Updated April 20, 2023
Introduction to Nurture Marketing
Nurture Marketing is simply marketing by constant engagement and involvement with the clients. In this nurture marketing strategy, there is no effort to push products but provide content and information to a target audience based on the demographics and consumption patterns of the individual. The continuing dialogue with the customer helps to convert a doubtful or hesitant consumer into someone willing to buy.
Here is a nurture marketing definition A company has a product or service to sell. Still, most often, they end up trying to brand the product through mass media and social media campaigns, but success in the marketplace would depend on product quality, relevance to customers, and customer service. It will also depend on the competition, their product quality, and service as perceived by consumers.
With competition intensifying and recessionary market conditions forcing marketers to constantly engage with potential customers to build rapport and understanding to build long-term relationships. It is not just restricted to new clients but also to leads generated and existing clients. In Nurture Marketing, it is a win-win situation for both the marketer and consumer as the latter gets relevant information before deciding to purchase. In contrast, the former gets customers who may stay with them forever.
Some of the methods used in Nurture Marketing
The following are some methods:
1. Getting connected through annual Events and shows
People come to know about new products or services through mass media advertisements. Most often, it is not easy for consumers to understand what the product is all about by just seeing the ad or watching a commercial on TV. They need to see it live, see a demo or get clarification for their doubts from a competent customer executive having training in the technical aspects of the product.
When IFB launched dishwashers in India, they took part in trade fairs in different cities, talked to potential customers, and arranged a demo at home for a day, thus creating better awareness, branding, and sales conversions. There is no hard sell in this process, and the consumer gets to know the product closely before deciding to invest their hard-earned money. One can test-market many new products this way by directly getting customers’ responses.
Likewise, a new model concept of an inverted air-conditioner can better sell when someone explains its features directly to customers. Automobile companies participate in fairs to help customers get a feel for the looks and interiors and get clarification for their doubts from the executives. Thereafter, the company can follow up on loans requiring an exchange of old cars through a nurturing process that makes the customer feel comfortable rather than be pushed into buying.
2. Get connected to Email campaigns & Website
Email Marketing nurture campaign is a great way to connect with potential and existing customers, but it should not annoy them. The first email can introduce a product, and those interested can sign up for a free brochure or booklet. The follow-up emails could be an invitation for an event or webinar or an offer to do a product demo. There should be an option at the bottom of the email to unsubscribe to future emails in case the customer doesn’t want such information from your company. Having an ‘unsubscribe’ option is the best way to ensure that your emails do not end up in a ‘spam’ or ‘trash’ folder, which will not go well with the email solutions provider.
Instead of bombarding consumers with marketing messages, sharing case studies, product reviews, and testimonials would be better. Case studies and testimonials prove that your product has benefited others and helped them understand their pain points. This will allow the marketer to offer solutions that will better address the customer’s needs.
It helps to have a content management platform and integrate it with a digital marketing platform. In this way, visitors to your website satisfying certain criteria can be fed with unique content that is personalized for them. Thus nurturing extends beyond email to the website.
Website visitors shouldn’t be seen as one entity but as different types of consumers, either first-time buyers, new prospects, or existing buyers. So content should be placed appropriately for them as they browse, e.g., as a member of our loyalty program we hope you will like our Loyalty Plus program; thanks for being a subscriber of our Titan Anti-Virus software. A new upgrade is now available for download. Thanks for registering with us; you are entitled to $10 cash back on your first purchase. When the website content gets linked to emailing initiatives and becomes personalized for the consumer, the long-term spinoffs need not be stressed.
3. Blog posts, promotional news, and social media
Sometimes the best way to create awareness of products and services is through blogging. For example, a new dance-based fitness program will benefit when a blog or newspaper article highlights the program’s benefits without directly mentioning the names of service providers. Similarly, informative articles on how dishwashers lessen your workload, lead to less use of water and escape the use of detergents can create reader interest, and they will start scouting for such products or services. Blog posts and promotional news have the advantage of being shared with their friends and colleagues.
Likewise, an immigration program to Canada can be best promoted by good articles that highlight the quality of life, earnings, and repatriation benefits for students and job seekers. For many products and services, customers need more information and time to think before pressing the buy button. Nurture marketing enables this through constant contact with the customers through social media and blogs.
4. Free offers/ training and demo programs
A car service company may offer free diagnostics, and service for a specified period and advise the owner on the most urgent and future replacements or repairs to the vehicle. This gives the customer to understand the problems with the vehicle, weigh the options and carry out maintenance on a priority basis in phases. This increases consumer confidence and faith in the company. Likewise, for a microwave company, training programs for women/homemakers can help raise their confidence level in the appliance’s technology and use, enhancing their desire to buy.
5. Nurture post-sale relationships
After all the effort to close a lead, it would be meaningless if customers were not contacted after the nurture sales and marketing. Product warranties may sometimes require the customer to register online with serial or model numbers for free service. Customers often forget about it, so it would be great if one reminds them of it.
Secondly, it is good to get feedback occasionally by phone or email regarding the quality of the product and customer service. Automobile companies are seen doing this more often than other categories, but customers would be more satisfied if the support is provided until the end of the product life-cycle. It will ensure that customers repeat purchases of the same product or a costlier model.
Nurturing may be the best way to give attractive exchange offers to existing customers, thereby ensuring their loyalty to the company. The updates on loyalty points earned and requests to redeem them can also help in better engagement and dialogue with customers benefitting the company in the long run.
When a company is in a nurturing relationship with customers, it can sell complementary products and gain additional revenue. For example, a dishwasher manufacturer can suggest a stand, stabilizer, or water filter to achieve better performance and avoid some potential problems in the future.
Techniques for Nurture Marketing Success
Often, a company pursuing a path of traditional marketing by high profile mass media campaigns, emailers, and social media promotions may get a bit uncertain about when to start Nurture Marketing initiatives. There is no auspicious time or stage of the product lifecycle, the launch of the product to begin the process. As in swimming, there is no point in standing before the pool and theorizing. The best nurture marketing strategy is to test the waters.
1. Begin the process
It is important to begin the process somewhere, whether through an email marketing nurture campaign, a tale-calling exercise, or a trade event. What is more important is to get going and start analyzing the results. This will also help the marketers to change strategy if required and try alternative ones. However, nurturing involves written and verbal communication, which means adequate care should be taken regarding the quality of content and voice or email interactions. Once the program has been set in motion, additional layers of complexity can be built. To start, one can do drip nurture, whereby all customers receive the same message, which could be product news, events, or demos.
2. Understand your audience
Without a proper understanding of the audience, nurture marketing may not bring the desired results. This is where Big Data can help with important information about customers, their demographics, buying patterns, and interests. Web forms can enable companies to get data from consumers that will help you engage with them more meaningfully.
3. Tailor content to specific audiences
Once you understand the customer dynamics, tailoring content that interests them is easier. If a set of youngsters are seen as interested in music, a music company can send news about their upcoming albums and generate hype and expectations on the product.
One can tailor the content on the basis of interests, browsing behavior, and the relevant industry in which the customer operates and align it with the products and services you offer.
4. Don’t restrict activity to one channel
It is better to have a multi-channel strategy rather than confining it to either email, social media or blogging alone. Short Messaging Service (SMS), snail mail, Tele-calling, and related channels can be cost-effectively utilized. Multi-channel initiatives can amplify your nurture marketing strategy, keep customers engaged, and increase satisfaction.
5. Adopting a persona approach
It is important to create imaginary customer profiles or personas and understand their pain points, needs, and communication preferences. Hence, it is useful to segregate the audience in terms of their browsing habits, survey responses, and industry. It will enable the company to develop specific nurture marketing content that satisfies these personas and develop content around it.
6. Content matrix analysis
Once the content has been created on the basis of personas created, it should be analyzed as to how many of them are addressed through your content. Some personas may be lacking in content, and that can be addressed. Additional content relevant to that persona can remedy such gaps in content.
The biggest advantage of nurture marketing is the ability of companies to remain at the top of the mind of consumers and prospects. Since there exist no feelings of any obligation to purchase, customer engagement becomes more fruitful and rewarding. And repeated messaging may give you a series of touch points that could generate a buying interest in the prospect. Nurturing, as opposed to conventional marketing, is a win-win situation for marketers and consumers as it evolves into a continuous learning process.
Lead nurture marketing helps better understanding and delivery for customers and should be an ongoing process rather than a one-off exercise. It should continue until the end of the product lifecycle leading to the next.
For a company that is a beginner in nurture marketing, there are several examples to go by in various industries, and using their case studies, new strategies can be evolved. DocuSign, LinkedIn, Polycom, Cetera Financial Group, Jackson Healthcare, Perceptive Software, and other award-winning nurture marketing programs in the past two years should motivate beginners in this nurture marketing strategy.
The explosion of mass media, electronic media has led to a disconnect with the customers which can now be effectively forged by Big Data, social media, the web, and other forms of democratic sharing mediums in cyberspace.
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