In my last post, The War Room: The First Roadblock of Many, I promised an explanation on why we changed our name from the “War Room” to “The Boutique.” Now, I know you have all been sitting on the edge of your seats, not able to sleep or eat due to the extreme anticipation, so I apologize for delay on my part. And, not to fear, the war room has not fallen apart. In fact, the opposite.
We have made so much headway since I last wrote. While no, we still do not have an eyeball scanner (as finance keeps denying our requests), we have continuously been looking at web traffic on our site and have an ever-evolving process that we keep tweaking and making better. I would love to just dive into the evolved process that has occurred the past couple of weeks, but that is for a later post. Now, we need to back up.
The war room was developed to understand how we can identify our visitors, the job they are trying to do, and deliver them value at the right moment. When we first started looking at web activity, we were ranking everyone. We ranked them based on how long they spent on our site, how many pages they looked at, and how frequently they came back. Essentially, we were lead scoring. It felt very structured and impersonal – basically the opposite of what we were aiming to do.
Our purpose is to bring the human back to marketing. We had to take a step back and put our process into the most human terms possible. We pictured ourselves as a clerk in a physical store. Physical stores have fundamental advantages over the digital world because they can give the customer a real, tangible, personal experience. Would we ‘score’ every individual who walked in? And only based on this ‘score,’ decide if they even warranted engagement? Absolutely not.
If we, in fact, were working in a physical store, we would initiate some sort of interaction with every single person who walked through that front door. Whether it was just a smile, a “good afternoon” or a “welcome, let us know if we can help you find something,” we could use everyone’s individual body language and responses to deliver the most appropriate and personalized interaction.
The digital world has become so impersonal. Daily email batch and blast marketing emails have become the norm. Think about the physical equivalent: your dog mistook your soccer cleats for a chew toy and you have a game coming up. You walk into a sports store to try on the newest Nike Mercurial. You pick up the soccer cleat, feel the soft leather, and check the price—all actions supporting the fact that you are in the shopping phase of your buyer’s journey.
At this point, a salesperson walks up to you and shows you a baseball bat. He clearly did not read the situation appropriately, and you politely decline their assistance, turning your attention to a pair of soccer socks that would complement your new pair of cleats. The same salesperson then follows you over to the sock aisle and starts waving the bat around, explaining how the two-piece bat design will give you an extra boost in power and speed. As your frustration builds, you decide to head home and research other possible locations to try on the Nike Mercurial. When you pull into your driveway, that same salesperson is waiting on your front step pushing you to give the bat a swing.
Not only did this salesperson market the incorrect product, but the marketing was also done in the incorrect moments. If this actually happened in the physical world, the police would probably be involved. So why do we think it’s okay to flood inboxes with irrelevant information in the digital world?
Marketers often group customers into segments based solely upon traditional personas. The problem is that any personal connection or conversation based on their current situation and behavior is missing (perhaps your demographics do indicate that you may be in the market for that baseball bat—but your behavior clearly indicated otherwise). This is not the intimate one-to-one connection a store clerk and a potential client would have in a physical setting.
Thus, The Boutique was born. We decided we needed to figure out how to deliver every person who “walks into our store” a personal and meaningful interaction. We want our current and potential clients to trust that we will provide them with valuable content, no matter what situation or what point in the buyer’s journey they are in. Whether they are a shopper, browser, or a buyer, we need to figure out how to deliver the most one-to-one marketing.
It’s time to make marketing human. Join us next time, straight from The Boutique, to learn about the evolution of our daily process.
About the Author
Marla Schilling, Marketing Manager, focuses on digital marketing, demand generation and marketing communications. She earned her BS at Ithaca College, with studies in Health Sciences and her Master’s at the University of Northern Colorado, with studies in Exercise Physiology.More Content by Marla Schilling