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What is Nurture Marketing and Why Should it Matter?

By Barbara Pfeiffer, The Partner Marketing Group

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What is Nurture Marketing

In our B2B Technology Marketing Survey, we asked several questions about nurture marketing. While more than half of respondents reported having some type of nurture program in place, it was surprising to learn that 44% had no nurture program. We asked why they weren’t nurturing their customers and prospects and their answers were:

  • 50% Too difficult to set up and execute
  • 47% Don’t have the content to support nurture
  • 21% No budget allocated

These responses (particularly that first one) really got me thinking about what nurture marketing is and how much it’s evolved. Years ago, nurture for most technology marketers was a monthly newsletter. Today, nurture seems to be used most often to describe lead nurture—multi-branch campaigns that provide automated follow-up based on a prospect’s actions.

In fact, the idea of nurture as the exclusive domain of marketing automation systems may be leading technology marketers to forget the importance of touching prospects on a regular basis and staying top of mind so they think of you when they are ready to buy.

Why are 44% of technology marketers not using nurture marketing? Click To Tweet

In recent presentations, I’ve shared the idea of two different types of nurture—each with distinct rhythms and goals.

What is Nurture Marketing

Drip and lead are the “top line” categories for nurture but they don’t represent all the campaigns you should run. Beyond these categories, you can—and should—break your nurture campaigns down to target different segments more effectively.

For example, drip nurture might well be broken down by industry or role, customers versus prospects (or for ISVs, partners versus customers). You may also segment further by industry or by role.

Also in the drip category might be special, periodic campaigns that touch on segments like inactive or lost customers. Lead nurture programs may also include trial campaigns to help guide someone through a software trial.

Regardless of how you approach nurture, keep in mind the goal is to educate, build a relationship and HELP your audience, whether that’s with their day-to-day responsibilities or deciding on a new solution. Nurture touches need to provide value to the reader.

So, what do you think? Is it time to re-define nurture? Most importantly—are you nurturing your customers are prospects? If you need help with your nurture marketing strategy, campaigns and content, please let us know.

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