Why Businesses Need to Get Behavioral in Their Marketing


We’ve passed a turning point when it comes to digital marketing. For nearly two decades now, websites, landing pages, email, and sponsored media have given marketers a way to reach targeted audiences in a cost-effective and efficient way. But every channel or strategy becomes old and outdated unless companies innovate and refine the way they use it.

This is the case with digital marketing. These days, it’s not enough to do SEO and CRO, drive traffic to your site, create a singular onboarding or checkout process, configure marketing automation, send e-blasts, and treat your customers or market segments like a monolithic audience.

Technology has moved us forward, and marketers need to get behavioral to make their marketing more personalized, granular, and effective.

Is Your Digital Marketing Behavioral?

As an example, let’s consider a business that serves multiple industries and deals with customers who are at varying stages of the decision or purchase cycle.

Typically, your company might drive traffic to your website and landing pages from social media, blogs, online advertising, and other channels. Once visitors land on a page, they might download a white paper, eBook, or demo; watch a video; sign up for a newsletter; or submit a request for quote.

These actions may trigger an auto-responder and perhaps a series of drip emails designed to automate sales conversions or your onboarding process. But what about the unique path each visitor followed before triggering this automation?

Do you know which pages were visited before the request or signup was submitted?

Do you know whether the visitor is an existing customer or a new prospect?

Are you automatically sending different emails and drip sequences based on whether the visitor requested a quote, downloaded a demo, watched a particular video on your site, or visited a particular industry page?

Are you personalizing messages according to relevant social media interactions or other online activity you may have tracked for this user?

Are you identifying potential abandonment of your site or shopping cart and mitigating this by tracking interactions with your site and delivering timely on-screen pop-up messages?

If you’re not taking into account behavioral indicators, your marketing is far less targeted, relevant, and effective than it could be. You’re also missing out on opportunities to provide better and more proactive customer support, and to help users advance through your sales or activation funnel by leveraging these insights.

How to Turn the Corner and Embrace the Behavioral Approach

While it can seem challenging to integrate your marketing systems with customer and product usage data, it’s perfectly feasible today.

Tools such as HubSpot allow you to create and maintain contact databases and track behavioral indicators, including website and social media activity, email engagement, form submissions, conversions, and data from other integrated software. These data points provide the behavioral insights to configure and optimize your marketing automation.

With additional tools, such as Zendesk, Mixpanel, Autopilot, MailChimp, and many others, you can connect your customer, product, and engagement data to create personalized and customized automation sequences. For example, if you’re marketing a software solution, you can track product activation and even specific feature usage or issues users encounter as they begin using your demo or product.

All of these insights allow you to create different onboarding, purchasing, support, or educational paths based on each customer’s unique characteristics and behavioral profile.

For example, if a website visitor watched a specific video but didn’t sign up for your demo or buy your product, why not send a series of emails showcasing other relevant videos and encouraging them to try your demo or get a one-time discount by making a purchase now?

If you’re selling and supporting a SaaS product, and a user has not gotten very far into your demo product or its features, why not send them a series of emails designed to walk them through the early stages and educate them on the more advanced functionality available to them?

By leveraging these behavioral insights, your marketing efforts will be more relevant because they’ll speak to the unique status, needs, interests, and decision stage for each individual. This naturally translates into better engagement and conversions, as well as higher quality support and stronger customer loyalty.

Your marketing will also be more effective because you’ll be creating a truly custom-tailored experience that feels like a personalized interaction with each individual customer. This is far better than a batch-driven and mechanical approach that leaves customers feeling like they’re just another data point in an automated system.

Share Your Thoughts or Questions

Have you turned the corner and gotten behavioral in your digital marketing? Are you looking for more help and suggestions on how to get started?

Share your thoughts below, or connect with me to ask questions or request some helpful hints.

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