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For challenger brands active in considered purchase market sectors, such as B2B, autos and real estate, competing for conversions through search, whether organic or paid, can be an expensive proposition.

Once a potential customer enters the search funnel, a challenger must confront the inherent disadvantage of being unfamiliar. As leading companies leverage brand equity for improved conversion rates at lower cost, lesser known brands confront the law of diminishing returns by spending more to get less.

What can challenger brands do to turn the tide?

Using marketing analytics for detailed segmentation and understanding of specific buyer journeys by persona, brands can identify the triggers that indicate when a prospective target is becoming an active buyer. Engaging customers at this very early phase in their journey—at the highest level of the funnel—offers an opportunity for challenger brands to demonstrate empathy as a trusted partner in the considered purchase process.

In one recent example, we looked at life events as relevant triggers for when customers enter and re-enter the real estate market. Enhancing customer segmentation in this way—by where customers are in their life-long customer journey—enables challenger brands to build more authentic connections through contextualized experience.

Linking Customer Data to CMS

Brands can create these experiences by building user segments based on first-party CRM data, behavioral web analytics (including conversion tracking), and third-party data such as recent life events, consumer affinity and in-market segments. A CMS-driven contextual content delivery system leverages the segmentation to make data-driven decisions about what content to serve for each user in real-time.

To find the right customers with the right content at the right time, brands can use programmatic advertising and/or targeted paid social to activate before the search. This can improve overall conversion rates by capturing leads at the very top of the funnel while improving awareness for higher conversion rates down the road.

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