The start of the New Year is often a time when marketers revisit their lead nurturing efforts. Evaluating what is working well, where there are gaps, or where things are falling flat helps teams identify new opportunities to improve engagement. More often than not, marketers decide a lead nurturing workshop can help bring the best ideas forward and foster collaboration amongst stakeholders. While intentions are good, sometimes the execution of a workshop can be mediocre at best. To help your workshop be successful consider these tried and true tips.
Ahead of the workshop identify a specific use case or business need to be the focus. This will provide clear direction for the team as well as help ensure the lead nurture campaign developed in the workshop is aligned to a business objective or goal. Getting to this point may require some upfront discussion or negotiation but gaining the buy-in is important. If you’re like most marketers you may have many campaigns on your list, but through these discussions you can create a roadmap for future lead nurturing enhancement.
Review your buyer personas and journey maps before the workshop. Taking the time to create or update this information will pay off. Dedicate time in the workshop agenda to review these with the team so everyone is informed and can be focused on the needs of the audience. It is also helpful to post these in the room and provide a copy to the participants for reference.
Updating your content inventory, and tagging assets with the persona and buying stage, is another great way to prep for the workshop. This information will let you know if you have readily available content for the nurture campaign or if there are content gaps to address. Be sure to update performance metrics for existing content to aid in the decision-making process.
Taking a look at the current profile and behavioral data available for targeting, segmentation, and personalization ahead of a workshop is also time well spent. How complete is the data? Are the proper integrations in place to support the need of the campaign? Are field values standardized? These factors will have a big impact on the execution of the lead nurture program.
In the spirit of collaboration, you may feel the need to include a large number of people in the workshop. Cross department representation is important but think through who are the critical few who should participate vs. stakeholders who only need to weigh in once a campaign is designed. A large number of participants can dampen creativity and lead to distractions.
Don’t try to facilitate and participate at the same time. A facilitator needs to remain objective and be observant to help keep discussions on track, while also being flexible to any interesting changes in direction. Facilitators should keep the discussions going by asking questions and summarizing content, all of which makes it hard to participate. Good facilitators will keep participants focused on the end goal and help ensure progress is being made.
To allow participants to fully engage, find a space that you can easily move around in, has plenty of whiteboard or free space, and if possible is a little out of the way to help avoid distractions. Plan for extra supplies – sticky notes, markers, and flip charts are standard workshop items so be sure to have plenty to go around. Snacks, catered lunch and adequate break times in the agenda will help keep participants energized and focused.
Don’t let the energy die after a great workshop. Participants will want to know their hard work resulted in action, so keep them informed about what is happening. To help ensure the ideas and discussion from the workshop lead to progress, make a plan upfront for what will be done with the content and block time in your schedule to prepare follow up communications and workshop artifacts.
There is a lot of work that goes into a lead nurturing workshop, but the return is high. Proper planning is the key to a productive, and successful, workshop. If you are interested in conducting a lead nurturing workshop we would love to help, just contact us!