Ah, a meme is born. Ever since we invented the term "digital body language" last year, folks are beginning to incorporate it into their own marketing organizations. The interesting thing in watching the development of an idea is how people bend, shape and color it to fit their needs.
Over the past few months, as I've been presenting the concept of digital body language at conferences and trade shows, marketers are telling me how it's helped them talk about the changing world of marketing.
Why is Digital Body Language important?
In the very old days, pre 1995, marketing fed sales leads and then waited to hear feedback from sales on the quality of those leads. Buyers generally had to engage with a sales person, who was adept at reading their body language to tell whether the prospect was showing interest, was resistant to a particular message, or was ready to close the deal.
Since '95, buyers have been increasingly moving online, to research solutions, to do their own comparisons, to check out what others say about your products and services.
And Google has democratized the buying process so that now sellers need to adapt to the new reality. By combining demographic and BANT criteria with what buyers actually DO online (what you can observe), marketers can form a picture of the buyer's new digital body language.
Cracking the Digital Body Language Code
When people respond to your online marketing, they leave clues as to their intentions, from a keyword they use to reach your web site, to a click on an email, to the visit to a personalized landing page. If you use point solutions, like an email marketing blaster, you only get point-in-time snapshots into a buyer's behavior. But if you have an integrated marketing automation solution, you will begin to build a rich profile of the buyer's behavior - what they are interested in, and when, and, in time, why.
Let's say you have a prospect -- let's call her Amy Snow. Here's the picture of a typical profile of outbound communication with Amy:
March 1 - Sent email - No response
March 14 - Sent email - No response
March 21 - Called - Left voicemail
March 31 - Called - Left voicemail
Now your marketing and telesales teams may think that Amy is a cold lead, not interested in what you have to offer at all. Using the principles of interpreting digital body language, you may find out that she's not so disinterested at all:
March 1 - Sent email - Opened at 8:32 a.m. Clicked through to a web page at 8:35. Visited 2 web pages
March 3 - Visited 10 web pages at 8:15 a.m.
March 14 - Sent email. Opened at 8:45 a.m. Clicked through to three web pages.
March 21 - Called - Left voicemail. Visited 3 web pages. Downloaded an ebook at 7:48 a.m.
March 31 - Called - Left voice mail.
April 2 - Visited web site. 8 pages. 8:12 a.m.
So what do we know about Amy? Well, first of all, through her behavior, we can tell that she's actually actively interested in your company. What's more, you can tell that she's doing her web surfing and email reading early in the morning, which is likely a good time to reach her at her desk. Without being able to recognize and interpret her digital body language, you could misinterpret her behavior and miss out on a good sales opportunity.
So why should you care?
Marketers are using the term Digital Body Language as shorthand to explain to their colleagues and their companies the need to more efficiently process the leads they already are generating. Digital body language calls for a new way of developing sales opportunities, one where the "one and done" practice of marketing in the past gives way to a new, more effective process for processing, analyzing and measuring your lead management system, from click to close.