Programmatic. Digital. Automated.
These may not seem like cozy words to wrap around your prospects, yet an automated approach does an outstanding job of making your leads immediately feel at ease with your brand. While marketers have long recognized that customers are three-dimensional, marketing methods have historically been decidedly 2-D, allowing an understanding of real customers that was limited by our ability to see them. Data-driven marketing transcends those limitations and allows marketers to custom-fit how leads experience your organization.
How do you create that customized environment around your prospects? First, you have to know who they are and what they hope to find with you. If you were at a party, you wouldn’t strike up the same conversation with everyone and move onto your next target without a beat every time a hapless conversation partner managed to escape. You’d ask questions and learn a little more about the individual who’s talking with you, seeking common ground and mutually interesting subjects. You’d take a personal interest and gain some insight into your fellow party-goers.
Data isn’t impersonal either; it’s literally all about people. The insights you learn about their demographic and firmographic characteristics, their behavioral cues and digital body language, tell you where your common interests lie. Database services that give you a more nuanced, dimensional image of your leads and customers let you provide customer care that’s anything but cold.
Asking the Right Questions
Let’s go back to that party for a moment. Maybe you have a few go-to questions and conversation-starters in mind before you start mingling, or maybe you prefer to play it by ear, listening first and then responding to what others have to say. Both methods work, and they’re analogous to what marketing database managers do when they look at demographic, firmographic, and behavioral data.
Demographic and firmographic data can come from direct questions, such as those found on subscription forms and gated content, and they’re fundamental to your overall database marketing strategy. Consider how your forms engage your leads; do they reward them for filling out every blank? Are they cluttered, or do your forms have plenty of white space? Do you ask the right number of questions, or do you hit them with an extensive pop quiz just to visit your site?
Behavioral data is also vital, and you can’t just ask for it because your leads may not be aware of the signals they send. Can you trace your own trajectory through the last B2B business website you visited? You probably can’t recall it precisely, but the company’s database stores all that information – at least, if the business is doing it right.
Every time you send a personalized email message to a lead or deliver custom graphics on your front page, you’re assuring your prospects that you’ve been paying attention. That sends a powerful signal that you’ll continue to listen as they progress on their buying journey and after they become customers. You’re there for every event and decision along the way to offer support, suggest solutions, and answer questions.
Whether it’s at a party or in B2B customer interactions, conversation is a two-way street. Show your audience you’re listening with database-driven insights that demonstrate that you’re tuned into what they need.
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