Market intelligence is a comprehensive understanding of a marketplace. But it is ultimately a means to various ends — better insights, more effective data-driven decision making, more compelling marketing, increased ROI, etc. In this post, SimilarTech CEO Chen Levanon explores three ways of leveraging market intelligence to make better decisions and improve ROI. In particular, she focuses on applications of technology intelligence — a complete understanding of the technologies used by competing firms.
Stephen Kraus, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, Market-Intelligence.io
From Market Intelligence to Data-Driven Marketing: Three Examples of Putting Market Intelligence Into Action
If you want to identify important trends within both your marketing campaigns and audience in an effort to cater to their preferences, you need data. Data-driven marketing isn’t just for enterprises to fine-tune and deploy their marketing efforts more effectively: it’s become an industry standard from would-be buyers as well. It’s a proven method too:66% of marketing leaders report an increase in new customers as a result of data-driven initiatives.
When conducted properly, data-driven marketing can maximize the efficiency of your marketing efforts and can empower you to carry out a more customer-centric approach, as evidenced by these best examples:
1.Targeted email campaigns through personalized outreach
A major reason why data-driven marketing is so powerful is that it allows businesses to personalize the hell out of customer experience. Personalization should be the gold standard for any marketing department worth its salt because if you cater to the specific needs and pain points of your prospects and customers, you’ll generate a high response rate. According to a study by Monetate, 79% of organizations that exceeded revenue goals had a documented personalization strategy in place.
By keeping the above in mind, you can take your email campaigns one step closer to stardom by delivering high-level personalization that goes way beyond including the name in the subject line. For instance, you can use behavior-triggered emails: real-time reactions to how your prospects and customers are using your service or your competitors’. You can get notified when a particular or any company adds or removes a certain technology (these often become hottest leads, prospects you didn’t even know existed), as well as reach out as soon as they stop using a competing solution. If your prospect installs a correlating/overlapping technology, you can contact them immediately and show how they can do even better combined with your solution. Changes are inevitable, the trick is to be ready for them and adapt to stay relevant and competitive.
2. Identifying your best buyers through better segmentation
Access to all sorts of customer data and insights allow you to identify the game-changing characteristics that make up your best buyers. These semi-real representations, known as buyer personas, are vital for everything from developing targeted content to customer acquisition and retention. The secret to data-driven marketing is to tailor your campaigns to your buyer personas: their specific wants, needs, and interests.
Marketing technology can help you gather all the necessary information needed to create precise buyer personas by dividing your target audience into different segments. A common approach in B2B markets is segmentation based on company size, where large companies typically have different processes than their smaller counterparts. Subsequently, further, more sophisticated classification can be made into those who are identified as strategic in the long run, based on their revenue, for instance (arguably the future of the business, those who are really important and therefore key) and those who are smaller and can be considered more of a transactional typology.
These firmographics are perfectly fine and may suffice in some cases but for a truly sustainable competitive advantage, you need a segmentation based on behavior or needs. Some prospects are more demanding and want a full range of features, while some want a more stripped down variety, while still others are led by the price tag. A peek at their tech stack can reveal their business focus and allow you to identify your best buyers so you can treat them accordingly. This is an all-important source of knowledge because not only do you get a complete overview of the technologies your prospect is using, you can see if they are using a competitor’s product, as well as if they have a stack compatible with your solution. Another option is to use a Website Analysis tool, which allows you to uncover any company’s tech adoption history by gaining under-the-surface insights. The more you know about the technologies a company has removed or added, the more you can personalize conversations and properly segment potential customers.
Better engagement with key metrics and KPIs
With better segmentation and targeted content, marketers can form meaningful relationships with their audience at every level of the buying process and nurture these relationships so that when the time comes for buyers to make a purchase, your business will be top of mind. Data-driven marketing allows you to pinpoint exactly which content is progressing buyers down the sales funnel so you can optimize campaigns accordingly. This can lead to improved conversion rates and positive return on investment. However, you have to measure to know what sticks and what slips.
Besides tracking how many leads you obtained, consider digesting how many of them are marketing qualified leads (MQLs) – there’s no point in wasting time and resources on leads that will never transform into customers. Enterprise-wise, large purchases are the result of a deliberate process where multiple people are involved. Hence, it’s also important to know where they are in the sales process (prospects downloading your eBook for research purposes have different needs than those who signed up for a consultation) as this is the data that will give you a complete overview into your campaigns’ performance and what needs optimizing.
For example, if there’s anything SaaS companies must be aware of, it’s their churn rate. Data provides insights into when customers churn, which can be used to drive campaigns aimed at decreasing the thinning of the customer base. Once again, real-time tracking can do the trick by monitoring when your customers enter a trial with a competing technology, opening up more marketing opportunities to cater to their needs. Data-driven campaigns offer a closer view of your customers, providing insights into where improvements are needed. This way, your marketing team can focus on the specific aspects that are crucial for your audience instead of working on the overall experience.
Putting data-driven marketing into effect means having to truly understand your data: what you already possess, being aware of what’s out there for grabs, as well as analyzing and applying newfound insights to raise your marketing efforts to new heights. To put it in a different perspective: it means turning words and numbers into conclusive actions that upgrade marketing processes and answer the specific, if not unique demands of your target audience. Customer and prospect data has the power to affect every aspect of a marketer’s strategy on a large scale by being personal and relevant. Implementing a personalization strategy impacts your ROI, and that’s something everyone within the organization can get behind. Data-driven marketing is no longer the future: it’s the present and with the right Sales Insights Platform, you’ll have the technology intelligence you need to propel your business forward.