By Vicki Godfrey, Chief Marketing Officer at Avention
It’s a prospect that has tantalised Marketing for a generation: the potential for customer data, intelligence and insight to combine in ways that allow us to predict revenue and growth opportunities. Now, new advances are enabling marketers to be more strategic than ever before.
The results from our recent survey revealed that over half of B2B marketers believe that making data strategic was a priority for their company. We at Avention think there are 2 primary factors driving this move towards more strategic market planning: easier access to data and more advanced technology.
The data and technology mix
It’s clear that the promise of harnessing near real-time information, combined with more traditional sources, can revolutionise marketers’ ability to drive strategy. But this data is only useful if it can be accessed, visualised and interpreted to deliver insight that’s immediately actionable in the real world.
Today, online tools can combine internal and external data with a vast array of predictive insights, which puts power in marketers’ hands to use the right data to develop the right strategies. One example is Avention’s OneSource DataVision platform, which combines global data from over 100 sources to give marketers the ability to access greater insight about existing accounts, identify look-alike prospects, target key decision makers, and act on triggers and predictive business signals.
Putting it into practice
So what does this convergence of data sources and technology mean for a strategic marketing approach? One of the most significant developments we’re seeing is the rise of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) as a core element of organisations’ marketing strategies. In a separate survey of over 100 global marketers we carried out, 90 per cent said they see ABM as relevant to their businesses and 86 per cent are confident it will drive growth.
Data really is the foundational building block and the necessary fuel for any account-based strategy. It’s the combination of internal and external data, analysed, and presented in a way that’s easy to understand that makes ABM something that’s feasible. There are hundreds of questions you should be able to ask yourself about your own particular market using this data. These characteristics can be mapped to accounts to help you understand which companies are more likely to buy your products.
With target accounts selected you can move on to realising potential, first by validating the targets you have identified, mapping contact coverage and assessing the extent of account penetration to date. Then you can identify the most relevant and effective contacts based on function and role to ensure you have the right coverage for growth.
Now we really get down to business, adding depth to the insight created by your account map. This can include financial information, key recent business events, and purchasing intent information. As well as company data, you can harness understanding of contacts, with comprehensive address data (email/phone/mobile/social media), seniority and how long they have been at the company.
Combining these approaches will allow you to build a strategy that results in relevant, timely campaigns and messaging to engage your targets. When you look at the boost that data-fuelled ABM brings, it makes you wonder how you ever marketed without it.
Ready for launch
I’ve spoken before about the phenomenon of ‘data paralysis’ acting as a drag on Marketing’s evolution into a powerful business decision maker. But access to internal and external data, combined with the technologies that drive insight, shows that data is now energising our industry. Strategic marketing insight is ready for launch.