scoring and marketing automation

Behavioural scoring is probably the feature that will most (pleasantly) surprise marketing automation novices, whether they are marketers or sellers!

But before directly discussing our topic, let’s use a simplified analogy. Let’s imagine that you have just moved and that your son is starting a new school where he doesn’t have any friends yet. In his head, he has (just like you) a specific idea of the type of friends he’d like to make. His criteria are varied: is his personality compatible with mine? What is his status in the class? Does he like the same games as me? Does he have the same “style” as me? And so on, with many more criteria being added.


Like your child, you are looking for “new friends”…

So, to make friends, your son is going to put several strategies in place. First of all, he’s going to do some marketing! He’ll show off his Pokémon cards, demonstrate his football skills, be boisterous in front of his teachers (or, on the contrary, be a good pupil), and so on, in order to attract attention. He has thus become a master of inbound marketing.

Once he has generated leads (and conversations), he is going to be able to keep marketing, but also selling himself! This will be, for example, demo proposals: “Do you want to come and play football at my house on Saturday afternoon?” But let’s not kid ourselves, not all conversions are as qualitative, and there will have to be a selection. In your son’s case, this selection will take place mentally, by stacking the different criteria that are important for him and by prorating them. For some, the interest in football will be the most important element, with a particular team having a qualifying effect. For others, the trigger could be a criterion of geolocation (he lives in the same street as me, etc.).


Why not in marketing?

Although this behaviour is frequently found in various forms in real life, although we all act in this fashion when making our everyday choices, it is not apparent in terms of marketing and sales. Traditionally, we move forward blind…because we are not aware that this strategy is possible in the professional world.

Let’s go back to our analogy and take the example of a very current business, such as selling 3D printers for example. In this very innovative, very recent world, it is important to position our expertise. Here, we will not present our footballing skills on the playground, nor our collection of Pokémon cards; however, we will talk about the 3D printing sector on a blog, take part in trade fairs, organise demos, etc. Each discussion generated, each visit to our website, each contact information capture will be meticulously kept on a specialised and centralised platform that will enable us to create scores depending on the behaviour observed.

Now let’s imagine that you have a “generalist” division and another devoted to 3D printing in the medical sector. On the basis of behaviour, you should be capable of determining whether your lead is more interested in generalist or medical 3D printers and thus of creating two different scores that try to detect the difference. In the event that you cannot separate the differences in interest, you could even activate automated actions devoted to telling the difference.


A few principles to respect in your scoring efforts

Whatever marketing automation solution you use, the main principles of scoring in marketing automation remain the same. At times, your marketing automation platform will ensure that these best practices are followed on your behalf; at other times, you will have to configure the solution yourself so as not to lose your precious information.

Track the past when the visitor is anonymous

Obviously, this practice is only valid for the visitor traffic to your website, but it is important to track behaviour and score anonymous visitors to your website. Indeed, this will enable you to retrieve precious information and indices, once the leads have identified themselves and left contact information enabling you to send them push messages. But a score on an anonymous visitor can also be used to send them targeted messages on your website: opening a pop-up, personalising website content, opening a chat window with tailored dialogue, etc.


Analyse the importance of the different behaviours observed

Not all behaviour has the same meaning or importance. If your website already has history, if you have already been tracking visit paths with a classic web analytics tool for several months, you should be able to view the closest or most significant behaviours before conversion. For example, if we come back to our 3D printers, maybe the download of the technical specifications sheet distinguishes the curious visitor from the real purchase project and could therefore have much greater significance than a simple viewing of the product information sheet. In the same vein, a visit to a page describing your after-sales service or a search for a nearby sales outlet could have greater significance than a visit to an article on your blog.


Trigger new discussions to find out more

If your sales processes differ depending on your different product categories, it is also possible to use automated actions to define the category in which the lead should be classified.

If we come back to our 3D printing example, let’s imagine that for one of your leads you have a high score that indicates a high probability of buying, a demonstrated need, but you are not able to define whether this lead is interested in your generalist or medical solutions. You are, for example, going to trigger the automatic sending to the lead of an email presenting your two latest white papers, one for the generalist category, and the other for the medical category. Depending on the action taken by the lead, you will progress in your scoring. One or two additional actions of the same kind could still be necessary before you can really tell the difference.


Enrich the profile of your lead

Even if the possibilities of behavioural analysis may be exciting, they are not the only ones that are usable. Good old profile data continues to be a vital resource in order to make marketing or sales decisions knowingly. Whether this is via direct capture on the various forms placed on your website or via enrichment by using external data, this profile data can also participate in building your score.

For example, this is the case for the position held by your lead (a purchasing manager will probably be the most valuable for you) or the industry in which they are active.


Share the scores with the right people

We have already tackled the question in the previous points; the sales outlets and the contact points are all different. The scoring and behavioural analysis can, for example, enable the definition of what will be the best contact to attribute to a lead.

If we go back to our example of 3D printing, it is obvious that the generalist printers and the medical printers will not be managed by the same sales team. But the difference doesn’t stop there. In the medical sector (I am not an expert in this subject[Symbole] ), we will probably find different areas of specialization that will be managed by different profiles. However, in the generalist section, we will find, on the one hand, printers at over €10,000, sold exclusively to companies and therefore sold individually over a lengthy sales process and, on the other hand, printers at less than €500, whose sales will perhaps be entrusted to a call centre. The role of scoring is therefore to pass the lead to the right hands, to the right waiting list.


In conclusion

In this article, we have reviewed some very general points about the use of scoring in a marketing automation strategy. Nonetheless, these points are essential if you wish to fully exploit the capacities of your platform (see our article on the overview in marketing automation solutions). It should be borne in mind that marketing automation functions based on hyper-personalising your marketing messages and your commercial relationships. The more you capture data, the more you can enrich and optimise your communication. The aim is to not bore your leads with subjects that don’t concern them. Scoring is therefore the basis for an enriched and more pleasant client experience for your clients and prospects!



Hypertarget your marketing campaigns & achieve your demand generation objectives more easily!

Discover the offer sparklane


Jonathan Loriaux
About the Author
Jonathan Loriaux is a blogger, speaker and expert in digital marketing. He is the founder and CEO of the email marketing agency Bad Sender.