You know the drill: the all-day workshop in a conference room with whiteboards and stale coffee to discuss a “framework” for doing the same daily work that everyone is currently doing.
But what if you came out of that same workshop with a tool that makes your day-to-day work easier to accomplish and aligns the rest of the team for better results?
Getting the key frameworks for your Demand Factory™ worked out can do just that.
In my last post, I discussed the value of the shared taxonomies and processes that frameworks can provide.
Now, let’s dive a little deeper into two of the key frameworks:
The Segmentation Framework lays out how to split up your audiences into specific groups to target with the messaging you have available to you. More importantly, it serves as the bridge between the buyer persona and your technology by turning that abstract view of the prospect into the data fields and values you have in your systems.
In a segmentation framework, each audience is defined by the data in your system that identifies them. In the process of doing this, inevitably gaps will appear between what would be ideal and what “is” in the system. The good thing is that those gaps can then be addressed to build more robust data.
Usually, a segment defines both an audience and where they are in the Demand Funnel, but it doesn’t have to. Here, we define a “segment” as both the audience and the data criteria that identify it.
After laying out the segments, you can then see which contacts in the database aren’t included in the framework. And again, that gap can be addressed.
The framework also provides a common language to discuss the different target audiences and the data that defines them, both within marketing and with sales. Marketing can create content tailored for each segment, and sales can put together targeted messaging and playbooks.
Finally, as a result of setting up the framework, you can easily add new audiences with a clear view of where they may overlap with other segments.
Laying out the segmentation framework enables one of the key capabilities of marketing automation: the ability to nurture prospects.
This is where the Lead Nurture Framework comes in. It builds on top of the Segmentation Framework and provides the foundation for communicating with your prospects. It is where strategy bumps right up into execution.
Quite simply, a lead nurture framework creates ongoing conversations (nurture tracks) and individual messages (email touches, retargeting, etc.) based on your segmentation framework.
It is very easy to just say, “We’ve got our segmentation worked out. Let’s just throw a bunch of content and messages to each segment.” But, beyond just being a lazy approach, it won’t get you good results.
For that, the lead nurture framework needs to define the triggers that enter people into the tracks and remove them when they are no longer a fit. These triggers should align with where the prospect is in the buyer’s journey. Then the messaging can be developed to get the buyer the right message at the right time.
Once all of this is laid out, you will have a comprehensive set of messaging for your target audiences. And you’ll have a map of what still needs to be built. Then, since I haven’t yet seen a marketing department that doesn’t have resource constraints, your team can set priorities for execution.
It’s all about the execution
Unfortunately, “if you build it, they will come” does not apply to marketing.
Building the most comprehensive segmentation and lead nurture frameworks won’t automatically get you to volumes of good leads flowing into sales. They must be well-executed on so that the right communication reaches the right individual at the right time.
When first created, these frameworks will be built upon assumptions developed from experience, data analysis, overall marketing strategy, and which systems are available.
Once they’ve been put into use and there is data on their effectiveness, it is vital to complete the loop by reviewing the framework and optimizing the data and criteria that make the framework useful.
Only then will the marketing and sales teams look back at those all-day workshops and appreciate how much easier their jobs have become. And maybe they’ll even get some fresh coffee to celebrate.
Ryan Johnson develops and implements marketing automation strategies for DemandGen clients. As a DemandGen Consultant, he has helped clients across a wide range of industries to streamline and optimize their marketing and sales processes to drive measurable success and ROI.