On October 16th of this year, the intelligent marketing automation solution provider Plezi gave me carte blanche to host the Plezi Day!
A high quality event in a splendid location to talk all day about a subject of the utmost importance for the 250 people who were lucky enough to have access to the VIP Kare… Lead nurturing.
On the surface, lead nurturing is a rather simple subject to understand and implement. It’s about feeding content to a prospect in order to help him progress in his thinking and accompany him in his decision-making process.
During the hot hours of summer and in between lamentations about the indecent temperatures in France (you’re sorry, eh!), I worked with the Plezi teams on a white paper that would serve as a support for the animation of the day of the 16th.
We had exciting conversations with marketing experts, sales experts, growth hackers and content production professionals and I could see then that the topic was not so simple; Hard to say where and how lead nurturing stops. It is not certain that email is the only “tool” of this method. And is it a method? A strategy? A tactic?
Is lead nurturing an integral part of inbound marketing or is it a separate activity?
I’m not even talking about our thoughts when we got to the “concrete” part of it. Where to start? Who does what? How much does it cost?
Hours of interviews, writing and rewriting before we found the right terms, the right mix of theory and practical work. Beyond the white paper (thanks again to Adeline for your professionalism and infinite patience), we had to find the right speakers and the common thread of this morning to approach this subject in a practical, educational way without losing sight of our convictions and our level of requirements (and at Plezi as at Merlin/Leonard, we are demanding).
Because markets are conversations.
Throughout this year, I have been constantly highlighting the Clue Train Manifesto, a founding text, both during the e-marketing trade show (with Plezi) and during my speech at the SNCD’s general assembly, and recently before the members of the CJD in Aix-en-Provence, where I spoke about digital transformation.
This text, which refers to Martin Luther’s 95 theses (the reference is not neutral), invites us to become aware, as early as 1999, that nothing will ever be the same again.
The 21st century marks the end of the mass media and the advent of the multitude.
Considering markets as conversations and replacing the term segment by audience allows you to understand your role in the value chain.
“Marketing has to initiate this conversation, sales has to turn it into an opportunity and customer relationship management has to maintain this conversation over time.”
A global conversation, in real time, from human to human. These are the pillars of this famous digital transformation of which lead nurturing is only a small part.
With this in mind, we still had to find speakers capable of not distorting the subject while making simple what is fundamentally complex.
“There is no chance but Chance. A necessity, luck “
And we were lucky to have Lisa Camier and Alice Talaga from Winbound and MyChefcom respectively, who had the heavy responsibility of opening the morning and laying the foundations.
How do your customers buy your products or services?
It is by starting with your customers and their buying habits that you will build a conversation with them. We talk about the buying journey and the keyword to go deeper into the subject is #leadlifecycle.
They have introduced the notion of lead scoring which allows you to propose an appropriate interaction depending on the stage your interlocutor is in.
How often are you invited to read a white paper when you don’t even know how to talk about your problem?
When luck is with you, you have to take advantage of it and it’s with pleasure that Maud Epinette, who manages webconversion in Lyon, took the floor to remind us the importance of working on your buyer personas in order to be sure to serve them the right content at the right time.
Thanks to Maud, we were able to talk about content strategy and to review the content to be proposed according to the customer journey.
It was time for all of us to have some concrete examples of the implementation of the buying journey, the personas and the content.
Lead nurturing is like dating in the 90s
Sylvain Davril aka Leonard, founder of Merlin/Leonard, took the microphone to explain to us…how he met (and seduced) his wife!
I thought I was the only one to talk about my great girl (poke Nicolas) at Merlin/Leonard and well, here is the grand master too.
Even if our strategies differ on this point (for an identical result), I completely agree with Sylvain when he invites us to go step by step so as not to risk getting tangled up and end up irritating our audiences with conversations that sound like a mechanical cacophony.
Marketing automation tools are powerful and allow us to maintain ultra-personalized conversations, but here again, the best is the enemy of the good.
After an enchanting break on the roof terrace of the Karé to enjoy the last hours of the Indian summer (big sigh), it was Christian Bernard who had the chance to put everyone back to work.
Align sales and marketing people within the organization.
In preparing for Plezi Day, we were dreaming of a speaker with years of experience in the field, and we were lucky enough to have Christian Bernard, founder of Neoptimal, come and share his experience on the subject.
And it’s a very important topic because it’s a key moment in the customer journey. We all experience it on a daily basis when we are in conversation with several interlocutors. Not cutting each other off, knowing how to pass it on to the other person and making sure you don’t lose the thread… Not easy.
This precise moment when marketing passes the baton to sales implies that the collaborators know each other well and work together on the entire customer journey. While technology can help, it is above all a question of culture and management.
It’s not a bad idea to get help to work on this precise point; indeed, an outside point of view helps to limit tensions and accelerate team cohesion.
All good things must come to an end…
We ended this morning with Anaïs Bonnet, who is in charge of marketing and communication at Corporama.
Anaïs explained how she implemented her nurturing program within Corporama and her results confirm that if it is not simple, when it is well executed, lead nurturing gives excellent results and contributes to the commercial activity of the company.
Lead nurturing in the coming years?
I’m starting to have a few marketing campaigns under my belt and since 2008 I’ve had time to dig into the subject of inbound marketing.
Doing lead nurturing was a box to check in the long list of things to do.
The preparation of the Plezi Day and my participation in the writing of the white paper on this subject, as well as the dozens of workshops that we have conducted at Merlin/Leonard for our clients this year, have made me realize that lead nurturing is not just a series of emails to be written and sent to a segment in a contact base.
Well thought out and conducted with method, it is a real turbo that you will add to your marketing engine.
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