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Given the increasing digital buyer journey, what is the role of human engagement in customer acquisition?

Human engagement has always been a key component of any buying cycle but it’s evolving more and more. As a marketing function, we need to continue to use the wealth of technologies that are available to better capture intent, understand behaviours and find buying signals but we also need to go beyond that. Ultimately, we still need to engage with a human and it’s becoming challenging to ensure that a data centric marketing strategy still factors in the human component of outreach however it is also remarkably rewarding when organisations get it right.

Modern marketing continues to be further driven by a metric-driven approach, particularly in B2B but it has respectful that there’s a person at the other end of the engagement or outreach and work. The line between being a buying representative of an organisation and being an individual with a personal life is blurring more and more online. The key is understanding how to connect the buyer with your sales teams. It’s essential to focus more and more on optimising areas like targeting and personalisation to help ensure a clear and concise message reaches these ever more empowered buyers. Organisations that get this right are going to succeed and stand out from their competitors and the human outreach component of a marketing program plays a big part.

What changes need to be made to align digital marketing and telemarketing?

Knowing when to put a person into the mix has changed a lot in the last few years. If we look at B2B marketing 5-10 years ago, there were probably more instances where we were expecting a telemarketer to connect off a lower value engagement; we weren’t trying to build multiple touch points and utilise things like lead scoring and account profiling. The more we utilise technologies available to us now to boost the conversation before we connect the telemarketing function, the better we can optimise the impact of the outputs generated by our digital strategies.

Ultimately, people prefer to engage with another person and they like to be treated like they are one, not like they’re a number or a generic respondent. However, simply using a telemarketing or sales outreach call and hoping to check those boxes isn’t enough. The more we understand that we can’t use a cookie-cutter approach and phone everyone with the same script, it becomes clearer that outreach must be relevant and highly selective. Focusing on quality over quantity, aligned with highly specific, timely and relevant targeting and optimal personalisation – and a dash of good luck – will see results grow significantly.

“The more we utilise technologies available to us now to boost the conversation before we connect the telemarketing function, the better we can optimise the impact of the outputs generated by our digital strategies”.

“Sales and marketing alignment and collaboration is imperative to ensure marketing can execute as effectively as possible”.

In your opinion, what are some initiatives organisations can take to improve human engagement?

I believe there are two fundamental considerations to improve human engagement. Firstly, the alignment of sales and marketing is key to enable the marketing team to have more influence across the buyer journey but also be fully connected to the sales or commercial side of an organisation. Marketing succeeds when it’s deployed as a team sport; ensuring that there’s absolute alignment on goals, expectations and ownerships across the full cycle of a program and in flow over new leads and prospects, from start to finish.

The second consideration is utilising the technologies within the marketing tech stack that provides the best access to data, behavioural targeting and personalisation. Getting as far away from scatter gun tactics and “random acts of marketing”. Enabling the marketing team to be selective and specific about its programs as well as supporting salespeople to have meaningful and relevant conversations by filtering the high-profile accounts to help identify the particularly high value opportunities helps ensure maximum ROI and minimal lost efforts.

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