B-to-b marketers warm up leads through digital automation

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B-to-b marketers warm up leads through digital automation
B-to-b marketers warm up leads through digital automation

The campaign, which launched in September, uses rich media display ads, online video, e-mail, mobile, social media and search, all of which tracks leads through one centralized database. 

The creative is centered around small business customers, who star in online videos and share testimonials about how The Hartford has helped their business in a time of need. All of the digital media directs business people back to a microsite at Achievewhatsahead.com. Site visitors that watch the videos are invited to fill out an e-mail form on the site, which is followed up by a phone call from a call center representative. Or, those inspired by the videos can share their own small business story, which will also be followed up by a call. These forms and stories are streamlined into The Hartford's database and used by its sales team in the phone call.

“It makes us much more responsive to the lead, because we are able to collect so much information before we ever speak to them,” adds Reid. “By knowing their story, we have a better lead profile and can create a better sales experience.”

The personal stories are added to a lead's profile and any additional information a phone representative learns is also added. “We are seeing data applied in digital to try to get the right message to the right person and create a dialog,” says Melissa Hamilton, senior digital producer and digital lead at Rodgers Townsend. “By knowing their story, it allows sales people to be more informed and offer better customer service, which cuts the time of the sales cycle.”

Once a lead is acquired, it is scored. The Hartford uses a lead scoring system of 1 to 3, to give sales people more information about the value of a lead. Once the lead becomes a customer, The Hartford will track the products that they purchase through the central database, analyze that information and follow up with the customer about other potential products.

As b-to-b marketers continue to fight for leads in a competitive market, automation and streamlined data organization is proving an efficient approach. “We have seen a shortening in the lead sales cycle by integrating digital and online technologies to nurture leads,” says Brown. “You have to have all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle working together. If you don't have them all aligned, you won't see results.”

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