Monitoring Milestones: A new parent’s guide to gauging interest

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Have you sat, dumbfounded, in front of a spreadsheet or a content management system with a list of content pieces, sometimes hundreds of titles long– all needing to be sorted and organized by buying stage to support your lead generation initiatives?

Me too! Although … not recently. You see, my husband and I welcomed our first baby (a beautiful little girl) on May 6th and I’ve been on maternity leave – knee deep in diapers, swaddling like a ninja, and stringing together sleep in 2-3 hour stretches for a couple months now. In fact, as I write this my husband is walking around outside my office with the baby, speaking gibberish to her in a voice that is at least 2-octaves above normal. We couldn’t be happier.

New parenthood is all-immersing so naturally when I had to write this blog post, I thought about my career in digital demand creation and my new role as a parent and where the two might intersect and it’s here: in the area of transitional offers.

Seasoned parents don’t remember this – but new parents absolutely obsess about early developmental milestones. From the moment you have the baby – there are charts and tools to help you track your infant’s progression in everything from motor skills to the color, consistency, and frequency of bowel movements. These milestones represent incremental growth – a gut check to ensure the baby is moving in the right direction. Every baby is different, and it’s impossible to analyze every minute of life – so the medical community has landed on a couple key milestones that ensure growth and progress.

Like an infant’s early developmental milestones, identifying transitional offers in your content library can help you gauge whether or not your user’s interest is increasing in a meaningful way. Why meaningful? Because looking at the recency and frequency of content consumption is not enough – and the number of content pieces consumed is not always correlated with level of interest. If you’ve spent a lot of time arbitrarily classifying content by buying stage with no real deal deconstruction to back it up – you’ve probably wasted your time.

So, what are some common attributes of a good transitional offer?

Tougher User Access:
To access a transitional offer requires a level of user input that surpasses that of a simple content download. They could require that users furnish data other than demographic or firmographic information (think: assessment tools), or that users engage in a multi-step workflow to access to the offer.

Longer Consumption Length:
Transitional offers can take longer to consume than a traditional content offer and often have an expiration date where the offer is no longer accessible (think trial or demo).

Solution-Specific to Buyer:
Transitional offers can communicate information that relates to the solution deployed in a specific scenario such as organization type or sub-vertical. These offers will use verbiage and lexicon specific to that environment and the context and challenges will be specific as well. Good digital marketers will use their buyer’s known attributes to align the correct offer with the correct buyer to ensure relevance when these types of offers are delivered.

So take a lesson from new parenthood, and let your transitional offers by the developmental milestones of your buyers’ journey. Remember – your non-transitional content is still helpful and meaningful to users, but simply measuring the recency and frequency of its consumption is not the best way to understand whether or not a user is involved in a serious decision-making process.