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Session Spotlight: Prospect engagement – one drip at a time…

The headline above was the subject line of an email I received yesterday. My first reaction was to ask “why would you call your prospects drips?”

Then I realised it was another typical case of marketing jargon gone wrong. It also reflects the lack of basic reading and writing skills across OECD countries – as demonstrated in the International Adult Literacy & Life Skills Survey of 2006.

I used these literacy facts two years ago in the social media truth video.

I opened the email to learn what was meant by “one drip at a time”. The email is an invitation to a Virtual Trade Show for Marketers. I think that means it’s a webinar?

stupid people

Here’s the content of the message:

“Staying engaged with prospects and leads over time, from the first touch to closing the deal, is always a challenge. The correct drip program approach will help with this challenge, supporting and driving engagement through the sales funnel, to the closed deal and beyond!

Join Mathew Sweeney, Marketing Automation Evangelist with Pardot, as he addresses the challenges sales and marketing teams face in staying connected with prospects and leads. Learn how to incorporate the correct drips at the correct times, helping your teams gain a powerful and distinct market advantage through drip engagement – one drip at a time.”

I was curious. What’s a correct drip program approach? Is it the same as a drip program? How does one incorporate drips at the correct times and what is drip engagement? In fact, WTF is a drip? So I decided to check out the speaker as I’m also fascinated to know what a Marketing Automation Evangelist with Pardot, does for a living.

Is Pardot a physical ailment, or maybe a qualification? Does he work in a large tent with a southern gospel chorus, singing evangelical songs about drips? The mind boggles.

gospel singers

Given Mathew works in B2B sales, I checked LinkedIn first. But he doesn’t exist on LinkedIn. There are only 4 people named Mathew Sweeney. The computer asked me did I mean “Matthew Sweeney?” I checked the email and given I’d copied and pasted his name, I had the correct spelling.

I tried again but it yielded the same result. Something wasn’t right. So I looked at his mug shot lower in the message and guess what? His name under the mug shot was spelled Matthew Sweeney – and it turns out he works for Pardot. He doesn’t have Pardot, as described in the introductory sentence. So I entered the alternate version of his name and 201 results appeared.

mathew sweeney

I couldn’t find him despite an advanced search using drip and Pardot as key words, so I can only assume he’s among the 201 somewhere. But he needs to fire the copywriter, because if they get the name of the speaker wrong, it doesn’t really instill confidence in those looking for insights into drips.

I’ve worked in B2B, B2C, and BS all my life. B2B marketing has always involved a process of creating prospects, keeping in contact with them and gradually converting them into customers. This can take anything from 2 minutes to 2 years depending upon what you are selling and the needs of the buyer.

Using mail, telephone, email, events and other tactics, you regularly keep in touch with your prospect database, in the hope your prospects will contact you when they are ready to buy. In the online world, there are numerous software programmes that automatically track prospect behaviour on websites, building profiles and lead scores to help sales people identify when said prospects are in the market.

By combining all these tactics, sales people are able to manage their lead pipelines and hopefully eek out a living by converting enough prospects into customers and then keep them coming back for more.

sales leads

One can only assume that the word drip in the context of this webinar, refers to the process of regularly contacting your prospects. Drip-feeding them so to speak. Given that this is 101 sales lead management, I’m sure it doesn’t need its own buzzword.

If you search drip marketing, you will find some lame attempts to justify the term as a special type of marketing magic. I’ll leave you to decide if it designed by drips or for drips. Why do we do this? What’s wrong with stating the bleeding obvious? It’s a prospect contact strategy, plain and simple.

But maybe I’m the drip?

Maybe I should just run seminars and webinars around buzzwords – using the mystery and curiosity factor of a new buzzword, I’ll convince the punters to part with a few shekels and attend.

Hmmm, I could run a strategic virtual customer journey event titled – “Content marketing for drip engagement lead nurturing in social media and native advertising“.

Step right up folks…

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