"Triggers are behavioral indications of a shift in prospect interest," Ardath Albee notes in a recent post at the Marketing Interactions blog. "They result from the ways in which prospects respond to and interact with your content-marketing programs."

The challenge for B2B marketers, Albee says, is to "define triggers that are consistently indicative of specific shifts, not one-off behaviors that produce differing results."

She offers four types of triggers that can indicate progressive shifts in prospect interest levels:

  1. Buying-stage transition. This trigger occurs "when a prospect who's only viewing early-stage educational content makes the shift to view best-practices content, for example," Albee explains. The indication here may be that solving a problem "is becoming more urgent" for the prospect.
  2. Attention jump. If the average time a prospect spends with your content suddenly jumps, this is a trigger that her interest has grown, Albee says. Other attention jumps: When a customer attends your one-hour webinar, or clicks through an email to your site but stays to view other info.
  3. Pro-active visits. A prospect who visits your website only when prompted by email begins to visit on his own in search of more information.
  4. Dialogue initiation. "This trigger is about the prospect making the effort to do something other than read," Albee explains. "This can be leaving a comment on a blog post, asking a question on Twitter, replying to an email you sent, submitting an inquiry on your website or even picking up the phone."

The Po!nt: Some triggers are indicators. Different people will react differently to your content-marketing program, but their actions can serve as indicators of their interest levels. Consider classic trigger types like these to pinpoint a prospect's progression through the B2B sales cycle.

Source: Marketing Interactions. Read the full post.

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