When building an Engagement Program, I always find it best to go in reverse. Where do you want people to end up.
In your example that is, buying a minivan. So before they buy, they are going to need to test drive it. So that would be a milestone. Realistically this is still all in CRM so I am going to skip back a couple of steps to where Marketo would be more in play. That would be that the goal of Marketing would be to get someone to request a test drive.
So on the milestone, Request a Test Drive (SQL), how do you get someone there from lets say a Google Ad click on a Minivan sale which lead to a form to fill out information to receive between $1000 and $5000 off a new minivan.
Here is where I would begin to get your question with regards to moms vs dads; practicality v cost effectiveness.
I would start to start to build out the persona; and look at what each piece of information means in relation to content I have, or can build. For instance, you could break between men and women, but if you find that data point, what will vary in the content? Perhaps you are going to send a typical soccer mom persona information that shows it will be practical to get her kids and their friends to sports and the movies.
So for this persona, you are looking at gender, family type, practicality etc all in one Engagement Program. So to answer your question, I don't think you need to separate these at all. It is all in one Program.
Where I would look to split, is based on where they are going to enter Program from. Maybe you are running a campaign in the mall where you have cars to demo and you sign people up at the event to get a $10 mall gift card. Because they are not clicking an ad based on minivan, and are effectively just trying to get the gift card, you likely have more to do to sell them on the idea of getting any new vehicle let alone a minivan. So you could get a program running where the goal would be to get them into the program discussed already where you then take them through the journey to getting to a test drive after they get to a point where a new car seems of interest.
Maybe the finances of a new minivan aren't feasible for a family and you have used cars available and could develop a program talking about how great your refurbishment process is. That could be a program.
So I guess to sum up, I would organize my programs based on the goal of the program, and allow the nurture streams within the program handle the data variances within the program.
--- hope that was helpful
I so agree. I guess it may come down to what do I have enough data to do anything with right now. I suspect I don't have enough data about specific interests to do much now but I do know that various personas are interested in XYZ so it may have to start as an engagement program for the persona that addresses all the interests until I have more data.
Why not do both and more? I feel it is important to have nurtures setup across all stages of the lifecycle. For instance see the below examples
- Early Stage - new leads setup in a general nurture where you start to gather information such as important demographics to know what buyer persona they would fall into.
- Middle Stage - buyer persona nurture serving up content based on their buyer persona
- Late Stage - so the record has engaged and showed interested but the Sales Rep determines they are not really ready to buy so they Recycle the record back to marketing. I like to recommend that you setup a Recycle Reason field so you can target these people based on things like budget, practicality, etc.
- What Else? - don't forget the closed lost, current customers and those that aren't customers anymore. You will still want to also keep an open forum with those records as well.
I hope this helps! I think it will come down to what you feel is priority for getting your first Engagement Program up and running.
Beth, would you recommend doing early, mid and late stages as different programs or different streams within one program?
I would recommend that these be separate Engagement Programs so you can track the success in each and compare. I know it seems like a lot but setting up a good strategy where you are speaking to the prospect along their journey of becoming a customer can really have an impact.
Here is a cool infographic with tips for Navigating the Nurture Apocalypse: [Infographic] Navigating the Nurture Apocalypse - LeadMD
I hope this helps!!