The effectiveness of a marketing strategy has always boiled down to one thing: sales.
Marketing leaders ask themselves, “how much revenue can be attributed to a certain campaign?” And, perhaps more importantly, “how can we replicate those results in future campaigns with new prospects?”
In the days before the internet, the answer to that second question was fairly ambiguous. Marketing effectiveness relied heavily on speculation and anecdotal evidence. Did the campaign perform well because of the content? Audience? Channel? Some perfect mix of the three?
Successful B2B marketers were more creative than anything, able to harness the particular pains of a business based on research and intuition into a campaign that spoke to a particular audience at just the right time and place.
Today’s effective B2B marketer is more mathematical than creative. With data streams overflowing with information about customer buying decisions from across the web - social media, ad clicks, web browsing and purchase history, otherwise known as “big data” - marketing effectiveness is now less an art and more a science.
What can big data do to improve your marketing effectiveness?
Here are four ways you can start using big data today.
#1. To Increase Customer Responsiveness
Big data arms B2B marketers with unparalleled insight into the customer journey.
From in-depth audience demographics to buying behaviors to brand engagement through social channels, marketers now have all the data they need to engage target customers.
That is good news for marketing teams. 42 percent of companies have said customer loyalty is a top-three priority and, as a result, the measure for marketing effectiveness has evolved from simple sales generation to the impact of a marketing strategy on the long-term relationship with customers. Increasing customer responsiveness is now a top-priority and B2B marketers are turning to big data to understand how and where customers are most likely to engage with content, interact with sales, and convert new business.
You can see this manifesting in strategies like look-alike modeling and intelligent retargeting, both of which use customer demographic data to improve the likelihood of conversions.
#2. To Reduce Customer Churn
Efforts to engage customers do not just have a positive impact on new business; there is also a tremendous advantage in using big data for customer retention.
Study after study confirms that customer acquisition costs companies much more than retention. So smart B2B marketers are shifting focus away from constantly driving new leads to the sales team and instead putting an emphasis on securing the existing baseline of client spend.
By looking at historical churn data like customer activity and engagement, business demographics and even browsing history on your site through data visualization tools, marketers can forecast potential churn risks and attempt to “right the ship” by engaging the customer with insights that prove the value of their company’s product or service.
Social media channels provide a strong pulse on client health as well. B2B marketers leveraging Twitter and Facebook to survey and address specific customer issues have a distinct advantage over their less-social competitors. In fact, Gartner found that companies who failed to address customer concerns over social channels saw a 15 percent increase in churn.
#3. To Redefine Your Pricing Strategy
Moving your pricing model from fixed to variable was never an option before big data came into the picture. Now, armed with extensive information about the customer or lead, B2B marketers can score lead quality early on and appropriately adjust prices or discounts offered based on buying potential.
For example, suppose a lead comes to you through a targeted Facebook ad and spends 35 percent more time on your site than the average first time visitor. Your real-time data management platform shows that the visitor matches the profile of a top priority lead. When the customer clicks through to your “pricing” page, you are able to present the best price possible at the earliest stages of the sales cycle.
On the other hand, a lead that shows signs of needing more nurturing may be presented higher prices initially, giving a sales person more opportunity for negotiation later on in the sales cycle.
#4. To Better Assess ROI
Better (and more) data means better assessments of marketing effectiveness. Instead of working off a set of fairly debatable success metrics, B2B marketers can measure the results of a specific campaign through Facebook “likes”, Twitter mentions, website visits, and more.
The data gathered can shape the direction of future campaigns by uncovering specific areas where the marketing strategy succeeded or failed. That is good news for marketing teams looking to increase budgets or prove return on investment to C-level executives.
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.