• List Intelligence Tools Transform Obsolete Data Strategies

    Marketing departments often find them­selves struggling to find a balance between low respondent numbers and unqualified respondents. How do IT marketing teams address this challenge? The key is increasing both quality and quantity through analytics, role-appropriate messaging and precise data segmentation.

    Identifying target contacts and accounts

    The first step in creating a data strategy is identification of potential accounts. Think about three major categories: new prospects, existing customers and lapsed customers. Your target account profile can include demo­graphic information: industry, company size, geographic region, or even more specific information like type of software or hardware installed. Then, your data partner should convert this list of demographics into a list of actual account names and domains.

    With your account list in-hand, think about target contacts for each of your account types. You should consider profiles for three general categories: buyer, executive/influencer and end user. For example, if you are a provider of engineering software, your end user might be an engineer, your buyer might be in IT, and your influencer might be the CFO.

    Current customers and new prospects: Securing and growing your base

    Targeting buyer contacts allows marketing to expand the reach of your sales team – keep­ing existing contacts informed and reaching new potential buyers at current customers and new prospects. A wider footprint can also help retain business if organizational changes happen. For existing customers, targeting executive/influencers establishes your product as valuable to their organiza­tion — not just an expense item on a budget sheet. At prospect accounts, the goal is to get executive/influencers familiar with your brand, building positive associations, before the purchase decision is on the table.  Marketing to end users can encourage product adoption by current customers and prospects – and can actually help drive a purchased decision from within.

    Lapsed customers: Winning them back

    The challenge with marketing to lapsed ac­counts is that customers leave for many different reasons. For buyers and executive/influencers, highlight competitive wins or benchmarks, third party evaluations, and any new features or products that add substantial value to your offering. Finally, give end users opportunities to interact with your product or service with risk-free trials, free products, and high-value engagements that might help get them familiar with your product and advocating for you.

    The Solution – New Tools, New Ways to Improve Segmentation

    Building a campaign strategy around en­hanced segmentation and expanded reach typically means adding new contacts to your database through third party data sources. If done properly, this results in an ongoing stream of fresh contacts flowing into the sales pipeline. On the other hand, if your incoming data quality is poor, your marketing efforts will be largely wasted and inefficient.

    Many vendors now offer sophisticated tools that blend analytics, historical knowledge and approaches that allow database managers to target records from not just one, but a cross-section of the industry’s best third‐party purchase and rental data sources. By pulling targeted, de-duplicated records from a cross-section of third party data feeds, IT marketers ensure fixed costs, saved time and improved results.

    If you are still using traditional list brokers to meet the growing demand for leads in an increasingly competitive market, it is time to update your database marketing strategy.

    Brian Hession was named “Most Successful Direct Marketer under 30” by the New England Direct Marketing Association (NEDMA) and an Expert Consultant by MarketingSherpa.  He is president of Oceanos, a List IntelligenceTM company.

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