leads will respond to different channels:
- + Top: This is the beginning of the buyer journey, also know as the awareness stage. Here, search power plays a big role, in terms of both non-brand, brand-specific search, and product specific search. Display advertising will also be a major player at this point, from TV, out of home, print, or direct mail. All are top phase touchpoints of the customer journey.
- + Middle: The middle of the customer journey is hard to decipher, because it’s unclear how it relates to the ultimate purchase. Nonetheless, it is essential. Affiliate marketing, social media, email marketing, advertising, and search will all play a part in guiding leads to position of educated confidence. Social media – where buyers ask questions, touch base with peers, and further gather information – is prevalent at this discovery stage.
- + Last: The buck and the credit for the sale stops here. Email will continue to play a big role until the very end, as this is when the nurturing campaign pays off. Affiliate and search channels will continue their streak of success.
Benefits of Multi-Touch Lead Engagement
Increased Attention: More customers and brand attention arrive – you get your foot in the door.More Touch Points: More touch points means more points to collect data. With more information, you can develop a better understanding of where and when promotions work to measure success.Customer Ease: When customers use their favorite medium to interact with a brand, they feel more relaxed. This increases chances of conversions.
Track and Measure Engagements
Any number of automation systems will be able to track the source of online leads and record the engagements across your website and emails. With tracking technology, every inbound lead and phone call can be traced to the marketing source that drove it. Technologies like this will be able to provide an accurate picture of the ROI of your multiple touch points. With on and offline lead interactions, you’ll be prepped to take the next step to multi-touch engagement. IKO System has also understood the value of multitouch tracking, providing a list of leads who have engaged with cold emails. These clicks/opens are strong insights into the buying intent of leads throughout the engagement cycle. These leads are ready for ‘warm calling’ and a sales opportunity. After IKO System scores and prioritizes leads based upon buying behaviors, it’s easy to approach and understand how and why leads become buyers.
When it comes to lead engagement, it pays to not put all the eggs in one basket. …and that’s because certain customers may not engage with that basket. Leads require nurturing, and the greater variety and frequency through which they are engaged, the higher chances of their eventual conversion. Understanding the core psychological concepts behind modern marketing and user behavior validates a diverse, comprehensive and synchronized approach to lead engagement. All this, consequently, results in the sales pipeline you’ve been aiming for.