Digital Body Language: The Why, What and How of Customer Engagement


Marketing and selling today should be all about the buyer – what they want, need and when you should contact them. Despite 1800+ technology rich marketing tools, B2B marketers are struggling. Deriving actionable information about buyers’ product needs, pain points, and buying intent is a complex business that requires deep expertise and sophisticated data science.

The Why

Digital body language, a concept first made famous by Steve Woods and Paul Teshima, two of the co-founders of Eloqua and now of Nudge Software, is about tapping into the signals and activities buyers are exhibiting that show what they want and when they are likely to raise their hand.

“The traditional B2B transaction has been almost entirely a sales function rooted in face-to-face interactions. Now salespeople are increasingly dependent on their marketing teams to provide insights into which prospects are showing the strongest digital buying signals. To succeed…smart businesses are adapting and realizing that the next frontier is to read and respond to the “Digital Body Language” of their prospects.

A B2B buyer is not just one person with right job title or a Fortune 500 company. It’s a buying committee made up of multiple bodies whose needs and priorities are constantly changing. If you can’t see the digital signals of that buying committee, you’ve missed your chance to get into that deal early.

The What

The art and science of translating intent data from the B2B web, connecting those to static attributes about your ideal buyer, and connecting the dots emanating from your multi-channel campaigns and systems – website visits, downloads, and email clicks — is highly complex.

John Donlon of SiriusDecisions calls it sensors:

When I talk to clients about managing their data, the conversation frequently turns to how they can get access to sensor data (they don’t always call it “sensor data,” but that’s what they’re asking for) that will give them insight into the mindsets and attitudes of their buyers and customers.

He goes on to describe the sources of sensor data available to companies:

  • “Daily data” – data from your internal marketing systems from CRM to marketing automation to social to web;
  • “Untapped internal data” – bookings data for example, click-to-chat – essentially silo-ed data that exists in other parts of the company that has the potential to be instructional;
  • “Public data” – think of “inflection points” in your customers’ businesses – office moves, new hires, IPO etc. that would affect how you might speak to your customer;
  • “Private data” – those demographics or firmographics that anyone with a checkbook can purchase – technologies used, contact information, publisher data;
  • “???” – This is the greenfield opportunity to tap into the most powerful data that will tell you the most about ACTUAL buyers versus enthusiasts and lookie-loos. The 6sense B2B Buyer Intent Network contains thousands of sources from search, publishers, forums and more with whom we have direct relationships to track interaction and the digital body language of our customers’ target prospects.

The How

The amount of data that is being collected every day is staggering. And understandably a daunting proposition to marketers who know that it is not humanly possible to get a full picture of their customers’ digital body language without help.

And that’s where we come in. Over the last 6 years, 6sense has built a best-in-class predictive intelligence engine that is “intent first” to help our customers 1) interpret the digital body language of their prospects and 2) know exactly when to tap them on the shoulder.

We help them understand engagement and how new “buyer sensors” outside their companies’ four walls represent an untapped ocean (nearly 90 billion rows per month) of insights about B2B buying intent. Couple that with buyer profile info and behavioral data from customers’ marketing systems, and they know when to tap, nudge or maybe even hug their prospects (and who likes hugs and who doesn’t). We help them:

  1. Tap into the signals – Where are their prospects browsing, what are they looking at or searching for, how often and where;
  2. Sync up signals with messages and offers – Would you send a pricing offer to a company that hardly knows you? Stop the guesswork.
  3. Engage your buyers where they are – Use cogent insights to line up your campaigns? Is it a chat, an ad, an email or a phone call?

What’s your plan for understanding the digital body language of your customers? Contact us or share your view us at @6senseInc

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