This month, we’re excited to have Tamara Graves, senior vice president of Silverpop partner NetProspex, back as a guest blogger, sharing her insights on five ways to make the most of your B2B marketing “garden.” Tamara previously shared her top database spring-cleaning tips with us, and now that we’re in the midst of the summer season, she’s offering up a few helpful B2B “gardening” tips:
As a marketer, developing leads for sales is a lot like farming a garden. Many of the challenges you face can be solved by employing similar tactics used to keep a garden green. Here are five tips to help your marketing garden bear crops and make you a master green thumb!
1. Plot your land – Like a gardener plots their garden, you should start with a plan. Research your buyer personas to understand their goals, pain points and buying process. Align personas as much as possible to associated job titles, company sizes, industries and other criteria. You can use this information to organize your database by persona.
Just as trailing plants grow on a trellis and upright plants need stakes for support, each of your target buyers has special needs. Understanding your target buyer personas and organizing your database by persona allows you to develop and send messages specific to the pain points of each.
Silverpop Product Evangelist Ellen Valentine said at Amplify 2012, "It's easy to get caught up in features and benefits, instead of living the life of customers." Conducting research about your target buyer and documenting it will inform how and what you communicate to them and ensure you’re on point and relevant to your target buyer.
2. Check your soil – Just as a farmer ensures fertile soil prior to planting, marketers need to get a handle on the composition of their marketing data. Research shows that 25 percent of a given B2B marketing database contains critical errors. Prepare your marketing database for growth by identifying and removing bad data, combining duplicates, and removing poorly targeted records. Once you've created fertile ground, leads will have room to grow.
3. Seed your garden - For a bountiful crop, you’ll need to plant enough seeds, as not every one will bear fruit. As such, you may need more names for your marketing programs than what's available in your database today, particularly after conducting a thorough cleansing.
Use a marketing funnel, based on your conversion rates, at each stage of the funnel to help estimate the number of records you'll need. Try this handy demand gen funnel calculator. If you require additional targeted contacts, turn to a data provider who has a transparent, robust quality-control process and can meet your exact targeting needs.
4. Get the weeds out regularly. Bad contact records are like weeds in a garden. They muck up your marketing automation and prevent your crops from growing to their full potential. Employ a regular cleansing process to get rid of the pesky bad records. It’s important to do so, as the longer incorrect records remain in the database, the more your programs will suffer. Keeping your database up to date allows you better predictive capabilities for your programs, eliminates sender reputation risk, and improves your conversion rates.
5. Add fertilizer – Fertilizer gives a boost to your garden, as the food helping plants thrive. The marketing equivalent comes in the form of targeting and segmentation criteria in your database. Ensure you have as much demographic, firmographic and behavioral information as possible on your target buyers and leverage your marketing automation to engage with them in different, highly relevant ways. And, while it takes some thought, establishing a strategy for obtaining this information and building it into your program workflows will improve your lead crops considerably. Consider:
- Marketing automation features that capture behavioral information
- Progressive profiling form use
- Registration form data append
- Projects to append your database with demographics, firmographics, and insights that reveal specific technology use.
By following these five steps each season for maintaining your marketing garden, you’ll be sure to see your crop of leads grow and flourish!
NetProspex drives B2B lead generation as a partner for targeted prospect lists, data cleansing and profiling analytics to understand data for optimal marketing results. Visit Netprospex.com for more information.
Related Blog Posts:
1) “Behavioral Marketing: What It Is and Why It’s So Exciting”
2) “5 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Database”
3) “Facebook for B2B — Generating ‘Likes’ and Leads on the World’s Largest Social Network”