Marketing Analytics and Lead Nurturing – A Strategic Combination
Marketing Analytics and Lead Nurturing is a strategic combination across all revenue marketing organizations. A well-thought-out lead nurture strategy backed by data-driven insights through marketing analytics frameworks is a game-changer. While others see nurturing as a series of emails, we see nurturing differently.
For us, nurturing is a data-driven, meticulously planned contextual, and hyper-personalized strategic marketing tactic to drive engagement in pursuit of influencing pipeline generation.
Lead Nurturing is an ongoing process, which prepares the engaged leads for sales conversations based on their engagements with the different phases of the nurture campaigns. For the marketing teams, it is critical to have an engaging and relevant nurture strategy customized for different persona who are in different phases of the buying cycle from awareness, consideration, preference to purchase. Nurtures themselves could have different goals ranging from spreading awareness about the product/services through thought leadership, driving engagement with the potential customers about the brand of an organization to accelerating the leads through the funnel.
Given that email messaging and contextual CTAs are the core part of the nurture campaigns, traditionally most marketing organizations have been focused on looking at vanity email metrics (email opens, email clicks, etc.) to track the results of nurture campaigns. As most revenue-focused marketing leaders would agree, these metrics do not cut it anymore when it comes to demonstrating the impact of nurture campaigns on the pipeline. This is where
our nurture performance analytics frameworks, data models, and dashboards have been extremely helpful at not only showing the impact of the nurture campaigns on the pipeline but at providing valuable insights to the marketing teams when it comes to optimizing the nurture content, offers, cadences, and targeting.
As part of our engagement and nurture analytics services, we work with the marketing organization to understand the sales and marketing operating model and the buyer’s journey. We then build and implement nurture analytics data models to provide visibility into understanding the performance of all nurture campaigns across 2 broad areas:
- The ability to drive engagement with the contacts added to the nurture campaigns. Opening and clicking a nurture email is a positive indicator of the relevancy and targeting of the nurture campaigns. Our approach has been to go beyond these metrics and further narrow down the criteria when it comes to tracking the true impact of the nurture campaigns on driving engagement with the contacts who influence pipeline generation. While the definition of the “engaged” contacts can vary across different companies but broadly it covers these data points:
- The number of email engagements in a given time frame (usually past 90 days). Analyzing the frequency and recency of the engagements together is a strong indicator of qualification.
- The number of responses to the CTAs in the nurture emails – the higher the number, the better it is.
- The funnel status/stage of the engaged contacts.
- The recency of sales conversation and sales activities.
- The ability of the nurture campaigns to influence pipeline generation. The importance of demonstrating how marketing activities are impacting the pipeline has grown manifolds in recent times. With the pipeline attribution frameworks, marketing teams can quantify the engagements driven by the nurture campaigns across the accounts and relate them to the pipeline generation. These pipeline correlations of the marketing activities (including nurture campaigns) provide valuable insights when it comes to understanding “when” the new opportunities were created in the marketing engaged accounts and for the accounts with existing opportunities, how marketing campaigns were able to influence deal expansion and accelerate deal closures. Pipeline influence data models also provide details into the metadata for nurture campaigns. These granular data points enable detailed comparison analysis among different nurture campaigns to better understand which nurtures are driving engagements across the accounts from different demographics. These insights further help with aligning the content and the CTAs of the nurture campaigns to drive higher engagement.
The set of these pipeline-focused KPIs provides insights to the growth marketing leaders so that they can objectively evaluate the performance of different nurture campaigns, leverage actionable data to continuously optimize the performance, and above all, confidently demonstrate the impact that their campaigns are making on the pipeline. As is demonstrated by this graph (with data till mid-July’21),
we leveraged our nurture marketing analytics frameworks to drive increased engagement and hence pipeline influence for one of our customers,
which like most of the B2B marketing organizations have lead nurturing as the core part of their marketing mix.
We are always on the lookout for inputs and examples from the marketing community to keep providing unparalleled value for our customers. We welcome the inputs from other marketing, revenue operations leaders, and practitioners around what metrics they are using to demonstrate the impact of nurture campaigns? What challenges do they face when it comes to accessing the data for nurture campaigns and how are they co-relating the nurture engagements with pipeline influence?