Tag Archives: B2B

Are You Properly Using Intent Data?

3 Oct

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Your sales and marketing departments should be constantly on the lookout for the most cutting edge revenue driving innovations. One idea that is gaining an enormous amount of traction – with good reason – is intent data.

Intent data, is at its core, a tool for marketers that closely resembles big data. Many companies found that simply collecting big data was an expensive time sink unless that data was properly interpreted and activated. Intent data takes big data one step further. Taking the big data thats been aggregated by marketers and applies a rhyme and a reason to it. Intent data data gives marketers that interpretation and activation without the complicated manual process of analysis.

The term has been on the scene long enough that a few intent data techniques have proven themselves to be quite effective. Let’s take a look at some of the best!

Intent Data as Context

Your prospects may not be converting for the reasons that you think they are. If you never find the context within which your customers choose you, your sales will have a more difficult time expanding into new markets. You will push the wrong features and benefits, drawing deaf ears where you could be mining new business.

Intent data is really good at moving past the surface level information that populated CRMs around the world. Company name, position, and time served will not get you anywhere these days. You need to know the preferred technologies of a contact, what their unofficial role in the hierarchy might be, and their history of behavior when faced with criteria relevant to your sales funnel. Intent data does this more intensely than perhaps any other current information grab or practice, and as such, is definitely something to add to your repertoire in the near future.

Without intent data, you may find yourself selling to people who exhibit the right behaviors but will never purchase. They may not have the capacity nor the propensity, and you will never know unless you drill, drill, drill.

More Personalization

The hidden secret of today’s online marketing is how to un-anonymize your prospects as soon as possible. When your prospects first visit your website, they are fairly anonymous – outside of IP tracking – but their personal character traits and motivations are still a mystery to your business. You also have very little information about the purpose they serve within their company. That person could be a decision maker or just an intern who is surfing the Internet randomly.

Web personalization serves these visitors customized content that will drive them towards actions that will identify them. The modern intent data process is not obvious or invasive. Ideally, your new prospects will feel as though they are meeting a new friend rather than putting information into a resource and time sink.

Lead Prioritization

The process of lead prioritization, essentially separating good leads from the bad, has never been easier thanks to the ever-increasing automated marketing stack marketers have at their finger tips. CRM’s email systems, ad platforms, and more can all be combined to create big data that then gives us the ability to score leads more quickly and accurately than ever before.

If you are in need of additional intent data, most automated marketing stacks allow for the introduction of third party intent data through publisher networks. These networks utilize user registration cookies of IP information to give you an even more refined and accurate picture of your user.

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How to Move Your B2B Company into a Fully Data Driven Strategy

14 Sep

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There is very little room for your company to interpret marketing as a “soft skill.” With the overlap of marketing with tech, marketing with data, and marketing with finance, successful companies will incorporate a data driven strategy into the marketing department.

Below are a few ways to move your B2B company into a fully data-driven format – and the sooner the better.

Create a language that translates well throughout your entire organization

If you can agree on a common language that translates from marketing to finance, you will move into a data driven format much more quickly. You will be able to set goals that flow through departments rather than creating initiatives that get stuck in IT. Multidisciplinary goals are usually more critical to the success of a company, and thus more important.

Get your metrics together

If your bottom line is revenue (pun intended), then your metrics should not be as concerned with vanity as much as most companies are. It may be tempting to focus on likes, shares, or page time – we all know that. However, if you are looking to convert big prospects that usually take time to move through the sales funnel, then the metrics you prioritize should be more along the lines of informs, engages, and conversion rates.

Work to more precisely define an audience for your company

Why are your prospects really buying your products? The reason may be different from what you focus on. You will never really know unless you collect information. Moving into a data driven strategy means identifying the decision makers. Do not assume that all purchase decisions are made at the top of the executive suite. The motivations of the specialists who may be greenlighting your purchases are likely different from what you think.

Create all content for a specific purpose

Content for content’s sake is pointless in terms of driving decisions through data. Why do your users actually want what you are producing? If you define what you plan to achieve through a particular content deployment, then you can more precisely lay it out. You should also take note of the content that provides you with a higher ROI.

Eventually combine your creation, content, strategy and performance goals into a single initiative

There is no aspect of modern marketing or operations that functions on its own. If you are segmenting your data, then you are missing the insights that can only come from a holistic assessment. Look to quantify the actions that you take and note the impact they have on business. Even if you achieve a conversion rate goal for a quarter, being ignorant of why you achieved it will almost ensure that you will never duplicate it.

According to CEB Global, your prospect is usually more than halfway through the sales cycle before ever engaging your team. By the time they talk to you, they know who you are. What do you know about them? Let the tips above move you into a data driven strategy as soon as possible to remove this disadvantage. A holistic strategy that is purely data driven will consistently improve your customer relations and lead you to the results that you have been looking for.

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How Your B2B Can More Optimally Utilize the Event Stack

12 Sep

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Bridging the gap between your online and offline marketing and operations is more important than ever. The event stack can become a critical bridge in this effort, if there is an effort made to optimize it.

Some companies come from a culture of hosting great offline events. Others have a mastery of the newer digital marketing strategies. Getting the most out of the event stack means combining these two disciplines. Optimal use of the stack ensures that your company builds the best relationships and influences the industry most effectively.

Quantifying the Face-to-Face Event

Customer facing offline events are second to none when it comes to personal connection. However, many companies falter when it comes to quantifying the success of these events. Incorporating data driven intelligence that is usually meant for digital marketing is a great first step. Connect your events into your digital channels from the beginning of the process. Find out who will be attending and target your best prospects before you go.

Events Across the Entire Buying Cycle

The traditional disconnect that occurs between offline and online hubs tends to fade if a company organizes them over the entire buying cycle. This coincides with the natural flow of the relationship with a prospect – part of it is offline while other aspects of the relationship are online. Your offline events should integrate into your digital cadence.

Use Digital Marketing Techniques for Offline Events

Bringing back information from offline events also becomes easier with digital technology. Livestreaming events will allow for an in depth analysis of individual interactions. You can also more easily remember smaller interactions for follow up. The modern event stack will include an event site CMS, an app, RFID attendance scanners, registration and networking software and even polling systems. This suite of tools can be used to analyze data from all angles of the event.

Optimizing Your Stack

Take note of the tools that event producers have on hand. Before attending any event, determine how those tools may be leveraged based on the access that you will have to them. Is there any way to pay for more access? Many industry events will include a basic statistical analysis for all attendees and will, at a minimum, give each company contact information for analysis.

If you are hosting an event, make sure that you choose your tools based on the information that you would want yourself as an attendee. Not only will the right perspective connect you to other players within your industry, but you will also gain deeper insights into potential partners and competitors.

Do Not Isolate Your Insights

There are usually trends that come out of analysis – you may not be able to see them if your ability to connect offline and online data is limited. If you are coming up time and again with isolated data that does not seem to apply outside of that individual event, you may want to look into updating your stack.

Modern tools that take the wider marketing narrative into account are better at helping to you identify trends. You may have to experiment in terms of connecting your tools to bring out insights that may be hidden.

Analytics from a connected marketing platform is becoming more important than ever, according to event professionals from many continents. As the world becomes more connected, so should your online and offline marketing strategy. Take note of optimization strategies with new tools as they come for best results.

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How B2B is Using AI

7 Sep

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The commercial world has yet to give artificial intelligence (AI) the attention that it deserves. This is no reason for you to hold off on its study or implementation – AI is about to change the B2B world as we know it forever.

Below are just a few of the reasons that you should look into this burgeoning concept before it becomes the norm.

AI Gives More Effective Insights

There are some aspects of marketing that require a human touch, such as handling unique customer service problems. There are other aspects that are handled much better through computers, including data collection, trend analysis and certain customer acquisition tactics. One of the best uses of AI is anticipating the needs of new customers.

Prospects are constantly leaving bread crumb trails of their behaviors everywhere, especially on social media. One may think that collecting and analyzing data on social media is a strictly human endeavor. In reality, the opposite is true. Predictive analysis is actually a discipline that is handled more accurately through AI. Technology has improved to the point that AI can tell the difference between a positive and negative comment. AI can interpret the connotations of words and connect those connotations to a prospect’s behavior. Because it can collect more information than a human, it has more data to analyze. AI also relieves your analysis of the personal biases that humans bring to the process.

AI Creates More Room for Specialization

Prospecting from trend analysis is a tedious job that no one goes to college for. Why not let the AI handle the entry level data collection and input functions, leaving your human capital available for more creative pursuits? You save both time and morale, which eventually leads to saving a great deal of money.

Successful salespeople need to specialize, and they need time to specialize. It is also easier for your people to sell if you empower your sales team with information that basically puts them in the middle of the sales funnel rather than cold calling all day. You also protect your company against employee turnover. If your AI holds prospect data, then it does not leave when an individual leaves. Your sales are no longer contingent on the individuals that you employ, which is a great advantage to have.

Deeper Learning

Believe it or not, you can actually meet your prospects at a deeper level by letting AI do its job. Machine learning tech speeds up the creation of your buyer personas as well as your data sorting/cleaning functions. Your human capital should be spent on learning the individual nuances within the segments that your AI sorts for you.

Each of your prospects is unique, but you might be surprised at the trends that you can uncover with a bit of unbiased AI. With machine learning technology, you also improve the intelligence of your AI as it collects data for you.

80% of your competitors are expecting to incorporate AI into their marketing by 2020, according to Demandbase. Are you prepared to keep up? Ensure the longevity of your company by creating room in your marketing for AI today rather than later. As a matter of fact, start today and get ahead of the curve.

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The Top 6 Skills a B2B CMO Needs to Be Successful

29 Aug

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The CMO position is finding its way to the head table in many companies. As the hybrid skill set of the CMO become more important to business, the skills that should be prioritized are showing themselves. Although industries may vary, the competencies that are required for success tend to remain the same.

Product Marketing

As you know, most of your revenue will likely come from your existing customer base. Every CMO should understand how to market to a legacy customer as well as outreach to new ones. As aspects of product marketing, CX, UX and visual design are all important skills that your CMO should have available.

Scaling Content Creation

As the rest of your business scales naturally, your content will require a bit more effort. In order to get more quality content going for your brand, you either have to hire more people or outsource to a higher degree. Additionally, the different forms of content – how to videos, eBooks, email blasts, webinars – all require a different set of skills to make. A CMO must be able to determine the types of content that are most effective and work within the company budget to grab the most of it for the least.

MarTech

The best CMOs often come from a coding background. However, the CMO will usually not be employed as a front line coder. What is the balance here? The CMO should understand the language of the people who will be in the trenches handling business. Marketing is becoming more aligned with tech, and the successful marketing departments of the future will incorporate a great deal of overlap with the IT department. The CMO must understand what to prioritize within this overlap while understanding how difficult it is to translate marketing concepts into technical executables.

Agile Marketing

The main job of the CMO is to get rid of as much uncertainly as possible in the marketing process. As a data driven position, the CMO should naturally know how to manage shifting timelines and priorities. With a mastery of agile marketing, a CMO will basically be able to apply these shifts in real time. The result should be quicker deployment of marketing campaigns, a higher flexibility to make changes during a campaign, and a more effective cost for campaigns.

Account-Based Marketing

Even with digital automation and AI taking the reins in many aspects of the B2B sales funnel, there are more people than ever involved with each sale. Account based marketing keeps track of the money through this ever lengthening chain of command. One of the major priorities of any CMO should be to ramp up the sales velocity. The CMO should lead efforts to target many decision makers through multi-channel outreach at one time. This requires a close eye on each account from a perspective of personnel and finances.

Learning to Manage the Millennial Generation

Millennials are moving into managerial and executive positions, and the successful CMO will have to learn this new generation. Their motivations are different. There is no moving around them – they are the most qualified applications in most cases. Millennials have a natural ability to combine the soft skills of marketing with the hard skills of technology. As the older generation fades out and is replaced by this generation, a good CMO will learn a more sensitive, environmentally friendly and less hierarchal method of management.

There are certainly a bevy of skills outside of these top 6 that a CMO should learn. The market will change, and with it, the skills that should be prioritized. However, a mastery of these will certainly give a leg up.

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