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what is lead scoring in digital marketing?

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Lead scoring is an internal process carried out by a company to classify its leads in order to find the one or two that are most likely to perform certain actions. For example, some of the parameters that are usually measured are the degree to which someone resembles a Buyer persona, the ideal customer, as well as the degree of closeness to the company and the buyer's journey. Lead scoring is also known as lead qualification.

what is a lead?

A lead is a marketing term used to distinguish those contacts who have given their data to the company in some way. This transfer of information can be done voluntarily, for example by making a purchase and providing contact details; or information can be given as payment for a service or product offered by the company, for example, getting a discount or a free ebook in exchange for an email address to send it to.

In this way, the company collects data and information about potential or existing customers and can start or continue a communication strategy with them, as well as carry out a marketing campaign.

In the case of lead scoring, these people of whom we already have some contact and/or personal data, are sorted according to variables and parameters that the company itself decides to qualify them as more or less suitable to carry out an action with them.

what is a Buyer persona?

A Buyer personais a semi-fictitious model based on real data collected from potential customers such as demographics, objectives, tastes, desires, behaviours... With this information, an archetype of the ideal customer is created through which potential customers are detected according to their similarity to this model.

The figure of the buyer persona is fundamental as a marketing strategy as any company seeks to adapt its offer to the public as much as possible or, failing that, to try to find the public most likely to purchase its products or hire its service. In economic terms, generating a buyer persona profile greatly reduces costs as it narrows the target to which the company must direct its benefits, while this is much more accurate, is the result of a study and, consequently, it is more likely that the strategy ends in a sale.

how is lead scoring done?

Lead scoring takes into account the point at which a customer is in relation to the company, especially with regard to the place he/she occupies in the purchasing process. There are two classifications of these points that lead scoring also makes use of

  • The buyer's journey: It classifies the customer according to whether he is looking for information about a product, considering a purchase, or whether he has already made a decision to accept the offer or not. The main stages are therefore Recognition, Consideration and Decision.
  • Sales funnel or AIDA: It divides the customer into four stages which are: Attraction, Interest, Desire and Action. Similarly, people are ordered according to their degree of conviction about buying a product or service.

But lead scoring not only seeks to find out which leads are more likely to buy, but it can also be used, and in fact is used, to find out which of them are more prepared for a campaign, or to try a new product, etc. With this automated marketing strategy, all these customers or potential customers can be classified in order to develop and implement specific campaigns for each of the groups.

In short, lead scoring consists of giving numerical scores to these leads according to variables that change depending on the objective of the lead scoring. With the sum of these scores we obtain a final ordered list with the final scores that determines who is most likely to be successful with the campaign we are thinking about. To order and classify them, databases are used whose objective is to anticipate the behaviour of the subjects.

For example, if we want to launch an improved version of a current product, we can create a lead scoring where we score favourably those leads who:

  • Purchased the previous version of the product
  • Bought the product version several times
  • Bought the previous version and, taking into account the obsolescence of the product, are about to make another purchase
  • Have made a purchase in the shop
  • They visit the website frequently
  • They are subscribed to our newsletter
  • Are followers on social networks

In the same way, we can subtract points from the ranking for those leads who:

  • Returned the original product once purchased
  • Communicated their dissatisfaction with it
  • Have not had any contact with the company for months
  • Are not followers on social networks
  • Have not purchased from the shop

In this fictitious example, the desired score would be given, either by adding or subtracting, depending on those parameters that we consider more or less decisive for the final result. For example, having bought the previous version of the product would give 10 points (or the maximum score we want) and having returned the original product to the shop due to dissatisfaction would subtract 8.

Finally, we obtain a numerical evaluation of how prepared a customer is to perform an action, or how susceptible he is to perform it.

Types of Lead Scoring

The orientation of lead scoring can vary and there is no single way of dealing with the variables. For example, lead scoring is classified into two main types depending on the approach with which it is approached. We then speak of:

  • Retrospective Lead Scoring: It looks at the data that the client has previously provided to the company, which determines how prepared a person is to carry out a certain action that is the object of the study.
  • Predictive Lead Scoring: Based on the behaviour of the lead, the final score obtained reflects the probability that a person will end up carrying out X action.

In the same way, different types of lead scoring are considered depending on the number of variables that are analysed, namely, univariate or multivariate if they are approached from a single perspective or from several.

Lead Scoring is, in short, an example of a marketing automation strategy that, in this case, helps to segment leads in order to personalise the strategies that a company can subsequently carry out.

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