In this guide, we'll go through examples of setting up qualification rules for the following types of marketing campaigns:
One thing you know about every visitor on your website is where they came from before they found you. For example, every website analytics tool will show you something called a “Referrer” or a “Referring URL.” The referring URL will show you if the user came from a Google search, a partner website, an application directory, or a blog post on someone else’s website. Most of the time a referring URL is not a good source of information to determine who’s qualified because it does not contain enough information or is not targeted enough. For example, just because a user came from a google search does not mean that this visitor is qualified.
Rather, instead of thinking of the referring URL as the qualification criteria, think of the marketing campaign that drove the visitor to your website as the qualification criteria. Presumably most demand generation marketers are running campaigns that are designed to target a specific type of buyer, and are putting a chunk of their marketing budget against these campaigns. So, while a basic Google search might not tell you if someone is qualified or not, someone who clicks through a specific search marketing campaign might be.
All online marketing campaigns contain a basic form of tracking. Your online ads (search, social media, display, retargeting, paid placements, app stores, email) can embed a tracking code in the URL of the ad, which can be used in real-time to know exactly where the visitor came from and the detail of the specific campaign (location, creative, keyword, etc) that the prospects responded to. Now let's take a look at some examples of how you would set up qualification rules for marketing campaigns.
Search marketing is one of the most widely used and valuable sources of qualified traffic for demand gen marketers. Let’s take the example of tech company Okta, who’s most expensive product, and the one that drives the majority of their revenue, is called “Okta SSO”. Now the demand gen team at Okta doesn’t consider everyone who does a google search a qualified visitor, but for those who search on the keyword "enterprise sso" and click through specific Okta advertisement are automatically considered qualified prospects.
Social Media is a great advertising channel for demand gen marketers because of its extreme targeting ability. In this case, Salesforce is targeting marketing professionals on Facebook who work at specific companies in specific geographies. The people that respond to this campaign are automatically considered qualified visitors for Salesforce's Marketing Cloud sales team.
Display advertising, retargeting, and content marketing are used in similar ways to social media. By finding, targeting, and displaying content that is relevant to a specific buyer and then driving that person to act by offering them relevant content. Here is a similar example of Salesforce’s Pardot team running ads on Forbes.com to target qualified marketing professionals. People that are subscribers to Forbes.com and are looking for lead generation tools are automatically considered qualified prospects for the sales team.
Paid placements are used by marketers in a wide variety of industries to place products and services on websites that are known to generate qualified traffic. For example, insurance brokers would pay to be listed in directories that small and medium sized companies use to browser for company health insurance. In the example below, here is the Utah-based company Qualtrics that is paying for placement on a business directory called G2 Crowd. People who come from the G2 Crowd review site are automatically considered qualified prospects for Qualtrics.
Many companies in the technology industry use application exchanges and app stores as a means to market their products and services to specific buyers. For example, the IT consulting powerhouse Deloitte uses the AppExchange as a way to generate qualified traffic to their website. People who come from campaigns run on the AppExchange are automatically considered qualified prospects by Deloitte's sales team.
Email marketing campaigns are unique and stand apart from the other online campaigns shown above because you already know a bit of information about the recipients, their name and email address. As a result, email campaigns can be targeted at qualified people who work at qualified accounts. Any clicks from these emails that land on the website are known to be qualified prospects. In this case eHealth uses email lists they have in their database to drive qualified prospects to their website.
All online marketing campaigns contain a basic form of tracking. Your online ads (search, social media, display, retargeting, paid placements, app stores, email) can embed a tracking code in the URL of the ad, which can be used in real-time to know exactly where the visitor came from and the detail of the specific campaign (location, creative, keyword, etc) that the prospects responded to. Any URL parameters used for campaign tracking can be used in setting up your qualification rules.
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