Christopher Bo Shields
By Christopher Bo Shields

Winning the Battle for Attention With Your Key Customers and Prospects

Digital audience home

Blog - 7 mins read
Two small boys racing

As marketers, we spend a lot of time and effort on activities and campaigns to generate leads, but how much of our marketing effort is directed towards people who have little or no chance of ever becoming customers?

Take a look at your email or Linkedin inbox. How many messages a day are touting products or services that you will never buy? If you are anything like me, most don’t even get over the first hurdle of being read.

Delivering new leads is obviously incredibly important to any business, but as marketers we often focus too much energy and budget at the top of the funnel and far less on building trust and loyalty with those that already have a level of engagement with our brand.

These are the people we refer to as our KEMA, or our Known Engaged Marketable Audience. They are important because we’ve already spent money getting to them and they’ve already shown some sort of interest in our product or services. Our KEMA are the people that should, eventually, be easiest to convert to customers or (if they are existing customers) to do more business with, so how can we build on these engagements to capture demand?

In this article, I want to demonstrate how event and marketing professionals can achieve this using a digital audience home – a new type of engagement hub for on-demand and live experiences.

Marketing above the digital noise

Even the best piece of content marketing can get lost in an inbox or social media feed. There’s simply a lot more content out there competing for our target audience’s attention.

The modern B2B buyer journey also requires more touchpoints to get a prospect to convert. Forester research suggests the average is now 27 touchpoints (15 digital and 12 human interactions), up from just 17 before the pandemic. If more buyers are turning to digital sources before they call our sales teams – we need to make those digital interactions count.

Although we typically rely on multiple channels to reach our KEMA where they are – why not turn the problem on its head? Could we offer them a place where the content offering is so compelling that they come to us?

Why a digital audience home is the most valuable real estate you can own

A digital audience home provides an opportunity for longer-term engagement of your KEMA. It creates a destination for our clients and prospects to access exclusive articles, podcasts and video series, view on-demand event content or join a webinar, ask their peers questions, take the temperature of the market and further their career.

Currently, our KEMA has to go to many different places to get hold of all this. By bringing all of these things together we’ve multiplied the value we can offer them and provided a compelling reason for them to sign up and keep coming back to access more.

READ ALSO: The Audience Home: The Next Frontier for Events and Digital Marketing

Avoiding content dead-ends

Why do we currently divert our audiences to so many content dead-ends? Imagine, for example, that rather than being sent to Youtube to watch on-demand content, I was instead signposted to a digital audience home. I’m now presented with articles around the same topic, I can listen to a podcast episode, download some research and sign up for a webinar (in just one click I might add). While I was browsing, I might see an ad for the company’s annual summit and sign up for this as well.

By bringing our content offering together we have effectively increased its value so the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

An advert for the Marketer's Guide to a Digital Audience Home

Using the audience home to better engage your KEMA

Exactly what content to showcase will depend of course upon your industry and marketing strategy. That said, here are five ways you could use your digital audience home to better engage your KEMA;

1. Create ‘bingeable’ on-demand content

Events generate incredible content that allows audiences to hear directly from their peers and experts in an authentic way that builds trust. Nowadays much of this content is recorded, but we often do a poor job of leveraging on-demand sessions.

During the pandemic, Salesforce realised it needed a new way to engage audiences. It created Salesforce+ a live streaming service that showcased content from its flagship event Dreamforce, as well as premium customer videos and interviews. Salesforce realised they could package their on-demand content alongside a new high-quality video series and use it as a powerful engagement tool.

Salesforce’s success demonstrates the power of thinking about on-demand experiences upfront and using tv-quality content to pull audiences in, rather than dispersing it across multiple places and channels.

2. Start an online community

Creating an online community is a great way to cut through the digital noise and offer prospects and customers something a little different. A digital audience home goes hand-in-hand with a community, starting simply with the ability to like and share content with other members and evolving to more sophisticated networking, topic threads and discussion boards that can really get conversations flowing. Hubspot, Salesforce, Moz, RefineLabs and IBM are just some of the many companies out there making a success of online communities.

3. Upload podcasts, video box sets and articles

A podcast or an informal video series allows you to show more relaxed interaction with your customers, while they share their story, opinions and challenges. Del Technologies for example, created the Bakers Half Dozen, a video show where they explore tech trends on the rise, Mailchimp’s Second Act shares the stories of five people who’ve chosen to change career paths later in life. Others have perfected the video podcast, JLL for example created the JLL cafe where they chat with investors and developers about real estate market trends.

4. A single portal for live experiences (webinars, virtual events etc.)

It’s not a very joined-up experience when our customers and prospects need to log into one platform to access a webinar and another to join a virtual event or register for your in-person conference. Using your audience home as a gateway to live experiences increases the chances of people discovering new live experiences they can sign up for while browsing your content and offers them all under one destination.

5. Create academies or offer mentorship to further their career

For many professional services firms, creating academies is a fresh way to offer more value and keep clients updated with regulatory changes. Meanwhile, SAAS companies may use e-learning to help their customers get more out of their products. For others, learning may be more closely built into the business model, the Demand Curve online community, for example, offers paid online courses to help marketers strengthen their skills.

The thing I’d like to stress, however, is that whether you go all out and create a new show or course or simply stick with your current media formats, by focusing on the authentic voice of the customer and bringing everything together into a digital audience home you increase the value potential of your content. Now we have something people will part with their details to access. You don’t necessarily have to do more work – it really is about making more of the work you are already doing.

Time to think inside the box?

No one is suggesting we abandon outbound marketing as a way to reach our KEMA. But we also need to think about making engagement as human and enjoyable as possible.

Maybe we should take inspiration from Netflix and Sky Glass and other streaming and tv services that bring everything ‘inside the box’ – offering everything in one place that users can explore on their terms.

By doing so we help foster deeper engagement, build brand trust and capture better data about the interests of our KEMA. Then, and only then, can we deliver personalised, account-based marketing campaigns that resonate with our targets and hopefully close more deals.


SEE ALSO: The Marketer’s Guide to A Digital Audience Home

Christopher Bo Shields

Written by Christopher Bo Shields

Co-Founder and Platform Director



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