An easy response to our title question would be by the data. However, in data-driven B2B marketing, the answer is not as easy as you may think. The measure of success in Business to Business (B2B) is somewhat different from Business to Customer (B2C).
On the whole, almost anyone doing business online uses some form of marketing data to drive their business efforts. On the other hand, for those rare businesses still offline, a data-driven B2B marketing strategy may not look the same or have the same effects. All online and off businesses need to understand these differences and exactly how data-driven B2B marketing is supposed to work for them.
What is Data-Driven B2B Marketing
Let’s start with data-driven marketing. Data-driven marketing is the use of the insights and strategies that are developed from the analysis of big data. The process is similar in data-driven B2B marketing but with the insights focused mainly on other companies. In general, B2B marketing is dedicated to creating better business marketing decisions that allow businesses with mutual goals to connect at the right time and place.
Data-driven B2B marketing is vital to the success of all marketing campaigns as many of these campaigns rely on marketing data. Without the results of market testing, reliable data and analytics, many marketing strategies would not be effective.
These include: –
- Personalized Marketing focuses on the personalization of the customer journey and experience.
- Inbound Marketing has a basis in organic content creation and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) principles.
- High Response Marketing needs predictive analysis that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create responsive marketing and advertising strategies.
- Omnichannel Marketing uses multiple channels to present a cohesive, personalized customer experience and brand message.
- Digital Marketing includes digital display, email, content, SEO, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), social media, and mobile marketing and is the basis of all online marketing strategies.
B2B marketing data helps companies choose their strategy, audience, people and decide how and when to use them. Though 35% of small businesses remain offline, digital data can still assist in creating their marketing strategy once there is additional data collection happening on the ground. Data collection, data enhancement, and validation will be tedious for these small businesses without AI and automation.
Therefore, to still have the latest relevant data, they must invest more time and money into their data-driven marketing strategy. Due to the increased cost and effort, some small businesses may forgo dependence on data and try to solve their marketing, human resources and sales issues independently. Which, in the end, will still be costly to solve through trial and error. Not only that, the marketing data gathered from these failed experiences are not widely shared, thereby ending up not helping anyone outside of their geographic area or field.
Thus, it is essential for the growth of all offline small and medium enterprises (SME’s) to understand how to budget and time-saving when there is business data already available for use. For that reason, partnering with a data-driven marketing company can be the digital lifeline that saves your brick-and-mortar store from slow sales death.
What Makes Data-Driven B2B Marketing Successful
Again the simple response to that question would be data. But when asked what type of data? That’s when most business owners get confused, especially when B2B marketers start quoting stats on lead generation, clicks or open rates. Business owners don’t care about that. All they care about is how it leads to sales.
This confusing data is probably one of the many reasons, so many small businesses are still offline. They don’t understand how these metrics can lead to sales and their ultimate success. And they don’t understand the technology that drives these metrics and the speed and accuracy of the results.
Naturally, typical key performance indicators (KPI’s) such as total sales, total sales by product type, and total operating costs would come into play. However, a few are preferred by critical decision-makers in the marketing and sales departments.
- Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) are the cost of acquiring a new customer and should include the cost of sale efforts such as demonstrations, data entry and even sales departmental costs.
- Customer Retention Costs (CRC) are the costs of keeping a customer. It can include loyalty programs, customer experience staff training, onboarding costs, and reflecting on the lifetime value.
- Average Lead Response Time calculates how long your company responds to a lead. On average, it takes businesses 42 hrs to respond to a lead. However, this can be easily increased by using automated tools like live chat and email workflows.
- The conversion rate of marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) to Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) shows how long it takes to convert an MQL to SQL. It is calculated by (MQL/SQL)*100.
- Estimated Revenue by Lead Source is used to appraise marketing efforts used via various channels. This measurement is how you know emails work better than social media. It is calculated as a percentage of the total sales revenue for the period.
- Closed won opportunities by month/quarter – The percentage of deals that resulted in a sale. Calculated by (Number of Closed-Won Deals / Number of Total Closed Deals Won + Lost) * 100
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) helps quantify customer reviews and recommendations. NPS is calculated by the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors. Promoters are people who love your brand, and detractors are those that don’t.
- Sales pipeline velocity calculates how long it takes for a lead to move through the entire process from the first prospect to sales. Using this metric can help you create a better customer journey. Sales Velocity = (Number of Opportunities x Deal Value x Win Rate) / Length of Sales Cycle
Challenges in Data-Driven B2B Marketing
One of the main problems in creating an efficient data-driven B2B marketing strategy is (drum roll) the lack of adequate B2B marketing data. Ironic as that may sound, what most B2B marketers don’t consider are the numbers.
In B2C marketing, when you target a customer, there is the potential for at least a couple thousand of that type of person within a geographic area. In B2B, there may be 5, if you’re lucky, of that same targeted client within the same geographic area. This means the numbers coming in would look significantly less, but that doesn’t mean they are less important.
Strangely enough, this also means whatever results you do receive are more significant than that in B2C. This is because of the nature of B2B customers. Whereas in B2C, many marketing qualified leads do not guarantee sales qualified leads, in B2B marketing qualified leads are more likely to become sales qualified leads. This is due to B2B’s focus on building long-term relations, and because of that, they usually search you out and are more invested in your business.
Though this may benefit B2B marketers as it may reduce customer acquisition costs, it just means B2B marketers should focus on customer retention. As noted, for every 1000 B2C customers, there may be 1 B2B client, but let’s not forget that B2B clients can spend more than those 1000 customers over a year contract. Sadly, other problems make customer retention in B2B difficult. The lack of access to key decision-makers, long customer response times, and not maintaining the customer relationship is crucial in B2B marketing.
Another headache is found in defining the type of data needed. In large corporations, there is the tendency to collect data on everything and anything. This data may not be necessary for specific data-driven marketing campaigns or business goals. Then various departments end up storing and maintaining this unnecessary business data at a cost to the company.
Of course, this happens because their employees lack data management knowledge and don’t know how business data can be implemented into a B2B marketing strategy. Moreover, some companies don’t make the total commitment to a B2B data-driven marketing strategy. Therefore, they end up retaining useless customer and business data over time and, in some instances, reusing outdated data due to poor data management.
Creating A Successful Data-Driven B2B Marketing Campaign with FrescoData
We’re not called FrescoData for nothing. Our data-driven marketing company has provided and amassed fresh data for over ten years. Though B2B marketing isn’t known for being numbers-heavy, it doesn’t mean the marketing data you do accumulate will be inconclusive. It only means you need to understand what type of data is helpful to your B2B marketing goals and how to use it. And this is what we do at FrescoData.
We have several services that can help you with any marketing strategy.
Data Verification and Validation
First, let’s talk about data sources and compliance. As mentioned before, the figures coming from B2B will look significantly less on a spreadsheet than those from B2C. Thereby, it is crucial to have reputable and accurate data sources. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), CAN-Spam, and other compliance regulations will be required once you are handling and storing this data.
Now let’s move to data verification and validation. We provide data validation and data enhancement services because, as a reputable data validation services provider, we understand that your data needs to be clean and fresh. As a small business owner, especially if you are not online, not having compliant, relevant, verified data can put your business at risk and reduce the effectiveness of your B2B marketing strategy.
Analyze Your B2B Marketing Efforts
Data verification and validation are one thing, but once your business data is clean and ready, it must be segmented to clarify your insights. Aside from segmentation by stages in the customer journey, segmentation can also help you identify customers using various marketing channels en route to your sales page or store.
Proper data management using AI and automation assists in making analysis and data reporting easier. Analytics provides you with business KPI’s, customer data and market intelligence on client behavior, brand impact, competitors, and successful marketing channels. Keep in mind B2B customers do their research before seeking you out. Therefore your business data is important to them as well.
Create Your Target Audience and Customer Journey
Once your analytical insights help you define your target audience, it’s time for some buyer journey mapping. Without data verification and validation, targeting your ideal B2B client and their journey through your sales funnel or flywheel can severely impact customer experience. As 73% of customers prefer a personalized experience and B2B clients love to learn about you and stay true, it is vital to know your customer and their business.
Select Your Data-Driven Marketing Strategy
As you now know, a lot of marketing strategies can be data-driven. Data allows us to define our marketing channels and objectives, optimize content, create content for social media, and retarget when necessary. Since emails are number one for B2B, including them in a personalized marketing campaign is a great way to start.
At FrescoData, our email marketing campaigns are backed by the latest industry data. You can also use mobile-optimized emails, social media marketing and digital display advertising as part of an omnichannel marketing strategy. Email use is preferred by 83% of B2B marketers due to its ability to maximize compelling content plus transactional emails make 6x more money for businesses.
Using Data to Choose Your Teams
Implementation by team members is one of the recurring challenges in data-driven B2B marketing. The wrong people on your team can also affect product development, customer acquisition, experience and retention. Customer acquisition costs are rising and are already at least 5X for customer retention. One of the reasons behind this is the increased demand, thus higher prices for content marketers.
Since 80% of customers leave due to poor customer service, investing in the customer experience and well-trained staff can give you a better return on closed opportunities won. Business culture and employee behavioral data can choose the best fit and ensure a frictionless customer journey and experience.
Of course, once all this is done, you need to measure your performance through returns on investment (ROI) and then start again. If it seems complicated, it’s because it is. It’s why companies spend millions each year on entire marketing departments to complete these five tasks in their data-driven marketing strategy. Yet, they don’t have access to the marketing data unless they partner with us.
Whether your business is online or still offline, we have the business data from over 100 million B2B contacts and the experience to create the best data-driven B2B marketing strategy. In choosing our data-driven marketing company, you get data validation, data enhancement services, data-driven marketing strategy, and analytics to humanize big data to make it easier to understand and use.
At FrescoData, you can purchase B2B targeted marketing lists with key decision-makers from executive management and CEOs for your mobile-optimized email campaigns or retargeting strategy. Offline, we can create creative radio ads and mobile SMS campaigns. Partner with us and get the business marketing data you need for your next data-driven marketing strategy. Leave the metrics to us and contact FrescoData today!