Episode #27

The Conversion Journey From A User To A Customer For Marketers By Arun Pillai

The Conversion Journey From A User To A Customer For Marketers By Arun Pillai

Arun Pillai is senior vice president at Enterprise Customers and Global Reseller Channel at Lake B2B, the world's leader in Data-Research Innovation. He has worked in varied industries like healthcare, education technology etc. He has accurate knowledge to predict the next big thing in data with high accuracy. He is a MarTech Engineer helping Marketers Replicate their profitable customer base at scale.

At Lake B2B, Arun manages the enormous datasets in the B2B space, around 430 million global business executives. The most direct engagement is that customers contact them and say they are interested in reaching the companies using Salesforce as their CRM. They have portals, offline ways, and we push data into client's CRM marketing solutions. They also understand the goals and objectives for acquiring data. “Is the data used for marketing lead generation, sales, product promotions or webinars, or any other purpose?” They payout plans and execute that for the companies. They drive results and not just offer data. They are supporting 100 clients in North America with team support working remotely from Bangalore, India.

Your key takeaways:

  • Demystifying the vacuum between data and customers
  • Choosing Channels and Marketing Mix
  • 4 approaches to Product positioning
  • Marketing as a Career

Demystifying the vacuum between data and customers

You offer data enrichment and growth solutions to your clients, so how do you ensure that the data you provide to clients gets a scalable convergence?

Enrichment Process: Data needs to drive results, so it is to be broken down into fragments and clusters like contract level intelligence, firmographic intelligence, BI, and AI. The raw data holds no potential. It is crucial to manage the data and keep it clean as a data provider, marketer, and customer handler. It starts with data enrichment and augmenting lots of other intelligence into the data.

Appending Intelligence: Whether it is hardware, software companies, IT spends, the artificial intelligence and behavioral patterns are based on predictive marketing systems that we have in-house. Many data points have to be added to a persona. The whole objective is to make it a win-win for the marketers and data subjects. The marketers can pinpoint, and with precision, the messaging and the hyper-personalized offers to the contacts. And the data subjects are in a position to see just what they want to see. Having predictive marketing enables marketers to pinpoint the audience more slightly to respond to their offers and make convenient data subjects.

You have a hierarchy, and you have an organizational structure. How does your whole team use technology to go further?

Arun: The whole purpose of technology within the MarTech space or any technology is not to replace humans or human intelligence. It ensures that we bring efficiency into our processes and systems, which is necessary for the marketing space. We put together technologies to make sure that we get efficiency and optimization into the marketers' funnel. There are lots of customers who contact us for various reasons. It could be for product promotion, sales, lead generation, brand awareness programs, webinars, and many more.

But what's important is, are we able to connect with our audience across devices like desktops, laptops, iPads, mobile phones, smartwatches? Email has been a predominant channel for the last two decades as it has two directional conversation capabilities. We start with email, introducing the brand and differentiating between our clients versus their competition.

  • Build a content journey and a user journey: We tie that email program into the cross-device and cross channel capabilities using some systems like LinkedIn emails, LinkedIn messages, LinkedIn ads, Google display ads, programmatic ads, and Facebook, to some extent.
  • How do we do that: We encourage our customers not just to push content which is sales heavy. Understand that when we start with the data set called prospects, we must drive our audience through our brand and the value that we are trying to offer as a brand.

So start with customer education --> then get into promotion -->then get into the call to action.

Email Distribution and Response Process

I always say to my team internally that we don't have to sell to a customer that doesn't need what we are offering, but make sure that if a customer needs what we are offering, it should be us who will be selling them, not the competitors. We must understand the requirements of our customers and drive them through a journey that encourages them to know what we are offering. So move them from cold prospect to informed audience to the content funnel, and then when we do the email campaigns, we can drop cookies.

Social Reach and Engagement

So based on cookies, you could remark to your audience with unique identifiers like email against LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Display Network, and plan to remarket on these channels and something that we can create.

Intent-Driven Multi-Channel Campaigns

When you don't have a cookie match, you leverage channels like Google display network or LinkedIn on Facebook; make sure that you have a way to get into their mobile phones, iPads, and smartwatches.

Intent Data and ABM

  • You should differentiate your audience through accounts that you're already dealing with, like the personas that look like our top 20% profitable customer base versus the good-to-have clients.
  • Start with profiling the audience by the company's size, type of the company, and the personas titles.
  • What's important after that is tools like In the case of a web visitor, we need to know who's visiting and what's happening in the user journey.
  • And likewise, the outbound marketing, like email campaigns and social and retargeting, it's crucial not just to set up these campaigns but also to drive the data back from these campaigns to know who is opening and clicking.
  • What point, what channels, what devices, what time of the day, what day of the week, what type of content are they consuming? Is it text-based HTML-based image-based?

Social Reach + Engagement

From these data, you can draw artificial intelligence and have predictive marketing. We can completely optimize the ad spends beyond email on channels like Google Display or LinkedIn. And likewise, if there are contacts that do not respond or are inactive on email, the only way to get them into your sales funnel is to reach out to them on devices and channels they are active on. You need to step up your marketing budgets on media that you are active on and actively engage with them.

Total addressable market

If there are a hundred thousand contacts in my total ad spend market, then there's no point in just reaching out to the first 40,000. So here, we use an accustomed data environment. So we put together a 12 to 24 months plan. We help our clients to get incremental data over this period. So from 40% of the total addressable market, how can we get them to 80- 85% in 12- 24 months?

Nurturing Camping Management

One is reaching the audience that is not being bombarded with a lot of emails or content, and therefore, the response and Engagement from such audiences will be more. Consequently, I encourage all marketers to use this strategy.


So start with a robust dataset, understand and evaluate your audience, and then make sure that you put together a content journey for them. Next, leverage all the channels that you have at your disposal and ensure that you're engaging with your audience across the devices and that they're genuinely aware of you as a brand. Allow them to reach back to you if they need what you're offering.

Choosing Channels and Marketing Mix

If Facebook, LinkedIn, and Email Marketing channels are not working, what would be the channels that fellow marketers can use to reach customers?
Arun:The most effective channel is email and what's important is how well we know the audience and what content we are sending to them. Check if the content is optimized to the devices and journey. Hyper personalization is the key. The ability to understand your audience brings the ability to hyper-personalize your content.

Monthly Execution Strategy

  • We recommend LinkedIn if you are dealing with a bulk kind of title, Facebook if your target audience are managers or below level audience, and Google Display Network that offers few programs to have the best impression and switch your ads between impressions.
  • Video-based ads are recommended through YouTube and other channels if you follow con-based marketing. It can make you wonder if you know who your audience is.
  • You can also have a team that calls up and pre-qualifies the audience before the sales team takes it. Through these programs, marketers are nurturing the audience and moving them to an informed audience. What is more important is that customers should be given a chance to express their concerns and the goals they are trying to achieve with specific plans.

Competitor Analysis

I also recommend knowing your competition. When you plan your campaigns, it's essential to know the data, understand who your audience are and with whom you are competing.

Organic Traffic Competition

Most of the time, when you see that our competition has better visits, higher visits, high conversion, it's not an area of panic. It means that we have a large total addressable market that we can tap into.

Traffic Sources Comparison

So look at the good of the competition, what are all the areas that are doing good, not to copy them or mirror them, but to emulate them and shrink that learning curve in those areas and also understand the gray areas of the competition to make sure we create a better customer experience in the area where our competition fails.

Traffic Sources and Destination Comparison

Understand your competition, strengths, and weaknesses to position yourself better.

Cross Channel Performance

Please make sure the customers and data subjects have a better experience from us or the competition. We make the customer's journey seamless, and we are optimizing our campaigns.

4 approaches to Product positioning

With the detailed data, how can you help your clients with the product positioning in Dubai?
Arun: With the audits, we understand what we are doing better than our competition and our competition areas, like website audit, social audit, and social channels. The inbound channels we recommend are SEO content, social webinars, virtual events, and the outbound like PPC.

Search engine optimization

We emphasize a lot on the user journey on content. Let's take an example to discuss how to optimize SEO? The three pillars of a good SEO or content plan is:

  • Content
  • Link building
  • How can you leverage your website as a lead generation channel?

Content and Landing Page Optimization Strategy

The face of the brand is the website, irrespective of email campaigns, social campaigns, retargeting. We are driving people back to the website. Every call to action that we embed will get people back onto our websites when the traffic is coming in, and you're offering the ability to understand the user behind it. The first and foremost thing is content from a level of how we have hyper personalizing the content to the needs of our customer and what type of content- are we just showing them a text, images, graphs, and infographics and how easy it is for our customers to consume the content on our website. From a crawling perspective, Google can crawl the content on a web page and index us from an SEO ranking perspective.

Lead generation Strategy:

The next is to push our audience down that sales funnel. So do we have content that fits into each stage of the funnel, or do we only have content that's top of the funnel? This all relates to what you are offering to customers. Once we understand the user behind the website, we can understand what has been the consumer's journey so far. Have they consumed the previous engagement content from our campaigns? If so, we can drive them to price, case studies, and testimonials. The first-time visitors need to know the website.

Link Building Strategy:

Any business needs backlinks from credible websites, typically websites with 35 hours of domain authority. You get links from guest logins, business listings, domain authority.

SEO Approach:

How to execute a program? Focus on what we are doing well in terms of our SEO and what are the gray areas; what is the competition doing? Then come up with keywords and use them in your website for on-page optimization. Then create different forms of content for the same topic like videos, images, texts, HTML, and infographics. Ensure you have enough content irrespective of the level of user journey in the funnel. Then descend into that sales funnel and be qualified leads for you.

Few problems are common to any marketer, and one of these is who your audience are. Many marketers can do things like hyper-personalization to better customer experience, leadership experience to improve the consumer's journey, making sure that there's no break in the lead journey, making sure there is enough quality content for your prospects to understand you as a brand much better.

What tools do you use to stitch the CRM’s data?

Arun: We have our software development team. We have developed much proprietary software in-house, including marketing automation systems, AI, and predictive marketing systems and engines. The whole purpose of having the best response from a data set is by keeping it close-knit. We also partner with tools for the campaign programs. In addition, we rely on the Google display network or the LinkedIn network, and from a distribution perspective, data compilation, and enrichment perspective, we seek proprietary systems and engines.

Marketing as a career

What encouraged you to select your profession, and what were the thought processes behind it?

Arun: Two elements encouraged me to this profession. First is the job that lets you travel across countries through planes. That was one of the intriguing parts. Even after completing ten years of my professional journey, what intrigues me the most is that every day we get the opportunity to talk to new customers, new businesses with different perspectives. Secondly, no job is monotonous. Every company that we engage and work with are entirely different from the previous business engagements. We predominantly deal with healthcare IT brings its uniqueness and challenges.

Advice to young marketers:

  • Leaders need to be hands-on guys.
  • It's imperative not to sit and execute the programs but to be hands-on to understand the data generated from your programs.
  • Get involved in GA, AI, BI, or ML.

                               "First-time visitors need to know the website thoroughly."

Contact Arun Pillai