Mass Marketing - 'All the same'

Seth Godin has highlighted a very important issue I try to explain when I consult with Healthcare IT marketing folks about Marketing Automation. See his blog - click here.

At a recent Healthcare IT Marketing and PR conference in Las Vegas, I spoke about Marketing Automation. Before I got on stage, many people asked me about the conflict between automation and personalized marketing.

The common mis-conception surrounding Marketing automation (with B2B sales) has been that this technology removes the human element and lumps all potential clients as 'all the same'.

Marketing Automation is not Mass Marketing

First, marketing automation is a label given to a 'tool', not a process. The tool helps define a process you establish. If I use the tool to club everyone as 'all the same', then it becomes a mass marketing system. On the other hand if I use this tool to really understand and segment every potential client by trying to understand their specific needs, behavior, and other characteristics, that is totally different. 

I fully appreciate that you cannot rely on a tool to do everything so that you can go and play golf and expect the system to bring in sales. Marketing automation ideally works with you as an 'assistant' that does mundane tasks for you, reminds you at the appropriate time and alerts you where necessary.

More importantly, it helps you think about your successful processes and refine them. It helps you evaluate what works and what does not. It helps align sales and marketing departments with their mutual goals.

3 Simple Steps to Lead Nurturing

I've written about Lead Nurturing before. In very simple terms, it show you how build a relationship with prospects that are not ready to buy from you - yet. How? But engaging them in an informative dialog. You want to do with irrespective of the normal marketing 'criteria' such as budget, authority or timing. Lead Nurturing is also about Permission Marketing, as Seth Godin would say. You want to just keep in touch with these prospects by informing and educating them so that you are on 'top of mind' when they are ready.

But why will they engage with you and more importantly, stay engaged?

Be Relevant

You can be relevant by not being too 'salesy' or self promotional, talking about their industry, their issues. If you know that a prospect bought a competitor's product, but continues reading your content, you know you are being Relevant - it's just that simple.

So, the three steps to Nurture, and be Relevant are:

  1. Sent at least four educational emails - they should evoke a smile and joyful emotion.
  2. One one soft promotion like a white paper or a webinar, or a live seminar invitation.
  3. One hard sell - free trial if you offer one, or a special limited time offer.

Remember to restrict your hard sell to 1/5 th of all your email communication, otherwise you will see sudden 'unsubscribers'.

How often?

If you have permission, and your content is highly relevant, with a very little promotion, then you can send emails once a week, sometimes more frequently if you know you are engaging them and they are lapping up your content.

How do you know you are engaging your prospects?

Use the right Marketing Automation Tools. And remember, just because doctors use EMR Software does not make them productive, they have to optimize their workflow, similarly, just by using good marketing automation software you do not see the results. You must produce / seek out great content and must have a good process in place to execute it.