Tools and Strategies You Can Implement Now to Reach Your Perfect Customers

After hearing my conversation with Bart De Moor and Manoj Sawalani – the second of the Excellence in Marketing Series brought to you by Digital Studio India and Kokoro Marketing – many folks mentioned feeling empowered to take action.

Watch the recording now: Marketing Strategies to Reach Your Perfect Customer

We talked a lot about specific tools and places you can leverage to find out the best way to reach your customers, the importance of smart research, and how to maintain a balance between automated tech tools and your authentic personal touch.

You’ll also hear about these other topics… 

  • How to figure out who your perfect audience is
  • Marketing tools and techniques to reach your target market
  • Proven lead generation strategies to attract your ideal customer
  • The benefit of having all your systems in one place
  • Nurture sequences to start more sales conversations

With all the big expensive tools out there, it can seem like a huge undertaking to get your systems in place to be able to target your perfect customers.

Have you ever felt this way thinking about your marketing? It’s super common!

That’s why Bart, Manoj, and I break the process down into the simplest, most effective strategies to find out where your perfect audience is consuming content and what motivates them.

Bart explains, “There’s a lot of information and data that can be pushed into your marketing automation tool that gives you intelligence into the behavior of your customer, lead, or prospect – at whatever level of customer journey they’re in.”

Watch the recording to take the guesswork out of the next action you can take right away to be able to reach your customers and start more sales conversations.

You’ll also hear about how to ask the right questions in your conversations with prospects to uncover their deeper motives so you can connect your solution with what really matters to them.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the affordable marketing automation solutions I mention during the webinar and how to use them to make it easy for you to jump in when your perfect customer is ready to seal the deal, hit reply or get in touch with me.

Interested in joining our next session in this live series? Sign up here!

Follow along with this auto-generated transcript:

All right. Welcome. Welcome. Glad you are here. Thank you for being here for Marketing Strategies to Meet your Perfect Customer. You are in the right place, if that’s what’s on your mind right now. Today, you’re going to find out about some tactics that Bart uses in his company. Today, we’re here with part of the Excellence in Marketing series that’s brought to you by Digital Studio India, and I’m with Kokoro Marketing. This is a series where we’re really here to benefit marketers, give information on a regular basis. We’ll have another session before IBC. If you’ve got special topics you want to talk about, just reach out. Let me know. Bart, with ST Engineering, iDirect, is here. He is just brilliant. He and I chatted at NAB. He had some really great ideas about defining your perfect audience and reaching them and the ways to do it. We want to share with you information that you can use for your company right away today for success. I’m Cindy Zuelsdorf. Hi, Bart De Moor. I want to welcome you. How are you doing?

Hi, Cindy. I’m doing great today. Thanks for having me. Thanks for the opportunity. It’s been a great opportunity. I’m with ST Engineering iDirect, and I’m a product marketer, so I’m part of the product marketing team. So hopefully, I can share some insights and some experience. So, yeah, looking forward to the conversation.

Nice. And Manoj Sawalani from Digital Studio India. Hi, welcome.

All right. Glad you’re here. Well, let’s get right into it. Go ahead, Manoj. You wanted to say something. Go for it.

No, I would like to thank all of the attendees who have attended, took out some time and attended the webinar. And I’m sure it will be of great help to you with the input from Bart and Cindy. Yeah, please Cindy, over to you.

All right, that’s perfect. Yes. Thank you all for being here. Let’s get right into it, Bart. When we were talking at NAB, you were telling me about your system for determining your perfect audience. We’ve got four key areas we’re getting into today. Let’s start with that one. Over to you, Bart. Tell me about that.

Yeah. My system, or I would say approach to For that, I would say, first of all, you have to prepare and preparation is key. Whether you bring a product, and I’m talking about a product because I’m a product marketer, so if you want to bring a product to market, whether that is a new market, a mature market, or a saturated market, you will have to prepare. I would say, first of all, you have to I think, what is my target market? Who are the people that I want to sell to? But then narrow it down to what is my target audience? Who will actually buy my product? Who has the ability to buy? Who has the budget, the authority? Who will convert? As a product marketeer, I’m also part of the product development process. I’m one of the last stages. And what I mostly do, or I think the broader team does, is get information first to start with. Information about the market, information about your audience. But there are a lot of sources, and I would say there are a lot of internal sources. I work closely with sales. Marketing and sales, they both elevate each other.

They should elevate each other. They should talk to each other, of course, because my sales colleagues are the first touch point with customers. They have a lot of feedback. They get a lot of feedback from customers. They get a lot of information. What do they need? What are they interested in? What are the pain points? So talk to your sales colleagues, and then also look at your existing customer base. Who are they? You also get a lot of information What type of profile do they have? Also talk to product development because they are developing a product. They know all about it. They know about the application, how it can serve the market, how it can serve people that will use it. That’s, I think, key for you to decide what are my key messages, what are the USPs? Then It’s a no-brainer to talk to, of course, product development. But also the broader picture, market development. In my organization, we have people that have a lot of knowledge about the industry, have a lot of knowledge about the market. So talk to those guys. They have also a ton of information on industry, on trends.

And then, of course, and that’s also a big tool is an external market intelligence platform. There are a ton of platforms out there. Most of them are pretty expensive. You have also less expensive. But if you want to have a premium database or tool, it will cost you. But I think it’s worth it because they have a lot of data They have a lot of insights. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, they really have a lot of data. And I would recommend just browse, read up, and just take trial periods with these tools, with these platforms. And then, of course, read up. Read up in industry magazines. They have a lot a lot of knowledge. They also have a lot of contacts and use them like Digital Studio India, right, Manoj? They have a lot of knowledge and they do a lot of great things. So use them as a tool. They are really valuable. But also, I think the competition, right? You look at your competition. How are they reaching their audience, their customers? How are they active on social? How are they doing webinars, podcasts, all type of things? These things can be interesting for you.

Not to copy, but to Be aware.

Be aware, yes. Be aware. When you were talking about the different platforms with the industry intelligence, do you have any that you’re willing to share or point someone in the right I know I’ve used the Devon Croft Reports, which is not really a platform per se, but I’ve used their free reports and also used some of their paid reports in the past as well. That was when I used as a go-to. Does anybody on the call use or which ones do you use, Bart? If you have something to point folks to, that would be great.

I use a lot of industry or market insights from member organizations organizations like IBM has a lot of stuff to share, but also in the past, I’ve used those platforms, those marketing, because I’m just talking about the media and broadcast because I’m part of the media and broadcast business unit. So a lot of these member organizations have a lot of intel. They often have over 10, 20 years of experience and data and members. They have a lot of members. So IBM, for example, is- That’s true.

They have their breakfast before the NAB show and before the IBC show where they give a lot of industry information. And being a member at IABM, I’m not pitching IABM, just saying being a member of IABM, you can get that data. It’s just an example, yes. Yeah.

For streaming, you have the Streaming Video Technology Alliance, You have a lot of… You’re also on 5G. You have a lot of groups. Even LinkedIn groups, they are very valuable because a lot of these organizations also build a community around it. I look a lot in these type of groups.

Smart. That’s a good one. To do some figuring out the segment documentation and perfect market or who the perfect person is, some of the clients we work with will often help people who either don’t have a marketing team or their marketing team is too busy and they need some help or need a different idea on how to do stuff. I literally get on the phone with just some amount of customers, 20 customers, and come up with… Just say, Hey, will you spend seven minutes with me on the phone? Because I don’t want to take the time of the engineer at that TV station too long. I call on, Hey, I’m with this company. I’m working with this company. And can I ask you two questions? And so come up with those questions. They are like their top pain points or just different things. And come with a spreadsheet of information, and that is so informative to just take that time. I don’t know if any of you have… It’s just capt and obvious, but have you taken that time to get on the phone with the top customers or clients and maybe ask them a couple of questions?

I wonder if anybody else has tried that technique. I know at least one of you on the call has because I’ve done it with you for your company, so I can see you out there. But that’s the really nice way and feed on the street way to do it as well.

Yeah, I think next to calling, it’s also networking at trade shows, right? Talk to your customers, have a chat with them, and then, yeah, You can figure out, How are you getting information from me? How are the emails working? Or how do you get here in this booth? So yeah, it’s always It’s always interesting to have these type of conversations.

You were talking about getting information from product marketing or engineering or the development at the company. I know when I was working in a manufacturer, sometimes I I found that intimidating or hard, or they don’t want to talk to me, but I would just be like, Hey, can we grab a beer, grab a coffee, pick your audience, depending on what it’s going to work for that person. Almost everybody will say yes to that. If it’s a virtual coffee because I’m in a separate office, Hey, would you do virtual coffee with me? I just have a couple of questions. If they talk longer than a couple of questions, awesome. Most people do. But most people are willing to get on. That’s how I would end up talking with engineering sometimes, Hey, why did you think that we should have this new feature in this product? Tell me about it. That was a way to gather info. So wanted to share that.

Yeah, absolutely. It also depends on the culture of the company. Our culture is very open. We help each other out. If we have questions, because But in the end, you aim for the same goal, and that is provide quality and get that quality to the customers. But as I said, it depends on the company.

It does. We should go on to the next thing. Bart, you’ve got so many great topics to talk about, and we were shooting to keep this around 20-ish minutes. You had talked about marketing tools and techniques to reach your target audience. Over to you on that Well, I will just go in.

What I often use is building personas, humanize your target audience, whether that is in B2B or B2C. You can use personas to build out your account-based marketing strategy. Basically, your personas are based on, for example, the needs, the decision maker level, even the region, because I think that’s a very important one. The region is you have to talk to your audience in sometimes the local language. Not everyone speaks English. In some parts, they also speak French, Spanish, Portuguese, and other languages. You don’t have to translate everything in 10 or 20 languages, but try to be a little bit customized. And then I think it’s also very important is to determine how your persona or your persona wants to receive information from you. So if you have a C-level persona, he often will read the industry news, less engagement with emails. So that also asks for phone store and research, and also look at your existing customer base, try to find a pattern. And there are some great tools out there, CRM systems and automation tools that can help you with that. I think it’s also key to determine how much information you want to push.

So try to use your common sense. But to dive into the the cool stuff. That’s marketing automation.

Do that. Dig into the cool stuff. Tools, yeah. And maybe with IBC in mind. How are you using those tools for IBC?

Yeah. Well, I think a must-have tool is, first of all, you have a CRM tool because that is your backbone that stores a lot of information, whether that’s a monday. Com, a Salesforce, a HubSpot, a Copper. You have a lot of great tools out Some will be expensive, some are less expensive, even free tools, I guess. And then, yeah, have a marketing automation tool. Because a marketing automation tool, I see it like a orchestrator. So a lot of data will come in into that tool and you can push it to your CRM tool. But also CRM can push to the marketing automation tool, of course, in terms of segmentation, lists, and everything. But your marketing automation tool should be connected with your website, social media, even getting information from trade shows, lead gen, in on trade shows, sales enablement tools. And sales enablement tools are a great tool. I think you have Level 11 show pad and membrane. And you have a lot of tools that can help your sales team to tell the story and help them point your customers to the right information. And a lot of these tools have You have connection or integration with your marketing automation tool, and you even have connectors doing that.

There’s a lot of information and data that can be pushed into your marketing automation tool that gives you intelligence your intelligence into the behavior of your customer or your lead, your prospect, whatever level of customer journey they’re in. I think that is key. But it’s not easy to set up a process that includes a CRM system, marketing automation tool, to have the whole system build out, the whole integration that really asks for a lot of effort. Also, Can I jump in on that?

Yeah, sure. I feel like some of the ones you mentioned, like Marketo HubSpot, Pardot, some of those can be really nice and all-encompassing and also feel unavailable to some of the smaller companies. While we work with people who have those things, we also work with other softwares that are like a mini HubSpot that are going to run you a month that will do lead scoring, you can integrate it with your website, you can do chat, text, SMS marketing, you can do all that stuff, and it can run $100 a month. Yes, either it takes a little grit to set it up yourself, or that’s actually what we love doing is setting that up. But it is attainable now for smaller companies, whereas it just before felt like, Oh, man, there’s no way to do it. Everybody can do it is my feeling. You can Just start with one or two things and then iterate. It doesn’t need to be, I did all the things. Just start with the top two things that are most important to you, maybe driving traffic to your IBC show and then maybe having a chat website or whatever. Just pick.

Yeah, absolutely. Also in terms of retargeting, right?

Retargeting.

People that you scan on a trade show on IBC, you can easily import them in your tool. Then even a MailChimp and tools like that, as you just mentioned, they are great tools to do that type of campaigns. I know, of course, Salesforce, Marketo, and everything. It costs a lot of money, but also a lot of time to set up. But they are great tools, but it depends what your needs are, of course.

Correct. But retargeting, you could also take that list and upload it to LinkedIn and decide, I’m going to spend $5 a day, two weeks out of the month, and just run a little one minute video clip to those people. How cool is that?

That’s very cool. You should do that and you should do A/B testing first and build your audience lists in LinkedIn because they have a great tool in the campaign manager to make lookalike audiences and start experimenting with that.

I look at that. That’s such fun stuff. You can use some automation. We use some automation on LinkedIn to start the sales conversation. It can tie in with the CRM that’s really just like, Hey, are you going to be at IBC? Send that message. Maybe you send that out 20 a day, and no one’s going to sit there and do that. We all think we are going to do that, but we’re not going to do that. I use automation to do it. Then if they answer, now you just start replying, and that’s where you bring your humanity into it. It’s the combination of the tools and the personal touch.

Yeah, because that’s a very important thing that you just mentioned is you have to stay human and not try to be too overwhelming on technology and make it a routine You have to be authentic.

You got to be authentic. Be real. We talked about proven lead gen strategies. What do you think about IBC? If you’re looking for demand gen, lead gen, I know those can be a little bit of an overlap. What are your thoughts on that? Hey, this really works.

Well, I think in terms of shows like IBC, IBC is a show full of creative minds. People are very creative, and you have to think outside of the box. But also, you can build your cool campaign or have something in your boot that no one has. But in the end, I think it’s also very important to network. Network is the opportunity to start a conversation, is the opportunity to get names, of course, the right names. But I think in booth events, we do some in booth events, but also events for IBC, I think that always works. It always gives you a lot of good results, but you have to think about it. I think it was a couple of years ago where we made this 3D sunglasses, and we gave it to people, and they then showed up with those glasses in our VIP reception. But we also had a wall where they had to visit the booth to see something and get the invite.

So we have to- Clever. To activate. Very clever.

It was bad back then, but you have to be creative and do something like that. That’s memorable.

I love that because it’s memorable.

Yeah.

All right. So far today, we’ve talked about different ways to find out who your perfect audience is and think a little bit about segmentation, and you gave some great examples for that. We talked about different tools that you can use, whether it’s pie in the sky, big expensive tool to small ones. They all work and just start with what works for you. Then we just got into quickly proven lead generation. You really address that benefit of tying all your systems together. Bart, we’re going to wrap it up here, and then we’ll stay on at the end for QA. So anybody ask questions, we’ll stay on as long as you want. But Bart, tell me, if somebody was just starting, they haven’t really done to find their audience or really gotten this system into place, what’s the one thing you would tell them to do first?

I would say, well, it depends if you have a customer base or if Do your research first. Do your research about your audience, your target market. I think that is key. Then talk to your internal and external stakeholders. I think that is key. I love that. All starts with information and data. Nice.

Well, this is part of the Excellence and Marketing Series brought to you by Digital Studio India. I’m Cindy Zuelsdorf with Kokoro Marketing. We want to thank you so much for being here. This series is meant to provide helpful information to marketing people in our industry, and we’re here for you. That’s what we’re all about. I want to thank you for that. I think Minaj has something he wants to say, and then we’ll stay on for questions after that. Manaj? Yeah.

So thank you, Bart. Thank you, Cindy, for driving this and a lot of insights from Bart. How to do marketing And we’d like to definitely carry on this Excellence in Marketing Series, ongoing series every couple of months with your help. And thank you once again to all the attendees for taking out your time to attend the series.

Thank you. Thank you, Bart. Appreciate you so much.

Sure. Thank you. Thanks for having me. And it was a great conversation.

All right. We do have a couple of questions. Let’s see. We’ve got a question. I love this. What’s a good question thread to get past someone’s obvious answers? I need more leads, for example. I think looking at talking with prospects about, I think that came up when we were talking about our first segment, how to talk with people and finding out what their needs are and what really drove them to maybe consider working with you. What do you think, Bart? Any thoughts about that? Getting past the obvious answers to the second… I always think of questions in three levels, but why did you do that? But really, why? And then try to… By the time you get to the third, why? But what do you think, Bart?

In terms of getting answers from people that you- Prospects or customers on what they really need, what their pain points are.

That’s how I took this to me.

Yeah. Start a conversation. Try to have a conversation, not only ask questions or dig in deeper, I would say. I think That’s the obvious question. But yeah, just networking, conversation. Yeah, just do that.

Sounds good. Sounds good.

Use your common sense.

I learned a sales technique. I want to say it was in Skip Miller sales training or something like that, and they called it this three levels of why. I thought it was so great. The example, if I remember right, is like, well, why? I think it was having to do with a watch was the example. Why do you want to have a watch? Well, I like having a wrist watch, so I know what time it is. That’s why I’m wearing this watch. Well, why are you wearing that watch? Well, I really like the color blue, and so that’s why I have this blue one that I’m wearing. Okay, well, why do you like the blue so much? Well, it reminds me of my mom’s watch that she used to have. And so that third why is the real one that he gets to. That three levels of why, if you keep inquiring why, it doesn’t always work, but it can be a great way to do it because if you can just drill down one or two more layers into the real reason. It wasn’t really that I want to keep time. It’s really that it meant a lot to me for this emotional reason.

If we can get to those emotions.

Yeah, but you’re asking questions. You need his engagement because he has to answer your question if he stops at the first question. So yeah, that is a good approach. I think having the conversation because you want to have, as you just said, get the bigger picture, right? Why does he… What is real motive.

Exactly.

Yeah. I think it also depends on your audience or who you have in front of you. What is your product? What do you want to sell?

Definitely. I’ve spent most of my life selling hardware and software equipment. A lot of times that three levels of why sounds silly, but actually it’s not because it’s like, Well, why do you want to buy this protection switch? Well, I don’t want to go off the air. And maybe this is just kept and obvious. Well, why don’t you want to go off the air? Well, because we lose revenue and get fined, and then ultimately, because I’ll get fired. But now we got to the crux of the matter, right? Losing money and not wanting to lose our job, which is scary stuff. Okay, well, now I can use that in my messaging a little bit, potentially. Yeah. All right. Another question here is, what’s something unique that really worked well for lead generation this past year? Well, you shared that cool 3D glasses one. Any other thoughts of something that worked really well this past year for you, Bart?

Yeah. Well, the trade shows worked very well for us this year. There was a lot of attendance, but we had an intensive campaign, of course. For an ERP, we did a lot, and we spent also a lot of budget on working with external company, well, external media partners. And that still does a trick. Do podcasts, do videos, talk about what are you going to show, for example, at an EAB or IBC, what are you going to show, start a conversation, and give them sneak previews. So that really worked well. Instead of the old-fashioned, I’m doing an e-blast to everyone, click when you when you’re interested.

Podcast is good. We’ll probably take this and use it for a podcast. I’ll take the audio right from here and use it as a podcast. We work with a test and measurement company and do a podcast, and you might think, Oh, my gosh, test and measurement. But actually, it gets a lot of listens. It’s so interesting that it does. We just take all the webinars or any videos and turn those into podcast episodes. We’re not specially creating podcast content. We could, but we’re repurposing, and that’s a great way to take what you have and repurpose it into other spaces.

Yeah, absolutely. Podcasts are also great for when you have, for example, a big white paper and you want people to read it. Some people will not read it because it’s a very lengthy white paper, but you convert it into audio, and maybe they listen to it when they are doing something else and just put it in then in a 10-minute podcast or a 10-minute, even an audio file that you can put on Spotify.

That’s a good idea, white paper as a podcast. I hadn’t thought of that one. That’s brilliant.

Yeah, maybe it’s something to try.

I like it. Sometimes we’ll do a webinar and then turn that content into a white paper, but I really like to take the white paper, turn it into a podcast. Sweet. Good. Other questions? I think we might have done the questions. Nice. All right. Thank you all for being here. All right.