You are here

Why modern marketers also need to be data doctors

The better a customer's needs are understood, the more effective the message is, leading to improved conversions. Yaagneshwaran Ganesh argues why data holds the keys

Over the years, marketing in the B2B sector has come a long way, especially when it comes to personalization and hyper-relevant communication. Although personalization tools have been at marketers’ disposal for years, not every marketer is reaching the right prospects with the right message at the right time. This is where data comes into play, giving contextual insights about the prospects and customers.

If you look closely, modern B2B marketers need to be part data doctors. A doctor diagnoses based on the symptoms and then prescribes the medicine. The doctor deciphers the symptoms such as temperature, blood pressure, cough, pain etc. before matching with the right medicine.  

A marketer is no different. They need to learn about the customer needs and match it with the right solution and message. The better the needs are understood, the more effective the message is, leading to improved conversions. And data is the key. 

Creating customers

While data helps your measure which marketing campaigns are working, this isn't its ultimate purpose. The ultimate purpose of data is to create customers, from interest to investment.

There are two aspects to this:

  1. Being able to gain insights into your prospects and customers.
  2. Scoring your prospects based on their sales propensity.

To create a long-term customer, it's never just about serving their needs. You need to be able to pick up on the buying signals of your prospects, understand their behavioral patterns across and, more importantly, use the insights to personalize the customer experience (CX).

Need for 360-degree customer intelligence

As data doctors, marketers need to have a 360-degree view of the target account. It becomes all the more important if account-based marketing (ABM) is part of your marketing strategy. While most marketers like to think they know their target customers, it almost always comes in the form of firmographic information such as employee headcount, annual revenue, industry, targeted job titles, etc.

And, if you're going by this information, you marketing is always going to be hit or miss. With the advent of AI, marketers can now look at intent data to understand where the customer is at during their buying cycle and segment them accordingly, allowing marketers to customize communications in turn. Intent data is not only useful to identify the right prospects, but also to identify potential opportunities with existing customers for upselling and cross-selling.

Ensure the quality of data

While there's no doubt about the role of data in modern-day marketing, the quality of data determines the insights you get out of it. In today’s interconnected world, if you possess bad quality data, it flows across your organization, processes and business applications. It means marketing messages are sent to the wrong people, sales professionals waste their time trying to reach prospects who aren’t sales ready, and it can lead to misclassified prospect segmentation and reach out tactics.

On average, B2B data tends to decay at 30% or more every year. Some of the companies with high job turnovers in Silicon Valley experience contact data decay rates as high as 70% each year. Data decay can arise due to a continuous erosion or degradation of data over time due to changes in data or human errors or validation.

Therefore, regardless of how good your product is, how creative your marketing campaigns are, it may never be efficient in reaching out to the potential buyers at scale.

Need for continuous improvement

Continuous improvement is like compound interest, in the sense that, if you invest in it, you’ll see the benefits. You need to continuously invest in understanding your data to not only improve marketing relevance, but also improve sales conversions.

The more qualified a lead is when it enters your CRM system or other salesforce automation systems, the more valuable it is for your sales team. Let’s say if your organization’s lead conversion is at 5% per month and with the help of your data analytics, you can uncover insights that help you improve conversions by another 5% every month – then your conversion rate would be double within a year.

To sum up, given the shared accountability of today’s marketing and sales, it's important to ensure a synergy that contributes overall pipeline. Great organizations are always looking at sustainability, it's a marathon rather than a 100-meter dash. Have an eagle’s eye view of your data, and it’ll take you a long way for sure.