Choose the right channel for each customer stage
Continuing the use of the travel metaphor, customer engagement channels are like vehicles that enable you to transport buyers from one destination to another (buyer stages). Just as you need different vehicles for rocky terrain versus city roads, you need to use different engagement channels at different stages of the buyer journey.

Here are a few practical guidelines for optimizing your customer engagement spend to reach your target buyers using the right channels in the early stages:

Maximize the reach through free media – search engine optimized websites, blogs, social media presence and forum participation.
Maximize the reach through free media – search engine optimized websites, blogs, social media presence and forum participation.
When you do not have contact information for the target audience then use the paid media – search engine marketing, advertising, content syndication, paid participation in eNewsletters, etc. to reach your target audience.
If you have contact information for the target audience – then use marketing automation campaigns to reach out to the target audience, provided they have opted-in to be contacted.
Visitors reached over free and earned media are anonymous 98% of the time and there is very little control over access to them. Paid media gets expensive over a long engagement and a nurturing period requiring 15 to 20 touch points. Hence online marketing channels are suitable to reach unaware target audience and make them aware your offerings and value proposition but not to engage and nurture them. You could attempt to engage and nurture them on your website but most visitors spend less than 2 minutes on your site and there is no effective way to track them or to efficiently bring them back.

Marketing automation tools help you reach the target audience and initiate an engagement. Beyond the few initial touch points, if continued, this approach is considered intrusive and interruptive by the recipients and they promptly unsubscribe or block any further communications. Hence marketing automation fails to nurture the buyer to the point where they are ready to buy.

To fully engage and nurture the buyer we introduce a new customer engagement channel called “Personalized Automated Customer Engagement” (PACE). In lay terms we refer to this as a “Walled-Garden”. The buyer is situated within your private space where they are isolated from competitive noises and you do not have to pay third parties to engage and nurture your buyers. describes how you can personalize and automate the customer engagement to nurture the buyer all the way to the stage where they are ready to buy your offering.

The diagram below maps the channels most suitable for delivering the right type of content to transition buyers from one stage to another.

The diagram below maps the channels most suitable for delivering the right type of content to transition buyers from one stage to another.

Map appropriate digital channels to each customer stage

So here is how you align customer engagement channels to customer journey:

Using Omni-channel marketing or marketing automation campaigns, reach out to the visitors and gently invite them into your walled-garden with compelling content offers.
Once inside your walled-garden, engage and nurture the buyer using personalized and automated content recommendations; tracking the buyer journey from one stage to the next.
Use analytics to determine when buyer is sufficiently nurtured and ready to buy. Transfer all the insights to sales so they can close the deal.
With all the buyer stages identified, content woven into content journey maps and the appropriate engagement channels selected, we are ready to take the buyer on a personalized automated customer engagement journey.
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