Tuesday, April 21, 2009

National Instruments: Multiple Activities Leading to Multiple Responses

National Instruments has done a great job of creating an information rich web presence that provided relevant and useful information to their audience of scientists and engineers. They had implemented a very elegant equitable exchange of information process that asked for small amounts of information from their audience in exchange for access to the information resources, and were nurturing their prospects based on the information they had requested.

The challenge that Helena Lewis and the team at National Instruments needed to tackle though was what happened in a prospective buyer was very active on their site and accessed multiple information resources in different areas. Here is a case study on how they tackled the challenge, from Digital Body Language:

National Instruments: Multiple Activities Leading to Multiple Responses

National Instruments leveraged the rich information on prospects’ interests that it gleaned from prospect digital body language on its Web site to deliver highly targeted and relevant communications. The success of these communications was evident in the very high open and clickthrough rates discussed earlier. To achieve this, however, National Instruments had to overcome an operational challenge.

The mapping of online activities to communications was straightforward, but also created a challenge. What should happen if a site visitor performs multiple actions that warrant a communication? For instance, downloading four whitepapers should not result in four communications.

To ensure that prospects are not inundated if they perform a number of triggering activities, National Instruments built a waiting period of 24 hours into its scoring. If multiple actions were seen in a 24-hour period, the actions were scored individually and the most relevant communication was selected. Similarly, if an action had been performed before (for example, downloading an automated test guide), the prospect was not sent communications that had this as a call to action.

This solved the challenge of too many communications, but National Instruments also realized that certain key actions should bypass this logic. For example, if a visitor abandons a shopping cart, or saves the configuration of a product, a communication would be immediately triggered. The 24-hour delay was reserved for communications that were deemed less critical.

Since National Instruments is a global organization, each time it learned a better way to interact with customers and built processes for doing so, it replicated that logic and structure and separated it from the content. In this manner, it only needed to translate content and messaging to roll out its program to any of 35 countries.
Many of the topics on this blog are discussed in more detail in my book Digital Body Language
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Anonymous said...

Great post, Steve. The part about "over nurturing" is key and interesting - and ofcourse challenging to figure out.

Vaibhav Domkundwar
@readycontacts on twitter

Kevin L. Richardson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin L. Richardson said...

Interesting case Steve. Further proof that every visit, every interaction between prospect/customer and brand leaves a mark that's useful in delivering relevant solutions to that group. Even incomplete info is good info.

Kevin Richardson
@klrichardson on twitter