Going Beyond Data-Driven Marketing To True Intent-Driven Campaigns

Marketers may be pledging allegiance to data-driven marketing, but still aren’t sure how to make good on that pledge.

According to a study from Forbes Insights, 64% of marketing executives say data is crucial to their marketing success. Despite this, and despite the fact that there’s a huge amount of data available, most marketers are not successfully applying data to their campaigns.

More than three-quarters of these marketers would “like” to use data to build messages that resonate with niche audiences, and almost half would “like” to adjust creative and messaging in real time. But only 14% say they have the tools to accomplish these goals.

While they may have the data, it’s not “driving” very much. To solve this, marketers must ask themselves:
-- What kind of focus leads to actionable ideas?
-- How is buyer intent best measured and acted on?
-- How can knowing these things predict a wider universe of new opportunities?

Let’s take focus first. In B2B, the focus should be firmly on account-based marketing (ABM). The value of ABM lies in targeting the entire team of decision-makers within target companies (the accounts). These teams of five to 10 individuals jointly arrive at, or influence, buying decisions. SiriusDecisions estimates that 92% of B2B marketers consider ABM “extremely” or “very” important to their marketing efforts, a clear indication of its value.

Next, there’s intent. B2B decision-making teams can be anywhere in the buying journey. Some are beginning research, others are comparison shopping, and still others are requesting demos or sales calls. Therefore, ABM should be driven by technology that can identify who the hand-raisers are within each account, and who has decision-making power.

For ABM, a powerful approach to content marketing involves developing an iterative loop, and determining which content assets best uncover hand-raisers who demonstrate intent to buy. Marketers should also know the assets that resonate with each vertical audience and each persona in order to drive better engagement with each segment, and ultimately, better business outcomes.

Finally, there’s prediction. By taking the intent proclivities within your own database and extrapolating them, you may discover new prospects who are already in-market. This can create an entirely new universe of prospects.

This isn’t simple “look-alike” profiling. Using proprietary analytics technology, predictive intent employs massive amounts of B2B data—hundreds or thousands of data points, proclivities, activities, profiles, previous actions, and potential new ones—to filter vast numbers of decision-makers and add the right ones to your list of potential hand-raisers.

Here’s where content and campaign optimization shines, where successful assets that engage your known accounts have the potential to reach and engage previously unknown prospects.

With these three approaches, you’ll be able to take the knowledge gained from data to drive meaningful insights and prompt specific marketing actions. You’ll be able to go beyond mere data-driven marketing to intent-driven, actionable marketing. Your campaigns will be smarter, your prospects will be more engaged, and your lead list will grow exponentially.

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