Ask the Expert: Ardath Albee on Her Mission to End the Campaign

August 18, 2015

LinkedIn Marketer

Ardath Albee is the CEO of Marketing Interactions, a marketing consultancy that counts Adobe, Cisco, PRNewswire, and Teradata among its clients. Albee is also the author of “Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results.”

She is a true believer in the power of persona-driven digital marketing strategies. In this interview, Albee lays out critical elements of her marketing philosophy – which can be applied by any marketer hoping to boost their own digital marketing results.

Read on to see why Albee:

  •       Is on a “mission to end the campaign.”
  •       Says every time your prospect interacts with your content, you’re nurturing.
  •       Makes the case that involving sales in building a lead nurturing program is “huge.”

Q & A with Ardath Albee, CEO of Marketing Interactionsardath albee profile

LinkedIn: Do you have a philosophy of lead nurturing?

Ardath Albee: Absolutely, I do. I’m on a mission to end the campaign, because in my opinion lead nurturing is really building the story from the beginning to the end of the buying process—so you need to cover the whole thing, and you need to figure out exactly what information people need at each stage. You need to construct this ongoing story building exercise across the buying process. That’s what I believe a nurturing campaign should do: Keep building that engagement by sharing the knowledge prospects need to take next steps.

LinkedIn: Has lead nurturing moved beyond email and reliance on a database of prospects?

Albee: You need to think about nurturing as not being reliant your database, because in my opinion every time you touch a prospect or your prospect touches your content, you’re nurturing. I don’t necessarily confine the idea of nurturing to your contacts in your database. The thing about campaigns that you need to realize is that it’s a construct that we as marketers created in order to put a box around the marketing activity, so we could measure it. But it’s not our buyers’ construct. They’re not saying, 'Please give me three touches, and then you can have your sales person call me.'

LinkedIn: How important are personas in developing a nurturing program?

Albee: It’s critical. I won’t do a lead nurturing program unless the company has really great personas that are active or they develop them with me. The reason for that is how do you determine the questions, what the person cares about, what they’re responsible for achieving: how do you know all that if you don’t have personas? How do you build the story that they care about if you don’t know your audience? Things that we think are interesting may not be interesting to our buyers. We need to be able to step into their mindsets to figure out how are we going to build really compelling content.

LinkedIn: How important is getting agreement between sales and marketing in the lead nurturing process?

Albee: It’s huge. I involve sales in the persona development process right from the start. The reason for that is because if we create personas with marketers in a vacuum, we’re just wasting a whole bunch of time and money and effort. To get on the same page with your sales people, you absolutely have to have sales in that conversation. You also need to talk to them about what kinds of questions they get asked all the time, so that you can create content that the sales team will actually use. There’s this statistic out there that 70 percent of marketing content goes unused. You have to create stuff that your sales people are going to use.

For more insight from experts on lead nurturing, download The Sophisticated Marketer’s Crash Course in Lead Nurturing.