Digital Strategy Tip – Ask your clients what they want

Often in B2B digital marketing, we get sucked into the “me too” battle. Our competitors are doing it, so we try to do the same, if not a little better.

With a glance the CMO sees that the competitor is “doing social” has twice as many followers or likes and reacts by throwing you a target of beating them by the end of FY201X, because “everyone is doing social and it’s the future”.

You were just DMed by someone offering you 10,000 followers for four bucks, so you accept. To top it off, you are beating the industry averages for email open rates and web conversions are steadily increasing with your Google Adwords spend. The hard metrics are there. ROI is measurable and for your input and investment, you’re getting returns. In old school terms, that is…

But at what expense to future revenues?

Have I neglected generation X, Y, Z or Generation Connected with any of my strategies?

Well, who better to ask than your existing contacts?

All too often we go with our gut, but there are many light touches and more direct interactions with clients that can give us insights into their preferred mediums and frequencies.

Here are some methods to poll your existing clients – the ones you want to retain – and ensure you’re keeping them happy.

Micro poll them in newsletters

Any good B2B organisation is consistently looking to expand their email lists with qualified leads and contacts. As you’re sending your newsletters, finish then with a quick yes/no micro-poll. Don’t hide it in the right sidebar or footer. Place it as a highlighted final call-to-action in the body of the email. As a simple yes/no question, the friction of replying is minimal.

Add polls to your website

Survey Monkey and a plethora of competitors allow you to embed polls into your blog, content pieces and website. Limiting the polls to single-question, multi-answer, the clients won’t feel time-burdened.

Call/meet them

Yes, wait for it: nothing beats real-life or face-to-face meetings – even if it is to ask how we could communicate better over distance.

Telephonic aparatus

The value of client insight

During recent site testing, we interviewed a small quantity of key clients. The insights from them navigating our site, guided by a Usability Tester, were humbling and enlightening. Sneaking in a few frequency and method questions for our communications to them was a given.

We now have a far greater understanding of how they enjoy light touches, and also what they expect of us, as their trusted consultants.

Sure they’re keen to be up-to-date with our latest products, hear our thought leadership pieces, and understand market nuances. But in the current climate, what resonates is segmentation and prioritisation of messaging.

Deciding where the line sits is company-specific, but an underlying segregation still remains for non-digital natives. To me, the backbone looks a little like this:

  1. Use Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to share up-to-date trends with me and to build a rapport.
  2. Share a link to a lean-back weekend read if it is worth educating me about. The economist is right on-trend for Gen Xers with their lean-back thought pieces.
  3. Newsletter me with monthly updates.
  4. Email alert me with an important update if you will cover someone VERY topical at an upcoming in-real-life meeting or webinar.
  5. CALL me if it is a case of potentially losing revenue.
  6. Walk over and visit me, if it will affect my immediate bottom line.

I really can’t understand the fuss many digital, social media and online marketers made when LinkedIn and Twitter broke ways recently, disallowing the ability to auto-post to both networks. Then Facebook and Twitter disconnected for a few days for good measure. You wouldn’t pitch your business in the exact same way to everyone you meet, right?

To end, what our investigations highlighted most was (and it is a tweetable):

How do you segment or separate you messages?

— Post originally featured on iStrategy blog

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