What are Profiling Programs?
Profiling programs can be set up in your marketing automation platform to help categorize your website visitors into more insightful segments tailored to your business and marketing needs. Profiling programs consist of competing scores for each of the appropriate segments, and known visitors within your marketing automation database accrue scores putting them more and more into consistent categories from visiting certain pages, exhibiting certain measurable behaviors or interests, and having certain demographic/firmographic characteristics that act as proxies for segmentation.
There are three major types of profiling programs that we recommend implementing, and that we use to measurably guide marketing’s energy and time investments:
- Buying Stage Scoring
- Buyer Persona Profiling
- Pain Point/Product Interest Profiling
Buyer stage scoring attempts to get a proxy of an individual’s point in the buying cycle through measuring website activity, email interactions, and content consumption. A prospect progresses from Awareness of a problem, Research into the possible positions, and Consideration of how (and who!) to solve the specific problem they’re facing.
Buyer persona profiling takes your buyer personas and makes them a measurable, segment-able reality. This consists of a combination of demographic/firmographic information (such as title and industry) as well as website activity. If someone consistently reads through your developer blog and more in-depth technical information, you might consider that individual something like a technical validation person and then appropriately send them more tactical marketing to guide their research. If someone is only consuming your case studies, high-level blogs, and ROI analyses, you can profile that individual as a business decision maker and make sure that your marketing is concise and targeted to what that buyer persona actually wants to learn.
Pain point/product interest profiling categorizes your site into pain points and their complementary products. A “pain point” empathizes with a buyer’s perspective, categorizing your website content into how it details, addresses, and solves a prospect’s actual business problem. Your own “product interest” is the flip side of the same coin and is probably how you think of your own marketing efforts—the “product interest” part of this profiling takes your website, emails, and content and assigns points to the prospects who interact with each individual product interest.
Why Should You Implement Profiling Programs in your Marketing Automation Platform?
Profiling programs tell you where to invest Marketing’s time and energy. As you see prospects self-select into specific segments, you can stack-rank where you invest time in creating content. Instead of blindly creating specific content paths, you can measure the demand of buying stages, buyer personas, and pain points and then answer accordingly with a supply of content and marketing initiatives.
The profiles that are computed are attached to your marketing automation database, which means they’re actionable, not just measurable. Prospects automatically get targeted content through email nurture, on-domain personalization, and multi-channel nurture because these profiling programs are business drivers in your marketing automation. Once a prospect’s computed profile is determined, you can have triggers to switch the prospect to a more fitting email nurture track or serve up remarketing pixels more appropriately. This means you can hit the sweet intersection spot of what prospects want (to learn about how to solve their own problems) and what you want (to accelerate prospects down the funnel).
Thinking in measurable profiles helps you prescriptively create content that is more targeted and less generic. The original process of going through your website content and assigning specific categories will quickly show you that your content isn’t actually targeted. Is it Buyer Persona A or Buyer Persona B? If you can’t tell the difference yourself, then you’re not marketing very precisely. The way to turn your buyer personas actionable is by measuring them. After you categorize your site content, you notice the gaps and you’ll see which gaps you need to fill—and how.
Profiling programs give a current-state analysis of active buyer personas, buyer stages, and product interests—and you can set measurable goals to change these numbers to what they should be. With profiling programs in place, you might be disappointed to find that most of your prospects are in the wrong buyer persona. From that, you can set a goal of attracting a larger number of Buyer Persona A, and set in place strategies and tactics to have that number changed by the end of next quarter. Maybe you see that most people are interested in Product #1, but your more profitable offering is actually Product #3—you can set a goal to increase the amount and percentage of people interested in Product #3, then implement the appropriate marketing strategies and tactics to make it happen.
Profiling programs are consistent business drivers for our marketing efforts and entire marketing automation platform. They tell us where to put (and not put) our marketing effort, and they help us build out a more robust and scalable implementation of marketing technology. The next step is making sure you’re building out decision-trees of targeting within your marketing automation platform. Start with nurture.