Know Your Visitors, Segment and Be Visual, Eisen Advises Marketers

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"What can happen in less than a second?" asked Mitch Eisen, CTO and co-founder of Real Magnet, to start his session on marketing automation at last week's SIIA Digital Marketing Boot Camp in Chicago. "One thing is your customer decides whether to engage with [you].

"Timely relevant content is mission critical, a must-have to capture attention," he said. "Marketing automation can help achieve that—identifying what people are interested in on a real-time basis so we can deliver that content."

The third Marketing Boot Camp—SIIA's version of an all-star road show—just so happens to be in Washington, D.C. on June 5, as one of the three Pre-Conference workshops prior to the SIPA 2017 Annual Conference.

The speaker lineup is equally impressive: Michael Doane, marketing manager, CadmiumCD; Jason Jue, CMO, Triblio (Eisen said that CMOs have become the "new kings"); Rajeev Kapur, CEO, 1105 Media – he gave an inspiring keynote address at BIMS; Christina Karabetsos, executive vice president, QCSS, Inc.; Tom Pines, CEO and co-founder, Real Magnet; Marie Schwartz, founder & CEO, TeenLife Media, LLC; and Jim Sinkinson, partner, Fired Up! Marketing.

Here are more takeaways from Eisen:

Follow the journey of the unknown customers who come to your site. "Research them and tailor marketing efforts specifically to them," Eisen said.

Issue an in-house report each day of these visitors. "We have a mountain of data from those anonymous visits."

Use shorter, visual content. With a say-it-ain't-so look, Eisen said that they see more engagement in "short blurbs with links" than newsletters these days.

Create high-quality, targeted content. Amazon and Netflix are your competition for attention. The days of batch-and-blast are over.

Map out a strategy. Without that, you have little chance for success.

Choose the right platform. Because once you've selected one, it's hard to unravel.

Do lead scoring. Eisen mentioned this but Pines went into more detail in a roundtable talk last year. "List all the actions you want to score," he said. "In the middle of that list take one of the actions and make it a 50." Then you can start assigning values to the others. Those actions may include email responses, website visits, attendance at in-person and online events, renewals, referrals, participation in online communities, comments and purchases. There can also be negative scoring for things like registering but not attending, actively dropping off an email list, or simply not engaging with a product over a set period.

Segment. "Segmentation will tell you what people are interested in," Pines said. Lead scoring will tell how much they are interested. Added Eisen: "You want to build personas to deliver that relevant content to them." Eisen told a funny story of getting content sent to him for a while on Amazon that was far from his interests. Wrong persona? It turned out one of his kids used his account.

Let your lead scoring evolve. "It's important to look at a lead scoring model as evolving as you learn new things about audience and gain new resources," Jacob Perry, database marketing manager at BVR, told us last year during a case study. "At first it felt like we were trying to arbitrarily assign scores to different behaviors. It helped us to break it down into four categories. Now instead of trying to compare one activity to 15 different activities, you're first choosing which categories it should be in."

Keep calm and continue testing. Constantly challenge your assumptions.

Check out predictive analytics. What content in your emails is most likely to get prospects to purchase your publication?

Present staff with a daily action plan based on your data. We've gone from Mad Men to Math Men, Eisen said.

Access the entire schedule for SIPA 2017 here, and see who you will be networking with there here.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…