Your customers have access to so much information that they are more informed when they purchase a product than ever before. In this podcast, Frank, Danny, and Sara answer questions about our new research, the state of scientific purchasing in 2022.
You can listen, read or watch the discussion by clicking one of the links below.
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Q: How do you prove the ROI on top-of-funnel activities?
F: Top-of-funnel activities have a different measurement of success than bottom-of-the-funnel content, where you are typically focused on lead generation. You could assign a value to page views or impressions of top-of-funnel content but take it as part of a wider strategy when measuring KPIs.
To assign a value we ask clients what a typical order value is. Once you have this figure you can work back from the point of sale. Let’s say you have 10,000 page views on your article pages and convert perhaps 10% of those to your product page. That moves across 1000 people. From those 1000, perhaps 10% convert to a form-fill, then a further 10% of these convert to a sale. So from 10,000 page views, you are looking at 10 sales. If you’re selling equipment that costs $50,000 that is half a million dollars in sales, you can work out the approximate value of a page view from those numbers.
Q: What are the best tips for getting more engagement from potential buyers?
S: Trying out different types of content to see what does and doesn’t get traction is a good starting point. And then, you need to consider your website and the user experience. It’s hard to notice issues on your own site when you look at it daily and know it so well. What you take for granted on your site might be a real pain-point for your customer.
I always advocate for a customer-centric approach. Get in touch with your customers and get direct feedback and/or ask them to test a new page. You can also examine your customer behaviour data on Google Analytics or your metrics software to see how your customers are navigating through the website. Perhaps you’ll find that conversion pages aren’t being accessed because of difficult navigation. By truly understanding your customer behaviour, you can start to see what you can offer to generate better engagement.
Q: What are your tips to help teams prioritize?
F: Project management software is really helpful.
The marketing team at AZoNetwork has grown from just me a couple of years ago to four marketers with different and complementary skills. With good PM software you can see what projects are on the books, you can consider the amount of time tasks will take and who is taking ownership of each of them. You can also see who might be overloaded and offer them more assistance from the rest of the team easily.
Q: How do you learn more about your customer's buying habits?
D: As we touched on during the presentation, you can run surveys and analyse your data to gain insights. You can also speak to your sales team or customer-facing teams, jump on discovery calls and find out firsthand what your customer’s pain points and buying habits are. Combining all these data points will give you a much clearer picture of your customer’s buying behaviour.
S: Don’t be afraid to ask for the negatives, for example, reasons for unsubscribing. People are more willing to provide negative feedback, and you will have the opportunity to remove a pain point or barrier straight away.
Q: How can you develop a culture of customer-centric marketing?
F: Customer-centric marketing is no longer a nice-to-have. Marketing is the first touch point that your customer has with the business, followed by sales then likely finance. So throughout the company, every department plays a role in making the customer the champion.
When creating a slick customer process, you want to make sure you have up-to-date data. This is where your CRM comes into play, as all the relevant information you need for your customer should be readily available. Keeping case files up to date is vital. Even when offboarding your customers, collect and record the data that will help you understand what you could have done better.
The data you collect will help you to build up a very clear picture of the customer and their requirements.
D: One of the main overarching themes of our research is that buyers today expect a completely streamlined process.
S: Even for personal purchasing experiences, I find myself expecting an experience to be like Amazon. To be able to swipe a button and have a parcel arrive in 24 hours. We know it cannot always work like that but you can ensure the experience you are giving is consistent.
With the availability of software for CRO and A/B testing you have the ability to try different things and get the hard data to back up what you’re doing. It can seem less daunting with the support of data and help you to change people’s points of view and make better choices.
D: One of the points Sara talked about in the presentation was having easy-to-access pricing and removing that tension point.
People often say it's not always possible because the pricing might be very complex, and your products might be hundreds of thousands of dollars. But I don’t think these arguments hold up anymore. You are putting an unnecessary obstacle between potential buyers and your products.
I think this will become common place because if you're not doing it, one of your competitors will be.
Allowing as much of the buyer journey to be done on someone's own terms and before reaching out seems to me to be the most logical option in our digitalized and information packed world.
Q: What about managing leads, is this something that you should automate, and what is the best process for this?
F: Having a lead scoring system in place has been very beneficial for us, we score our leads based on two factors: characteristics and behavior. For example, if a US marketing director gets in contact about email marketing or about reaching a genomics audience, that will be scored quite highly.
We also add a point per page view, ten points for an MQL or an ebook download, and forty points for an SQL or a genuine commercial action. Once the score is over ninety, this goes to our sales teams and the software is automated within salesforce which means they are distributed and responded to within 20 minutes or so.
This has been a really positive step and one that we recommend to any company managing a large number of leads.
Q: When launching a new product what would be the best marketing strategy or channel to use?
D: This would depend on the size of your company and the resources available. Also, if you have an existing audience to promote your new product to. If you are a small company and you don’t have an audience, then you would want to find somewhere that has a relevant audience you can reach. This is where companies like AZoNetwork come into play.
You should also ensure to have content available to capture people at all stages of their buying journey.
S: Different channels work for different stages of a customer’s journey. Social media could be your first point of call to generate brand awareness and attention. Then by analyzing social media channels and paid campaigns, you can see which content has worked, where your audience have clicked, and which landing pages have generated the most engagement. You can then double down on the type of content that works.
F: If you are a small or a midsize company with less awareness than multinational companies, then social media can play a huge role in terms of making sure that people are familiar with you.
We have started awareness campaigns ahead of trade shows so that by the time we get there, the exhibitors will already know who we are and what we offer.
Q: When planning to launch a completely new website and eCommerce system, how would you recommend promoting its launch?
F: Increasing awareness to the right people about your new site is key. Consider the benefits of visiting your new website, for example, we have an interactive editorial calendar which means people can book newsletters and view real-time availability quickly and easily without having to ask us for dates, avoiding an email back and forth, and saving them time.
A multichannel approach to getting the information in front of the right audience through email marketing, social media, third-party sites, trade shows, and face-to-face ensures that your consistent message gets through to as many people as possible. Also simple things like updating everybody's email signatures with the announcement of the new website and the features, that message will then go to every single person your team communicates with.
S: When launching a new eCommerce system consider explainer videos, you can distribute them across social media and across other websites. Anything you can do to explain the benefits of the new site and why the new system improves previous pain points you should shout about!
D: Presuming you have updated the system and website to make the buyer's journey more efficient. Get this across in your press releases, your emails, and your social campaign. You see a lot of companies launch a new website and announce their new website, but it's all about them being happy that they've got a new website, whereas you haven't done it for yourself, you've done it for your customers.
Download the State of Scientific Purchasing 2022 ebook
Download the State of Scientific Purchasing 2022 ebook to gain further insights into the buying habits of scientists, engineers and healthcare professionals from our recent research establishing industry benchmarks. We hope that the survey will be invaluable to your own marketing efforts.