Data is everywhere. No matter what industry you are in, it is the catalyst for understanding: understanding how your prospects interact with your products, your company and your competition. Without data in the digital age, you lack a competitive edge over your competition.
Data unlocks doors. For B2B marketers, it gives them the unmatched ability to size up the marketplace and ultimately understand who your target audience is and how you should go about reaching them. However, with all the data available in the B2B ecosystem, the big question for marketers is: what can you do with data once you have it?
The Marketing Jigsaw Puzzle
According to IBM, approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created per day. So much data is created daily, that 90% of the data in the world was created in just the past two years. It’s overwhelming. No wonder we don’t know what to do with it.
Making your data actionable in B2B is tricky, especially with how many different types of data are available. Should you look for a particular data set or should you consider multiple sets? What does each specific type of data mean? More importantly, what will each unlock for your marketing efforts? By properly aligning your marketing goals and having a clear idea of what you are ultimately trying to achieve in the long run, your data will begin to fall into place with the right support system built around it.
Building the Frame
To start answering the above questions, you must first start with your goals. If you are like most B2B marketers, you need to properly measure engagement. Who’s engaging with your ads or who’s downloading your content. Eventually, this activity needs to be monitored as prospects move through your pipeline.
However, unlike B2C, B2B marketers should stop focusing on the individual and measure engagement at the account level. Sonjoy Ganguly, SVP Product Management at Madison Logic, has a simple explanation: “every buying committee is comprised of individuals and you want to reach them all. So when more individuals from one account appear in your pipeline, you can assume that that account is likely ready for a sales call.”
Now, how do you monitor this activity? The answer is with data. Data is what feeds the most successful marketing campaigns and the most successful marketers. In 2016, those marketers have been investing heavily in account based marketing because it is the best solution to manage your data and achieve a positive ROI on your marketing investment.
The Skeleton Key
The ultimate key to success with account based marketing is finding a provider that has a mix of data and understands what to do with it. Without that understanding, your ABM efforts will be firing blindly and you may end up with a hodge-podge mix of prospects who may not be part of the buying committee that every marketer is trying to find.
So what should you be looking for in your ABM vendor when it comes to data? Your ABM programs should be a “one-stop shop” where you can manage all your account activity with a robust data supply that mixes account data, cross-device targeting, demographic data, firmographic data, intent data, interaction data, predictive data, first-party and third-party data.
Why the mix? The variety of data will give you the depth and insight into your audience that you would be unable to get when utilizing just one form of data. To best understand your customers, you must reach them where they are and the only way to do that is with data.
To understand more about data and how you can achieve success in the B2B ecosystem, take a look at this infographic: the B2B Data Cheat Sheet.