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Engagement Scoring: Giving B2C Marketers a Catalyst for Effective Nurturing

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by: Ellen Valentine (@EllenValentine)
22 October 2013

In a world of rapidly changing consumer behavior and ever-expanding digital marketing capabilities, B2C marketers (and executives in particular) need streamlined, real-time insight about how engaged their customers and prospects are with their brand and products. Yet when it comes to capturing these dynamic insights, many B2C marketers are missing an important tool: scoring.

That’s right, scoring. Long thought of as a tool reserved exclusively for B2B marketers, scoring has emerged as a potent resource for all marketers to assimilate demographic, product, behavioral and other marketing data into a cohesive model. The model (or models) allows you to dynamically report on your customers' and prospects’ propensity to buy and on activity throughout your entire database.   

This type of insight can be the main ingredient you need to plan and launch effective nurturing programs for your customers and prospects. Yet according to a recent Forrester Consulting study, 44 percent of B2C marketers have no plans to implement nurturing campaigns.

These marketers are missing out on an opportunity to take advantage of technology to engage with customers systematically throughout a longer buying cycle — or throughout the entire customer lifecycle. In particular, implementing a scoring model can help in forecasting future business, reporting on client and prospect engagement, nurturing those that are in between buying cycles, and providing early indicators for key business trends. Here are five steps to get you going on your engagement scoring journey:

1) Identify the factors that count. 

Analyze the salient metrics for customers that have recently purchased from you. What factors matter? Is it their state of residence? Their actions (such as watching video) on your website? Social behavior such as retweeting one of your corporate tweets? Use these elements in your scoring model.

2) Assign points. 

Determine the number of points you want to assign to different factors you found most important. For example, if someone purchased at a store, you might want to assign 30 points. If they purchased online, you could assign 50 points. You can also degrade those point values as the most recent purchase date ages.

From there, you can assign point ranges to a band. Examples of scoring band names that might make sense for B2C include “Browser,” “Engager” and “Evangelist.”

3) Consider employing multiple models. 

If you have multiple product lines that don’t have a lot in common, don’t forget that you can use multiple scoring models to separately segment and report engagement.

4) Use more data to refine. 

For most marketers, having a few more variables in your model will help improve your results. And to effectively consider additional variables, you’ll need more data. So make sure you’re capturing customer behaviors across channels and platforms, and ask your website visitors for a few fields of information at a time – also known as progressive profiling.

To get started with progressive profiling, determine your top 10 most important data elements, and then use Web forms to collect two to three additional data elements from your site visitors each time they visit your resource or other page.

5) Nurture based on scores. 

Once you have a model in place, the real fun begins. You might place contacts in different campaigns or route them to separate messaging tracks based on their scores. Or, you might set up business rules so that when contacts reach a certain score threshold, it triggers a message from you related to their level of engagement.

For example, contacts whose scores have dipped into an “early inactivation” category might receive messages geared toward reigniting their interest. “Engaged” customers might be sent messaging aimed at nurturing them toward repeat purchases.  And brand fans might receive content to increase their enthusiasm even more and encourage them to spread the word to friends.

Today, it’s imperative for marketing to look for new ways to connect with and nurture customers on a more personal level. To that end, I encourage you to start thinking of scoring as dynamic segmentation, a way to know at a moment’s time who your most engaged customers are — and communicate with them accordingly.

More Scoring Resources:

1) White Paper: “Know the Score: The Ultimate Guide to Scoring Customers and Prospects

2) Video: “How Scoring Helps You Connect on an Individual Level

3) Blog: “5 Creative Ways to Use Scoring


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