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Deliberate Speed

Tom HutchisonNovember 25, 2019

Driving through East Texas can be a learning experience. The interstate highways are smooth and straight. You don’t get tied up in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and people use the passing lanes for their intended purpose. Because the driving conditions are so good, it can be tempting to allow your speed to creep above the posted limits. You might feel a kind of euphoria, knowing that going faster will cut time off your trip, so you press the accelerator a little more … and a little more.

That is, until you reach a velocity where the minor imperfections in the road surface start bouncing you in your seat, and you feel the G-forces when you take a slight curve. At those speeds, the winds blowing down from the plains cut across your path, and your car jerks and shakes in unpredictable ways. That’s when our motivations come into conflict. We want to go as fast as possible, but we also want to be in control.

As marketers, we also want to move as fast as possible while still being in control of our customer interactions. This is especially true for people who are responsible for marketing to leads. Consumers will display some interest or intent in many products before making a purchase. Leads marketing is the practice of engaging  people who are considering a purchase to help them make their decision. And it requires a deliberate speed.

When we encounter leads, it’s important to react to them quickly. If they’re ready to make a purchase, we need to make sure they have information about your products. You can’t take the chance of missing out on a sale because they didn’t know much about you. Real-time marketing technologies help you recognize leads and reach them through many channels. Effective solutions coordinate messages across all of these touch points.

At the same time, you shouldn’t overwhelm leads with marketing messages. An unrestrained set of tactics can annoy leads. Irritating them will ensure they won’t pick your brand. Quickly assessing what you know about a lead will help you react personally instead of just quickly. Here are questions that can help you stay in control.

Who are they?

Identify people based on their personally identifiable information to determine if they are real people. Sometimes consumers will give fake information when they’re just doing some research. Determining who they are lets you control your message.

Have you purchased the lead before?

Many brands buy leads from multiple aggregators, and it’s possible they’ve all detected the same in-market consumer. Recognizing the lead will prevent you engaging them multiple times and can save you money as you avoid buying that lead over and over.

Have they purchased before?

Recognizing a lead as someone who has purchased from you before will let you connect your marketing messages from customer or win-back marketing perspectives. The way you engage them will be more deliberate when you know what else you’ve been saying to them.

What did they look at?

Examine their interactions with your brand to see which products they’ve researched and the features or benefits that got their attention. Focusing your messaging on those details will make the communication more relevant.

What do people like them buy?

After you’ve created an identity for leads and connected other data to them, you can then start looking for consumers who have similar characteristics. Seeing the patterns in attributes and behaviors lets you use history to guide your interactions.

I’m not advocating that you speed on Texas highways. It’s against the law and wrong … but I understand the temptation. Just like I understand the impulse to swarm a new lead with every piece of information you have about your product.

You have tons of information about features and benefits, cost and value, and how your products stack up to the alternatives, and you’ve invested in marketing technologies that help you deliver that content instantaneously. But it’s important to stay in control. Too much, too fast is as bad as too slow. Move with deliberate speed to provide the right information quickly, and you’ll be more likely to reach your destination.