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3 Ways Intelligence is Changing the Face of B2B Marketing

Posted June 8, 2016

3 Ways Intelligence is Changing the Face of B2B Marketing

Posted June 8, 2016

Every day, we see how fact-based intelligence improves our customers’ strategies, operations, and bottom lines.

A few weeks ago at the SiriusDecisions Summit, however, we had a chance to get out of the trenches for a big-picture view of the trends that are making marketing intelligence such a hot topic. We spent three days sharing notes with other solution providers and talking to countless visitors asking “What does all this mean for me?”

Based on our own discussions at the Summit, there are three answers to that question: more efficiency, more speed, and more capabilities. Here’s why.

More efficiency: intelligence is boosting ROI

Whenever a hot new topic, idea, or buzzword hits the marketing world, ROI often seems like an afterthought. If a shiny new marketing strategy works, that’s what matters, right?

Well yes, but the thing is that most marketing does work to some extent. The real issue is whether it gets effective results given your budget.

Improved intelligence on buyer interest – where there’s a predicted match with your product or service, for example – helps you put your limited marketing dollars where they will count most.

If you know, for example, that your website is receiving increased web traffic from IP addresses at a prospect’s headquarters, you may invest in developing a landing page or other digital assets tailored to that prospect. The likelihood of closing a deal with that prospect goes up, as does the potential ROI associated with those customized assets. And the ROI continues to go up after initial deal, as more data on the customer relationship supports ongoing sales in the future.

Now,  some of this was old news to Summit visitors. But we did notice that a lot of our discussions started off focusing on something other than ROI…and more on if our capabilities were even possible. Like we said – it’s often an afterthought. But it is where the conversations almost always ended up. At the end of the day, improved ROI is and will continue to be the key driver behind the popularity of data-driven marketing.

More speed: fact-based marketing “ships” faster

We were interested to hear from many marketers at the Summit that their colleagues in other departments, especially sales, seem to “get” data-driven marketing and, accordingly, campaigns tend to get fast tracked for approval.

That’s because it relies more on numbers and less on personal opinions from marketers (or anyone else, for that matter). It takes much of the upfront guesswork out of the planning equation, with the result being a faster green light on campaigns from stakeholders.

Moving forward, we predict that improved intelligence will give organizations more flexibility to move quickly on new opportunities, assess their profitability in real time, and adjust accordingly.

Pursuing new business, especially high stakes B2B deals with long sales cycles, will always involve a calculated risk. But having a data-backed assessment framework in place makes calculating it easier and more transparent. When management can see and measure the “quick wins” leading up to a big deal, the decision to chase it comes faster.

More capabilities: an array of new marketing technology exists to harness the power of data

At the Summit, we were one of over a hundred other solution providers helping marketers utilize their data in a variety of ways. Discover it, enhance it, visualize it, analyze it, predict it… to name a few ways.

The way InsightBASE™ uses data, of course, is to match it to real prospects. That means the living, breathing decision makers who close deals on behalf of their organizations.

No matter what marketing technology “stack” of solutions ends up being right for your business, however, you should know that you have more ways to put your data to work than ever before. The trend will continue over the coming years as solution providers like us continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible in the space.

And finally, a general takeaway from the Summit, taking into account all of the above points, was that improved intelligence is opening up a new frontier in B2B marketing. It’s an exciting (and profitable) time for businesses that make the most of it.