By ZoomInsights staff

Scoring traces its roots to the catalog industry and was adopted more broadly by marketers to generate sales leads primarily by title and industry. That was then. Now, more than ever, customers want to be highly engaged with brands that understand them as individuals. More than 60 percent of global customers with Internet access prefer to buy new products from a trusted brand than switch, according to a new Nielsen Global Survey.

Broadening the scorecard
Rather than using scoring algorithms simply to segment by the person, technology now offers the opportunity to broaden the scorecard to include a breadth of individual behaviors. “We see the future in scoring as learning what customers do, not just who they are,” said Bryan Brown, director of product strategy at Atlanta digital marketing technology firm Silverpop.

“Data can be gathered about the intent someone shows, based on what they are doing on your website, their online practices, whether or not they are tweeting your brand,” he added. “The challenge of the future is figuring out how to move from an approach where we build lists and then act on them to starting to use technology that helps you speak to individuals at the moment they are engaged in doing something.”

Implementing automation
But first things first. For those looking to get started, step one is finding the best automated scoring technology for your needs. “There is literally no way to do this manually,” Brown told ZoomInsights. Fortunately, there are a growing number of companies that offer solutions. Here are some tips for improving your lead score card:

  • Learn what’s working. Many marketing technology providers sponsor webinars and seminars in key regions in the U.S. and EMEA that focus on real-world examples of success in lead scoring.
  • Designate an executive or two to lead the adoption of lead scoring. “When we survey marketing companies that still haven’t adopted scoring, we’ve found they don’t really have someone in the marketing department to say, ‘We need to use this new technology.’ You really need a champion to get in and get people excited about it.”
  • Ask for help. Most companies that license scoring technology also offer the tools to ensure its success. Support can range from a trouble-shooting call to onsite daylong or even multiday training. Of Silverpop’s existing customers, 20 percent use these services, according to Brown.

Dynamic technology
Savvy marketers are stepping it up. During 2012, Silverpop customers’ use of Web identity tracking functionality — the first stage of behavioral marketing — nearly tripled, customers using campaign automation tools doubled, and those implementing scoring technology increased by 60 percent.

“The technology is so simplified that setting up a scoring model is much easier today than it used to be,” Brown said. “It’s just gotten a lot easier.”

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