I am a recent prospect in a successful multichannel, integrated marketing campaign, fueled by a sophisticated data mart that operates in real-time. I was gently nurtured from conception to purchase through multiple channels: phone, print, e-mail, text and social media.
My son, Nick, a rangy 15 year old, admittedly loves skateboarding more than girls. His 3-dimensionally wired brain is constantly designing the next killer skate surface — be it a ramp, stairs, box or rail. Once he has his design firmed up, the next step is to secure funding from an institution that supplies grants to gifted individuals with promising futures.
Phase 1: Prospecting and Lead Generation
The teaser: to get noticed and get a response.
Nick sits quietly at the kitchen counter with pencil, paper and ruler — drawing — carefully and patiently— for an entire evening.
What is he working on? I wonder as I prepare dinner. He is NOT watching TV. He is NOT playing video games.
Later that evening he comes up to me, gives his traditional bear-style hug, and asks, “Mom, can I show you my new designs for a skate ramp?”
“Sure,” I answer.
The personal sales call to explain the big idea. Gauge level of interest.
We review his ideas. They are ambitious. I am impressed, but skeptical.
“WOW Nick this is really interesting. Can you build this all by yourself?
“How much do you think the materials will cost?”
He provides an estimate.
“Where will it go when you’re not using it?”
“In the garage.”
“Nick, I need to park my car in the garage. This won’t work.”
Phase 3: Lead Nurturing
The print campaign outlines benefits of purchase.
I notice he is clipping photos of skaters flying through the air, launching off ramps and rails. He shows pictures of his building plans and finally an image of alcohol and drugs with a big “X” going through them.
His project uses minimal language, but I see these benefits:
- Building is educational.
- Skateboarding is exercise.
- Being outside is good for kids.
- Being happy and keeping busy make drugs less of a temptation.
Later that day, I get a message on my cell phone: “Mom, my friends and I are cleaning the garage to make room for your car, and the new ramp.”
Phase 4: Removing Barriers to Purchase
E-mail follow-up with an engaging offer and a landing page containing rich media.
Next afternoon, Nick sends me an e-mail with a link to a video on YouTube. Here is a movie on how to build a 3-tiered box with rails for grinding.
The e-mail reads: “Mom, I measured the garage and this can fit in it and still have plenty of room for your car. Take a look at this video. It has plans on how to build it and even tells you how much it’s going to cost. Best thing is that it has wheels on it, so it is easy to take in and out of the garage.”
I remain mute on the topic of the skate ramp over the next week.
Meanwhile, I enjoy additional one-to-one nurturing. He knows me well enough to know how to remove the barriers:
- Room is cleaned.
- Homework is done without asking.
- Bedtime is respected.
- Chores are done and mention is made of how much money has accrued towards his goal.
Phase 5: Creating a Purchase Opportunity
At last reports cards come. Nick is on the high honor role — a first. Nick assesses that we are in peak buy cycle.
Another personal sales call: close the deal with an airtight pro forma.
“Mom, did you see my report card?”
“I did. It’s spectacular. I am really proud of you.”
“Do you think we could buy the supplies for the skate ramp? I was thinking that I could pay half and maybe you could reward me (for that great report card) by paying for the other half.”
“I’m really busy at work this week; let’s talk about this on Saturday.”
Phase 6: The Sale
Reminder of intent to purchase or event confirmation 24 hours before the event.
Friday afternoon, 4 p.m., I receive a text message:
“Mom, can we go to Home Depot on Saturday morning? You promised.”
Phase 7: Post Campaign Analysis
Results from the customer sat survey
Within a week of its completion, videos of Nick and his friends show up on my Facebook page. They are outside jumping, grinding, skating and showing off their cool new project. As winter sets in, I see that there is plenty of room for Nick’s “fun box” to remain dry inside the garage and still have room for my car.
Sometimes I get to create projects like this for my clients — but not as often as I’d like. Many times the customer intelligence exists and we have the ability to do predictive analytics and create highly personalized, fully integrated messaging. But we all know that it takes a lot of time and effort to map out a multi-stage, rules-driven campaign with messaging across multiple forms of media. I can tell you from personal experience that it is worth the effort.