B2B marketing, by nature, is quite conservative. After all, when businesses are your target audience, you can’t afford to risk it with shenanigans. Business consumers tend to be cautious, methodical, and predictable when it comes to their shopping and buying habits.
That’s probably why B2B marketers have been so much slower to embrace big data marketing than B2C marketers. B2C marketers, after all, have an entire universe to advertise their wares to. If they miff a couple of potential buyers off here and there, there’s still plenty of potential customers out there who will receive your messages.
For the B2B marketer, there is likely a small group of potential buyers. Alienate them, and you’ve lost the battle. Has this caused you to be more reluctant to adopt big data marketing?
Big data marketing isn’t reinventing the wheel. It’s still the same cautious analysis you’ve always done on your marketing efforts. You examine your customers, track their behavior, and measure the results of your efforts. Big data just makes this much richer than ever before, because you’re dealing with far more data from numerous sources, and the data includes information on huge numbers of customers. For the B2B marketer who is used to working with data on a very small subset of the population, it seems almost intimidating and certainly excessive.
Big Data is the Tool Not the Goal
In order to be successful with big data marketing, however, “big data” can’t be the goal. Too many marketers delve into data analytics thinking that their goal is to adopt big data, and that’s going to give them the edge they need to crush the competition. The reality is, big data is a tool. It’s exactly like marketing automation and your computer and your office chair. Of itself, it isn’t much. But when you learn to leverage it to its potential, it makes beautiful things happen.
Establish your goal. Then implement a big data marketing initiative for the purpose of meeting that goal. Obviously, once you’ve got the data collection, storage, and analysis infrastructure in place, and you’ve learned your way around your new tool, you’ll find numerous other practical uses for it. But begin with just one goal: increase lead generation by 18 percent within one year, or qualify new leads 15 percent faster than last quarter, or convert 12 percent more leads than you did this month last year — just specify your goals and implement a data program designed to meet that precise goal.
The Data Has to Be the Right Data
Aside from a well-defined goal, for big data marketing to be successful you must have the right data. That means being smart about the data you collect. It also means finding new resources for data, such as your own mobile app or buying social media firehose data. The right data also involves clean data: has your data been de-duplicated? Has the outdated, corrupted, or irrelevant data been cleansed from your databases? More than a few big data marketing initiatives have been derailed simply because the marketers were acting on bad, outdated, or skewed data sets.
How ReachForce Can Help
ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.