Tracking the Customer Journey in Materials Science Industries

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Digital marketing and materials science are not as dissimilar as they may appear at first glance. Both have undergone a massive period of flux in recent decades, and success in either sector is measured by the will to innovate.

This intersection of similarity is all too often neglected by materials scientists who are operating on outmoded, decades-old marketing activities; despite representing one of the world’s most cutting-edge engineering spaces.

Less than 20 years ago, the extraction of graphene was mere theory and now it is being discussed as a potential solution to the world’s bandwidth demands. Marketing has similarly been upended by the seismic shift towards content distribution and SEO. In a recent State of Scientific Marketing survey, content marketing led the charge for the most effective method for generating qualified leads. PPC campaigns and print advertising conversely ranked among the least effective lead generation techniques; two of the road’s most taken by materials scientists today.

AZoInsight: Nurtured leads can be worth 47% more than other leads — and without structured, systematic lead nurturing, you could leave as much as 80% of your potential sales on the table. That’s because, put simply, 50% of your leads aren’t ready to buy yet.

The Problem with Previous Marketing Techniques

One of the critical pain points of outdated marketing techniques is the inability to track returns on investment (ROI). There is no reliable way for materials scientists to accurately quantify the ROI from print advertisement, and measuring the success of a tradeshow often requires qualitative and time-consuming analysis of new business generated over time. The limited success of these methods is also declining rapidly.

A successful marketing strategy for quality lead generation comprises less than 3% print advertising.

Lead Generation for 21st Century Materials Scientists

Developing a robust digital marketing strategy gives materials scientists the opportunity to eliminate that element of uncertainty and provide a quantifiable method for tracking a customer’s journey. There are a plethora of options to consider when it comes to content and approach, but each of these falls under three overarching strata:

  • Awareness: a materials science audience is driven by need and explores their options to orient themselves for the concurrent stages of the buying process. This type of content is general, approachable, and informative, serving to answer the customer’s immediate question and establish your brand as a possible solution.
  • Consideration: a materials science audience that has compiled and compared potential solutions to their initial question become leads when they begin to show interest in your brand. Form fills, and downloads are key indicators that customers are beginning to consider your products.
  • Decision: this is the final stage before a qualified lead becomes a sale. Content that closes a sale is direct, technically adroit, and specific to what the customer is looking for. This includes case studies and testimonials; anything that proves the qualities of your product or service from a technical or social point of view.

Image Caption: Example data from AZoIntel, demonstrating a customer journey before a brochure download.

Image Caption: Brochure download example from AZoIntel.

This process is fully traceable using analytical software that tracks cookied visitors, enabling materials scientists to identify individuals at key moments of the customer journey and customize your value proposition accordingly.

AZoTopTip: Map out on paper your own customer funnel. Then, document what content and tracking assets you have at each step in that funnel. This will help give you a quick visual idea of where the gaps are.

Track Your Customers with AZoNetwork

AZoNetwork offers a distinct digital marketing service that was born from a materials science background. We have proven the success of tracking the customer journey of materials scientists, providing dedicated metrics for improving your digital marketing strategy and closing gaps in the content funnel to facilitate a smooth and trackable customer journey.

If you would like any more information about AZoIntel, our proprietary analytics software, contact us directly.

Click Here to Learn More About Our Content Packages


About AZoNetwork

Having worked in the Advanced Ceramics industry for over a decade in the 90’s, founder, Dr. Ian Birkby recognized that engineers, designers and scientists often required educating in the potential uses and applications of Advanced Materials before they could utilize them in their products and processes.

This recognition of market demand and the emerging power of the internet led to the launch of our first site, – The A to Z of Materials in 2000.

Although the business has grown significantly to include a range of science, technology, medical and life science platforms, it has always stayed true to its principal aim:

We love telling science, technology and medical stories to people who can make a difference. Everything else follows from that.

Today we tell these stories across all digital platforms to a monthly addressable audience in excess of 5 million unique individuals.

Our customers come from all scientific, technological and medical sectors. Our extensive web footprint and subscriber base allows us to display a measurable return on investment to billion dollar multi-nationals and SME start-ups.

From Content Creation, through targeted distribution to closing the loop with the unique AZoIntel Content Performance analytics platform, AZoNetwork now provides a highly effective Science Marketing Platform based on its own unique Marketing Science.


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