The ability to reach sales and marketing objectives is largely contingent on data. And, in 2021, the B2B industry underwent a monumental shift toward intent data: 66% of B2B marketers reported inclusion of intent data in their sales and marketing tactics.
Caught in that sudden rush for reliable data, CMOs—like young soccer players—are all chasing the same ball. As the use of intent data becomes more ubiquitous, all CMOs are relying on the same information to inform campaigns.
How can account-based marketers continue to tap into valuable intelligence while gaining the competitive edge to fully improve sales pipeline and revenue?
The Current State of B2B Marketing Data
B2B marketers now have various data sources at their disposal. One common source is intent data, which arms CMOs with dynamic, account-level intelligence gathered through a Web user's behaviors that signify a customer's willingness to buy a product or solution, or a similar product from a competitor.
The ability to hyper-target an account or prospect at the most opportune time during the active buying journey is what ultimately drives conversion rates during a campaign.
Intent data allows marketers to filter through the crowd to garner information on potential buyers who are reading articles or other pieces of content relevant to the business or campaign. Intent data also takes into account the frequency of a potential buyer's visits, downloads, clicks, and opened emails of branded content.
Technographic data is another common source; it provides marketers with an understanding of the infrastructure, applications, and other technologies being used by prospective customers. Armed with such information, marketers glean insight into the way a customer operates and find opportunities to provide better-tailored strategies that lead to increased and rapid sales.
Historical purchase data is another source of data B2B marketers rely on. By using algorithms and machine-learning technology in predictive analytics, marketers are better equipped with more well-rounded information on buyers distinguished by complex and unique habits. Through a comprehensive understanding of each customer afforded by buyer intelligence, marketers can more accurately predict the likelihood of the conversion of a sale as well as the likelihood of customer lifetime value.
In addition to hyper-targeting capabilities informed by past behaviors, savvy marketers use historical data in sales forecasting and in creating marketing strategies and campaigns.
The Missing Element
Although the aforementioned data sources are bountiful and have an incredible ability to drive campaign performance, they are pervasive in the B2B sector, and so most marketers use similar data streams to influence their campaigns. To go back to the soccer analogy, the data presents a game of newbie soccer players who are all focused on running after the ball, versus more experienced players who are strategically placed on the field and are waiting for the ball to come into their zone.
So how do marketers place themselves in those strategic zones? By fully understanding what content will win the hearts and minds of customers. Historical engagement data is one of the most powerful signals, and B2B marketers can focus on that missing element to help them identify the accounts that they need to prioritize.
Most B2B marketers neglect historical engagement data. Historical engagement data helps clients better understand how frequently their accounts are being targeted across multiple digital channels and which personas are being singled out within the buying committee. That can help B2B marketers better understand purchase signals.
Historical engagement data better positions companies and personas to respond and engage across channels and calculate the most opportunistic time to activate campaigns, as well as what content to use based on the topics that prospects have exhibited positive engagement toward.
B2B marketing today is an overcrowded soccer field full of players with no strategic plan. To intelligently play the game and improve sales pipeline and revenue, marketers have to cut through the clutter and plot a direct line to accounts that are more likely to be converted into sales during a campaign.
That differentiator is historical engagement data, coupled with other intent signals, which can effectively target companies at critical times during the purchase cycle. By identifying and prioritizing accounts with strategic campaigns based on comprehensive and holistic data, marketers will score more goals and convert their best accounts, faster.
More Resources on B2B Marketing Data
You may like these other MarketingProfs articles related to Metrics & Measurement:
- Stepping Out of the Dark Funnel: How to Shed Light on What Is Not Registered by Your Pixels (Article 2 of 2)
- Four Common Content Reporting Challenges and How to Fix Them
- Stepping Out of the Dark Funnel: How to Shed Light on What Is Not Registered by Your Pixels (Article 1 of 2)
- The Future of TV Ad Measurement Is TBD. Here's What Marketers Should Do About It.
- The Essential Social Media KPIs: What to Track on 7 Platforms [Infographic]
- Google Analytics 4 Is Almost Here—It's Time to Test and Prepare