Try saying ‘progressive profiling’ ten times in a row! Hard task, we know but you definitely want to get in the know if your marketing crew isn’t already putting it to good use.

Knowledge is power and any marketer will tell you the more you know about your customers, the better. That’s where progressive profiling comes in - it’s all about adding information to customer profiles over time and in a way that doesn’t overwhelm people and turn them away. The end results are higher sales leads, better conversion rates and a better customer experience. When you know your customers, you can more effectively tailor your marketing to them and show them you value them. The real magic here lies in your approach… hear us out.

Why progressive profiling?

Remember the last time you stumbled on a website that asked you to fill out a survey? Cue **eye roll**

Here’s the thing, people are time poor and questioning how their data is being used more than ever before (we’ll say the f-word here… Facebook). So instead of asking customers to fill out entire forms or surveys, the key is to ask people different questions over time, with the information being fed back to sales teams who should have detailed contact files for qualified leads. Marketers are also able to identify how to better qualify leads to help shorten the sales cycle and your customers feel you value them and their business because you’re only presenting products and services that are relevant and helpful to them: it’s a win-win!

Getting started

Knowing what data will help you to meet your sales/marketing goals, as well as meet your customer’s expectations, is essential. Think of it this way:

If you’re a food company, marketing to a lactose intolerant customer, is it helpful to know what brands of standard yoghurt they enjoy eating? Nuh-uh given anything they eat that contains lactose is unlikely to lead them to a happy ending.

As always, it’s best to have a clear marketing or sales strategy in place before you begin asking for and collecting customer data. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes: if you ask for their date of birth but never send through anything on their birthday, that’s wasted data. Your customer knows you have their birthday handy but you’re not using it to increase their customer experience.

The nitty-gritty: getting customers to fill out forms

Let’s think of dating to illustrate our point here: on the first few dates, we learn the basics and let’s face it, we play it safe. Fast-forward to the fourth date and some of us let our hair down, asking more intimate questions. User experience is always front and centre with progressive profiling, you don’t want to put customers off by coming on too strong to begin with.

Put your creative hat on and think of ways to gather information… it’s not all about forms. You could weave the process into your email marketing by asking customers a multiple choice question or simply ask customers to click an option before submitting something. It’s all about creating relevant and dynamic content that makes them feel like they’re being listened to. Back to our dating example for a moment: if your date confesses having a strong fear of animals, you wouldn’t suggest the Zoo for your next date, right? Well, not unless you didn’t want to see them ever again! Progressive profiling requires you to make similar judgement calls.

How this might look in action

Imagine you own an ecommerce sporting goods store. Amy, a new customer, browses through your bicycle riding section where she downloads your, Wheels to train guide: what you need to know before you hit the road and get on your bike. Thanks to this handy download, you’ve already got Amy’s name, email and her biggest challenge in terms of cycling.

From here, you’re able to email her about that specific struggle, providing her with tangible solutions to help her to get motivated to hit the road on her bike before work at 5am. You could link out to a helpful article and even connect Amy with a local group of bike riders who can help her to get motivated. It’s all about listening to your customers and personalising your communication so that someone like Amy, knows value is on the table and responds positively.

For marketers, a huge range of benefits are on offer thanks to progressive profiling including:

  • Increased conversion rates
  • Better qualified leads
  • The ability to reuse the same forms across different landing pages
  • Collect better insights to target contacts
  • Shorten sales cycles

Using progressive profiling successfully is all about collecting the right information from customers that is gained because you’re helping them to solve a problem. Do this right and your messaging will become sharper, smarter and build the kind of relationships and increased engagement levels that lead to loyalty and increased profits.

Note: this is part 1 of 4 in our enhancing customer engagement series that our brains trust has put together. Keep your eyes out for part 2.

Ready to kickstart your progressive profiling strategy? Contact our team at Woven today for a confidential chat.