Implicit & Explicit Data: Advanced Email Marketing Tutorial Tutorial

2.2 Introduction

This is Matt Bailey, President of Site Logic. Presenting marketing automation. In this module, we're going to cover the difference between explicit data and implicit data. Explicit and implicit are two vital components of lead scoring and marketing automation. It's critical for lead scoring because it helps us know the motivation level of a customer or prospect.

2.3 Lead Scoring Overview

The best metaphor that I can use to explain the principle of lead scoring is really falling in love. Two people meet, they exchange information, and it's enough critical data that it causes them to have feelings for one another. Now Lead Scoring is kind of the same thing. You see it's a sharing of information, when we look at when we fall in love, when we meet people. There's two ways that we take in information about them. You see I also look at when I met my wife and I look at that situation that we met, we talked, but I watched. I watched to see how she dressed, I watched to see what music she liked and responded to. How she wore her make up and the jewelry and also her non-verbal responses to our conversations. You see, that's implicit data, is observing behavior, watching, looking at the non-verbal. The explicit data was things that she told me specifically. So when she told me her name, that was an explicit data response when we were done meeting. We knew that we were going to meet again and I realized afterwards that I did not get her phone number. And so, that is explicit data that was not revealed. So, I had all the non verbal implicit data to go on I had the explicit data over her name. But if I had called her it may have breached protocol because she did not explicitly gave me her phone number. Whether she forgot or didn't intend to, now of course later on she did and now she is my wife. But I had to listen for the explicit data responses. Her name, her phone number, the things that she said she liked, things that she disclosed within conversation, her status, which was a vital feature of the ongoing relationship. What did she like, not like? What is she interested in, and what was she looking for? You see the same things when we're developing relationships. We evaluate the information differently, we look at how they act and dress and conduct themselves. But we also have to listen for explicit information that they provide. Because it's weighed differently, you see she can act one way non verbally but then verbally tell me something. It may be conflicting but I should go with what she says. Because that tends to have more weight. She is making an effort to verbalize and communicate that preference.

2.4 Types of Data

So when we talk about business to business and especially lead scoring, not all information is equal. Some information carries much more weight than other information. So for example, when we talk about implicit data, it's behavioral-based. If people are clicking a link in an email, if they have browse history that is focused around a certain area completing a lead form in itself is implicit. The data that's in that lead form is explicit. The data such as their name, their email address, and their business title. So the lead form itself is implicit. They took an action whereas the information transmitted is explicit. If they view a pricing page, that tells you their motivation level. However, that's implicit, it's based on watching their behavior. Just like, other actions that they can look at, or take place on the website. The explicit data is information that is transmitted through a form or field, or response or call And so on the lead form when you ask someone their interests, their availability for a demo, their business type, their title within the business, also their needs. If they write down and explicitly state their needs, that is highly valuable explicit data. And so anything that is transmitted directly to you or directly to your company through these interactions, that is explicit data. Implicit data is observed behavior.

2.5 Implicit vs Explicit: Examples

So, whenever someone is acting through their computer and interacting with your website, they're clicking around. They're viewing items, they're downloading, they're searching, that is implicit. When they specifically communicate information to you about themselves, that's explicit. Let's have a little quiz. If someone watches a video on your site, that is implicit, because it's behavioral-based. Now, we can deduct from that the type of information that they were looking for, based on their browsing history, and based on other actions, but it's still non-verbal behavioral based. If someone fills out a lead form and they give you their name, their business title, their phone number, the business size, and other information, and they're giving it to you in the lead form, that's explicit. They are providing information directly to you knowingly. Now, what about someone who buys online for the first time at an e-commerce site and in their registration and purchasing, they also provide information? Well, that is both. Both implicit data and explicit data, because the nature of the transaction means that they will be providing their name, their shipping address and billing address, which most likely is the same. Their birth date if you're asking for that, and specific preferences if that's being asked for in the purchase process. So because it is a purchase, by nature explicit data is transmitted such as the name, shipping address, and any additional information. Implicit data is the transaction, the page views, any product views, or if they went and viewed sizing charts or something like that if it were a clothing website.

2.6 Lead Qualification

So here's the key. Implicit data is what we would classify as non-verbal communication. It's the actions. It's the behavior. Explicit data is information that is knowingly transmitted specifically to the company, through a lead form, or through an action, or something like that. You see, when we start talking about lead scoring, the purpose of knowing the difference between implicit and explicit information means a lot when it comes to qualifying our leads. Knowing who to follow up on and who not to follow up on. Because knowing this information helps us to know what's the next step in the process. Where do we lead the customer in order to get the next stage of information that will enable us to know for sure if they are a hot prospect or not?

2.7 Lead Scoring

And so we look at what are all the actions that someone can take on a website. Page views, subscriptions, email link clicks, downloading information, registering for webinars, attending a webinar, you can break these all down into very specific actions. Looking at case studies, any case study page. Viewing pricing or videos. Subscribing to different media. Searching for the company name. You can even track to that level. You can look at surveys or page views per day or page views over the last week. If they have shared anything about your company socially. You see, those are all implicit actions. They're behavioral actions. The explicit data and the explicit actions are the lead giving us information that is vital for the next stage of sales. Their company name, their company revenue, their timeline, where the company is. Their budget. The decision process. How many people were involved in the decision process? What's the estimated time to get through the decision process? What's the organizational structure? What influence does this person have in terms of purchasing or acquiring new products? Do they have any authority at all? What do they need? What products are necessary? What problems do they have? These are all things that have to be verbalized or typed into a form and sent. And so, they are worth much more, and as you can see, the scoring is different based on explicit and implicit. Explicit information is harder to get. It is the result of building a relationship. Most people, most leads will not share this information. In fact, most times you only get about 80% of all of the information you're trying to gather. And that may be all you need. But lead nurturing requires a long-term commitment to nurture the lead in order to get the explicit information into your CRM system. Over time you develop this information. It continues to grow based on the interactions and based on information and based on questions that you have provided to the lead. It adds up and provides you a score as to whether this lead is motivated or not or qualified or not. So all of the interaction that you are utilizing is geared towards knowing primary information about moving forward in the relationship.

2.8 Does the Lead Qualify?

You want to know if this is the right lead, if it's the qualified lead, and if they are motivated by knowing their position title, their authority, their influence, their timeline, how often they're visiting. You need both a mix of verbal and nonverbal, explicit and implicit data in order to create an accurate picture of that lead and how they are moving through the process. You can't just rely on one or the other, because one helps to color in the lines of the other. Someone can do a lot of activity on the website, but if you don't know anything about them or if they're even qualified, it doesn't help. Someone may give you a lot of information, but if they don't exhibit any behavior to back that up, they may not be motivated. So both are necessary in helping us understand the mindset of the prospect and how we approach them. It also helps us to know when is the best time to get in touch with them, maybe by phone, maybe in person, in order to move the relationship to the next level. Scoring your data is really up to you. Some marketing automation systems may recommend different point values, but it's ultimately up to you and your business, based on your interactions with customers. You know what are the things that will help people move along in the process more than others. You may score it differently, and that's okay. The goal though is for a long-term nurturing process, to get as much information as you can to make an informed decision as to when to take the next step with your prospects. This has been Marketing Automation. And this module was Explicit Data and Implicit Data.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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