Cause-based marketing – which tells potential consumers your company story through your stance on trending issues – is especially important in today’s political climate, and the right campaign can help align you with a like-minded client base, bringing in clients that will reward you with loyalty.
But in today’s crowded business market, luring people who share your company values is not enough, especially when there are so many companies competing for the same piece of the pie. (And not every company is suited to create a campaign as thoughtful as the one Cheerios did with its multi-cultural series of ads, or Microsoft’s recent campaign showcasing how its technology brings everyone – different cultures, genders, generations, etc. – together. Others, especially B2B marketers, might be better suited to tell their own story in a way that resonates with potential prospects, or to use cause-based marketing to show where their charitable giving goes on an annual basis.)
Companies need to do more than show potential consumers who they are; they also need to gather as much information about their consumers as they can so they understand who they are as well, and that’s where fact-based marketing enters the picture.
Fact-based marketing is an important way to target potential prospects because it gives your company and its marketers insight into your customers, and helps you to get to know them better.
While questioning your core consumer base can help start the process – “Ask your best customers what they like most about doing business with you and why they keep doing business with you – the answers may surprise you and will get to the core of your reputation, which can be a unique competitive advantage for your business,” wrote Mark Z. Fortune, founder of Fortune Marketing, LLC, in a post for Duct Tape Marketing website – fact-based data will fill in the missing details.
Knowing what draws consumers to your product or service, understanding how potential consumers interact with your business, why they need your business and what it is about your product or service that has made them choose you, makes marketing decisions such as determining your best prospects easier.
Fact-based marketing gives you the opportunity to rank accounts in the sales funnel based on interest.
“Frankly, I don’t want to spend a dime (or a minute of my time) on marketing that I can’t measure,” says marketing expert Shawn Meldrum.
Account-based marketing data gives you the facts, nothing but the facts, which then can be interpreted to determine how much and how often a potential prospect interacts with your company, which reflects with real-time numbers the interest they have in your product or service. Data provides essential facts so you know who is interacting the most, based on email open rates, click-throughs, downloads and visits to your website.
Essentially, you’ll have a better idea of what your customers are thinking, based on the facts gleaned from the data you collect from account-based marketing platforms such as True Influence’s InsightBASE.
The intent signals picked up by such platforms allow you to identify accounts that are in the process of researching your product or service, so you can target them effectively.
Marketing doesn’t work if you don’t have real knowledge about your customer base. Fact-based marketing data puts that knowledge at your fingertips.
Those who are the most active are expressing the most interest, and are more likely to go from prospective clients to consumers, so they should be ranked higher on the sales funnel, and personalized marketing should be targeted toward them.
Knowing who is the most interested in your product or service allows you to specifically target your marketing dollars in their direction, making the most efficient and effective use of your resources and marketing dollars.
It Helps You Find Accounts That Are Not Part of Your Marketing Funnel
It’s easy to focus on the accounts that you have already established, but what about the ones that aren’t on your radar?
Fact-based marketing sneaks into the nooks and crannies of the internet and finds potential prospects that are interested in your product or service thanks to the digital impressions they’ve left behind.
Data shows you which accounts are showing interest in your product or service based on their research, which data-gathering platforms can determine thanks to the digital footprint that account leaves behind like a trail of valuable breadcrumbs.
That’s especially important, because you may find a lead that is outside your list of top-tier candidates, someone you may have missed if you hadn’t been using fact-based data to guide your marketing process.
Now that you know they’re interested, you have a chance to begin marketing to that particular lead as soon as they’ve begun the research process, putting your company at the top of their list and potentially blocking out noise from your competitors.
By making the first move, you’re putting yourself in your prospect’s line of vision, giving you a chance to bring them into your sales funnel.
It Allows You to Better Identify New Industries to Enter
A business can only succeed through growth, and maintaining the same client base from the same industries will only let you get so far.
Finding a way for your product or service to serve new industries and penetrate new markets is vital to growth, but how do you know which industries might be open to your entry into their market?
Fact-based marketing, that’s how.
The data it proves gives you insight into which new industries might be suitable as new, open marketplaces for your product or service, so you can target new marketing in that direction.
By analyzing the data that you’ve gathered through your platform, you have the intelligence and metrics you need to determine which companies from new industries have been searching out your keywords, interacting with your website or researching your product or service.
You can even determine what industries your competitors might be considering, so you can create a marketing campaign that shows potential prospects why your product or service is a better option.
Real-time, fact-based data helps put your marketing team ahead of the competitors, paving the way for your sales team to reel in new leads that they might before not have considered.
Use Your Best Accounts to Find Look-Alikes Who Will Like You, Too
Every marketer has top-tier accounts that not only drive the bulk of marketing, but also help determine the direction much of their marketing campaigns take.
Those top-tier accounts, and the data they offer through their digital footprints, not only help you build your buyer persona, creating an image of exactly who your ideal consumer is so that you not only create campaigns that are geared toward them, but also help you better brand yourself to meet their needs.
That approach, however, is as limited as sticking to a single industry, unless you use the data gathered from your top-tier accounts to find look-alikes that also have the potential to be in the market for your product or service.
Look-alikes are companies that, based on compiled data and algorithms, resemble your top-tier clients, and could be part of your dream portfolio, that collection of dream accounts that you long to have as part of your customer base. Ultimately, the best, most effective way to reach them is by using data, including information gleaned from accounts already in your portfolio that are similar to those dream accounts in some way, to develop marketing that meets their needs.
Because of the similarities between the look-alikes and your top-tier clients, your marketing will likely only require subtle tweaks in order to help snag the look-alike, especially so if that marketing material not only helps showcase your understanding of your prospect, but also your prospect’s peers.
Fact-based data gives you invaluable tools to determine your potential clients’ real needs, based on searches, background and a variety of other information gathered through intent signals they’ve sent. It also gives you as a marketer a chance to get ahead of that potential prospect by delivering real-time information to help encourage them to become part of your dream-team portfolio.
Find Accounts with Technologies That Complement Your Company Solutions
By compiling and analyzing data – fact-based platforms can track installed technologies, creating a list of accounts that currently use a certain product – you can find accounts that have technology in place that could be enhanced by your product or service.
That knowledge allows you to create marketing that not only showcases how well your two products would work when bundled together, but also how well the two could enhance the potential prospect’s productivity, efficiency or bottom line.
The resulting collaboration of product or service could in the short term make a client happy, but it could also create a lasting partnership designed to forge solutions to problems that companies have not yet recognized as such.
“Collaboration is no longer just a strategy: it is the key to long-term business success and competitiveness. Businesses that realize this sooner rather than later will be the ones who win the game and succeed in the new global economy,” Bob Mudge, president of Consumer and Mass Business at Verizon, told Fast Company in 2014.
The benefits of collaboration have only grown in the past few years, and will continue to be one of the keys to stronger, more successful businesses.
According to ITSMA, while marketing is both an art and a science, the science of it all is quickly taking over.
There will always be the need for art – never mind that some experts are suggesting that robots will soon take the place of creatives, despite the passion for their product they just don’t possess – but science does have a place. Data gives the creatives the tools they need to improve their work, creating more effective marketing and developing a client base that continues to grow thanks to fact-based, targeted marketing campaigns.