When talking about marketing automation, we often discuss how it breaks down silos and removes walls between various sales and marketing platforms, but there’s another wall that’s tougher to open up: the one between you and your buyers. Database services help you bridge the gap by giving you more customer knowledge, letting you construct more targeted campaigns, and creating open lines of communication so you can accompany your leads on their buying journey.
Here are some of the biggest obstacles B2B businesses must overcome in their data-driven marketing programs.
To implement a data-driven customer care program, you first need the data – and we’re not just talking about contact information, although that’s certainly important too. Data enhancement fills in the blanks on an account file, which in turn leads to better demographic, firmographic, and behavioral data. Your marketing database manager can then take this expanded knowledge base and put it into context, showing you details about your audience so you’re better able to deliver the timely, relevant content they want.
Impersonal Marketing Messages
Buyers are more sophisticated than ever, often coming to you after already doing an impressive amount of self-directed research. They want customized marketing that speaks not only to their individual needs, but also to their current level of knowledge and buying readiness. As they build their own buying experience around themselves, they leave openings only for useful information to flow in, blocking off anything that doesn’t seem to be geared to their needs. Customization is essential for breaking down barriers between prospects and businesses.
Carrying on a Monologue, not a Dialogue
Most businesses realize they must be customer-centric to thrive, but far fewer succeed in prioritizing customers’ needs as thoroughly as they should. They stay with conventional top-down marketing methods, telling customers what to think via advertising instead of initiating conversations on social media channels. Let your data inform your decisions on how best to reach your prospects and get their input. Surveys, live webinars, and social media listening are some possibilities for putting you in direct contact with your potential buyers.
Lack of Follow-Through
Depending on your industry, lead generation can cost as much as six or seven times as much as what it costs you to market to an existing customer. It makes sense: Once a lead converts, you already have a wealth of knowledge about that lead and are no longer building your marketing approach from the ground up. Yet some businesses neglect the customers they have in favor of pursuing new prospects. Follow through with good customer care, establish loyalty programs, and cultivate closer relationships with the customers you already have to optimize the return on your lead gen investment. All the knowledge you need to improve customer relationships is in your database. Managers who can put it to work for you will immediately increase your ROI.
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