July 5th, 2013
One of the top pieces of marketing buzz in 2013 has been around how Big Data has transformed the marketing mix. While the use of Big Data in digital marketing has certainly helped us marketers make smarter decisions, some argue that it hasn't transformed much in our ability to guide the buyer’s journey. Are you among those who think Big Data does nothing more than guides marketers on their spending journey? To transform the buying experience in the BtoB space, two main levers in the marketer’s toolbox remain: sales-connected-marketing and content.
Today’s post will focus on sales-connected-marketing. That’s what gives CEOs goose bumps. Enter the hero: the Big Data-carrying, smart, digital marketer. Here’s some proof, straight from the Sales Engine trenches, that supports the fact: when sales is connected to marketing, bottom lines skyrocket.
About half of our clients’ pipelines at any given time are composed of marketing-sourced opportunities. These opportunities are with companies who were influenced six times on average by marketing in some way. The rest are 100% sales-sourced. Good stuff; sales is supposed to be made up of hunters, right? But what happens to close rates when a multi-touch, sales-connected-marketing strategy is deployed? Close rates increase 74%. Bottom line: sales-connected-marketing leads to buyers who are better educated, more qualified, and more likely to buy.
The marketing-to-sales handoff is critical to successful lead conversion. If Big Data is making marketers smarter, does their job end at the handoff? NO! Marketing is equipped to deliver leads to sales, packaged with a digital accounting of information that will make that first outbound connection with the prospect as effective and meaningful as possible: what kind of content turned them on? What is their interest score? How did they find you?
Now is marketing off the hook? NO! Digital demand generation can and should continue during the buyer’s journey. Through the use of marketing automation, staying connected to buyers at every stage of the buying cycle has never been so easy. Using nurture marketing to spoon-feed relevant, value-added information that assists in the buying process can have a huge impact on the deal’s likeliness to close. Nurture marketing is four to five times more effective in getting recipients to read your email and more than twenty times more likely to get your recipients to engage than a typical, direct, and outbound email. Think: sending high-level, thought leadership content that establishes subject matter expertise while the initial evaluation is taking place, or sending case studies or client testimonials when you know the prospect is evaluating alternatives and checking references.
The most important thing to keep in mind when managing a sales-connected-marketing strategy is that it requires a constant give-and-take between both groups. A steady stream of feedback will keep the approach fresh, keep both groups engaged, and keep sales poised to deploy the empowerment tools to make the best use of Big Data.
Interested in learning more about the ways Big Data is impacting marketing leaders? Our CEO, Paul Rafferty, shares his insights in a recent article in Texas CEO Magazine. Looking for tips on how to create digital conversations that drive conversion? Learn how to maintain a virtual and literal dialogue with your prospects.