MONOPOLY – The Marketer’s Edition

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Michelle Whitehouse

Client Consulting Manager

The holidays are right around the corner and for me and my family that means gatherings of relatives and friends; lots of food and drink; and lots of games—both sport and board games alike. One of our ‘go-tos’ … MONOPOLY.

I know, I know… you’re probably thinking “Why am I reading about a game I played as a kid (and if you’re like me and my siblings, got into some heated competition over) on a marketing blog? How is this at all relevant to marketing?”

Well, to put it simply… MONOPOLY is a game of business decisions—a game of a marketer’s decisions. To put it slightly less simply, it’s a game of getting a presence on the board, staying on that board, building up your presence in the spaces available, driving the other players to your developments, surrounding them, and (the main goal) collecting their money.

So how do you, as a marketer, win the game of MONOPOLY?

Here are five ways –including how TechTarget can help:

#1. GET ON THE BOARD – Establish a presence

A fatal mistake is thinking that buyers are going to come to you (i.e. your company) and your website to start. In reality, buyers are searching on Google, leveraging 3rd party resources, and relying on publishing sites, such as TechTarget’s properties, for a place to begin and/or continue with their research. As a marketer, you want to make sure you’re on that board (e.g. the TechTarget network) as much as possible—even if it’s in a small way (Baltic and Mediterranean Avenue still get you somewhere!). But, just keep in mind, where you aren’t… your competition is. It’s best to secure a solid presence so that your brand can hold its own and not be overtaken by others in the space.

#2. STAY ON THE BOARD — Be always on

Okay great, you’re in the game; you’ve got your MONOPOLY or two working for you; your competition has the same… now what? Well, first and foremost, keep that stake in the game. With an always-on presence on the network, there is a high probability that the players (in this case, the active researchers on the network) are going to encounter you as they continue on their purchase-driven journey. Sure, they may pass GO and collect $200 a few times before engaging with you; and sure, they’re going to engage with the competition (blame it on that ‘Chance’ card advancing them to St. Charles Place and skipping over you that first time ‘round!). But, if your presence is substantial and constant, they’re going to find you. If you’re not always on you’re mortgaging that presence—you can’t engage with players and your competition wins out.

#3. BUILD UP YOUR PRESENCE — Have an integrated strategy

My sister and I always had differing strategies when we were younger (and still do this day!). While she gunned for the Pennsylvania Avenue (green) and Boardwalk (blue) properties, I was more of a Tennessee Avenue (orange) and Illinois Avenue (red) fan. She would often spend all of her initial money just buying the properties and getting monopolies; whereas I spent a portion of my budget on the properties and put some aside so as to be able to build up houses and hotels as soon as possible. Although the greens and blues are the most valued properties alone; the oranges and reds with some enhancements and developments have a bigger impact on those who engage with them.

So, maybe your property ownership is a content presence on our network. Well, that’s great. But how do you cause impact with the players (researchers) even more? You build. Maybe you add a house and incorporate editorial sponsorships into your strategy. Or maybe you add two houses – editorial sponsorships and brand. Why not go for three— editorial sponsorships, brand, Qualified Sales Opportunities (insight into active and confirmed opportunities). By having a multi-faceted, yet integrated strategy, you’re going to have that much more influence and insight into active researchers, accounts, and projects. Even if your competitors are big in the space; that integrated strategy will beat out their one-sided strategy after a couple rolls of the dice.

Just remember houses and hotels have a finite supply. If your competition beats you to the punch, and there are no more inventories available, you’re going to be the one losing mindshare and pipeline.

#4. DRIVE PLAYERS TO YOU — Engage, re-engage, surround

The more times players land on that development of yours, the greater your mindshare with them becomes. With buyers often taking 4+ actions with a vendor before that vendor is considered for their project’s shortlist (TechTarget’s 2015 Media Consumption Report), re-engagement and nurturing is essential to your monopolization of the research journey. TechTarget’s Re-Engage service is one proven method to allow for strong, re-engagement and account penetration; but proper re-messaging and follow-up from your sales and marketing teams is another means of ensuring that researchers and buying teams have 2+ touches and are being surrounded with your messaging.

In order to effectively engage, re-engage, and surround an individual and his/her buying team, a few things are necessary: 1) a presence (preferably an integrated one as mentioned); 2) quality content that speaks to pain points, covers all stages of the buy cycle, and provides researchers with a ‘next step’ (call to action) to engage further; 3) a scoring and/or nurture system that enables proper and personalized follow-up.

#5. COLLECT – Continue to nurture and influence, and convert

In most cases, it’s going to take more than a couple landings on your Marvin Gardens hotel (yellow) for players to be truly impacted by you. And that’s again where re-engagement and proper nurturing comes into play. Researchers’ projects can be a day to weeks to months out, so staying in front of them is key. Each time they engage with you, you’re essentially collecting from them. Although that collection, in reality, isn’t in the form of pink fifties ($), it is in the form of additional data and insight into their research journey, and in the form of their mindshare. If you nurture, influence, and follow-up properly – that conversion will happen and be reflected in your pipeline.

Buyers are constantly making their way around the MONOPOLY board. Make sure you’re in the game. If you would like to share your experiences, please leave a comment below or feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

branding, content, Customer Engagement, lead nurturing

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