The marketing landscape is no longer designed by businesses for customers to move through; it’s increasingly built by your leads, many of whom do more than half their fact-finding before your sales team even knows they exist. In such a customer-centered environment, it’s more important than ever to understand who those customers are – particularly in B2B industries in which sales cycles are longer and customer relationships can last for years or even decades.
With the need for B2B businesses to prioritize their customers’ needs, B2B marketers must consider how well their present marketing strategy parallels their customers’ buying journeys. Database management aligns your B2B marketing strategy with your leads’ interests and concerns without the need for costly push campaigns. By creating a cooperative environment in which you and your customers work toward the same goals, you institute a sea change in the way you do business with them.
These database marketing tips will help get you and your leads on the same page.
Create Customer Personas to Understand Your Buyers
The information in your database doesn’t just tell a story about individual customers. It also speaks volumes about your audience as a whole, allowing you to define segments and engage buyers by addressing the topics that are germane to them. In isolation, customer records let you study individuals; with a relational database, you gain deep insight into whole groups, which in turn allows you to build representative buyer personas. These customer personas simplify selling and make your marketing decisions more effective by increasing relevance.
Understand the Buying Journey
Creating customer personas is an important first step. The next is to put these personas in motion and develop a clearer picture of the trajectory your leads take from initial contact to buying decision. Map the milestones of multiple individual buying journeys, and you and your database service provider will begin to see where your most important turning points are. Understanding these pivot points lets you focus your attention on them and devise a strategy that prioritizes the most critical forks in the road along a potential customer’s journey to sales readiness.
How do you know when your marketing strategy is a success? Setting benchmarks for your marketing metrics tells you what’s working and what still needs work. Data-driven B2B marketing is ideal for clearly defining your goals so you can repeat and build on your successes. Because B2B marketing strategies must be designed for the long term, it’s critical to map out precisely how all your marketing activities contribute to revenue. Unlike your B2C counterparts, your sales cycle is lengthy, and you don’t have time to invest in marketing that offers less than stellar returns on your investment. Database services that quantify success help you stay on the right track even over long, straight stretches of the marketing journey.
Coordinate with Sales
One of the most fragile points of your marketing pipeline is also one of the most critical to your success: the hand-off from sales to marketing. If your sales team gets leads who aren’t well qualified or differentiated, they’re spending too much time on low-yield activities while failing to impress highly qualified leads. A centralized database ensures that both marketing and sales have access to customer files and can collaborate on how best to serve a lead’s needs.
All business is becoming more customer-centered, but it’s particularly true of B2B organizations that typically have more invested in their leads. A management team that provides skilled database services is a win for you and your customers as you’re able to serve their needs while making your own sales journey a more efficient one.
© Reach Marketing LLC 2016 All Rights Reserved.