I don't think the British are overly enthusiastic. The only thing that we get really passionate about is when a big sports game is on and we're playing. And the Great British Bake Off. Which is why it was surprising when Inbound first burst on the scenes that everyone jumped on the high speed content rail line and started churning out blogs faster than our exit out of the world cup.
It's great to see people wanting to curb the sales pitch and provide useful, educational and relevant content for their readers.
But the problem was that people were writing useful and educational content, but they weren't measuring whether it was relevant for their audience.
The lack of consideration for context meant prospects started to switch off. We don't want you to fall back into outbound habits of producing things that have no benefit for your audience because your boss heard about Inbound at a conference, told you to Google Inbound and you wrote about everything that came up of the first 3 search pages.
There are so many great tools out there to track your buyer’s journey. You can measure how many visits your website has (organic search, social media or other company's website), you can view all the interactions you have with them, what stage of the content funnel they are at and you can see what types of content they're interested in.
But these are only the first steps. Let's say someone visits your website and fills out a form to get a piece of content. You send them a tailored email thanking them and providing them with another copy – just in case they lost the last one. Now say that same person interacts with your website/social media/sales force again. What happens? They receive the marketing service that everyone else does. We’re not saying take them out for dinner, but make them feel valued or special by tailoring what they see to them. Context should infiltrate the whole company and continuously improve your leads experience as they move down the funnel.
Adding Context to Marketing:
Inbound Marketing is based on the core belief that people are drawn to content that is relevant to them. In the early stages of Inbound, there was heavy focus on creating useful, search friendly content that would generate traffic to your site. However, once a prospect is at your website they still want to have and are more likely to convert if content offers have been tailored to them.
Hubspot collected data from 93,000 calls to action last year which had collectively received hundreds of millions of views. The result: Calls-to-action which dynamically changed to be more relevant to the viewer had a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than calls-to-action that were the same for all visitors.
We want to see Inbound progress and adapt and this means creating websites, landing pages and emails that all work together to personalise the complete customer experience.
Adding Context to Sales
But marketing can’t work on its own, sales will need to adapt in order to give the same level of relevancy. Sales reps and leads both dread the check in call. Sales reps need to make sure that the lead is still active and that they don’t lose the opportunity to make the sale but they’re often in the dark as to whether they’ve called at an inconvenient time or before the lead is in the mind set to have the conversation.
So what can you do to make your calls more timely and more relevant? We recommend you research all the past interactions with the company including website pages they've seen and content they’ve received. Then check out their social media profiles and try and find out their industry and job role. This can help you assess what stage of the buyer journey they are at and how you can find solutions to their problems.
Hubspot also have a great new tool called Sidekick which gives salespeople the context they need to know when and how to follow up with their contacts by alerting them when a lead is demonstrating interest. They then also use data from pages visited and content read to tailor the conversation to address topics the customer wants to cover.
Adding Context to Customer Service and Support
Customer services needs to make sure that customers are not shown or fed the same information that is no longer relevant to them. So they wouldn't see the same content that they did when they first saw your company website or you wouldn’t reply to them in the same way on social media.
Inbound Marketing has brought a new dimension to the world of marketing and has completely changed the way we treat and interact with customers. Inbound has been built on a solid foundation of content but needs to capitalise on all the other parts of the methodology to really succeed. This means that companies must adapt their processes to treat customers differently along the different stages of the buying cycle. They need to embrace context and encourage personalisation throughout the entire customer experience.