One strategic approach is the adoption of radically customer-centric marketing -- allocating significant resources toward developing the deepest possible understanding of customers' roles, responsibilities, communities, hopes, dreams and aspirations -- moving far beyond the "title targeting" that has defined technology marketing for decades.
Know Your Customers
Personae are hot - but they are not new. Direct marketers have been using attitudinal and behavioral segmentation for decades. What is new is that the web enables more efficient development of personae based on how prospects interact with brands online -- and the use of personae is more efficient due to the hyper-targeting capabilities of online message delivery.
Additionally, the best technology marketers have added role-based profiles to their segmentation strategies - building profiles of multiple IT decision makers, capturing and leveraging understanding of each person's role in the purchase process and varying messaging based on their role.
Effective personae and role-based profile development requires a combination of approaches including:
? Primary research - qualitative and ethnographic "day-in-the-life" research
? Data analytics - utilizing sales, campaign and engagement data to understand the actual behavior of customers and prospects
? Sales force engagement - talking with your best salespeople to understand "deal dynamics" and translate that knowledge into targeting and messaging
Combining research, data analytics and sales engagement is a proven approach to building actionable personae that informs hyper-targeting and hyper-messaging for optimal campaign results.
Corporate Brand Matters - More Than Ever
Decades of research continues to prove that companies "buy" companies first, then products and solutions.
The web can trigger the hyper-development or hyper-destruction of brands. So given how quickly digital technology is changing marketing dynamics, how quickly people learn about the differences between one brand and another, and how quickly word spreads, getting the positioning of your brand "right" has never been more important.
Additionally, in a transparent and sharable environment, there are more ways than ever before to find out what matters to your brand constituencies. The best marketers listen to what audiences think and feel about the brand's products and services.
Smart brands collect and use this learning to build brand promises that are both different from competitors and optimally relevant to the customers they want to attract.
One of the most challenging tasks is identifying how to allocate finite resources (i.e., budget) into what increasingly feels like an infinite number of marketing channels.
A radically customer-centric approach helps identify the likely highest yielding channels through better understanding how customers collect information about competitive products and services.
Social media monitoring is increasingly playing a valuable role as peer recommendations remain among the most trusted sources of product information. Understanding where customers congregate and monitoring those conversations, is aiding in the development of more relevant channel plans.
Social media monitoring combined with traditional media consumption research and analytics is creating radically customer-centric, high performance media plans.
Drive Leads That Drive Sales
Still surprising are the number of organizations who value lead quantity over quality - unfortunately, they appear to remain the majority. Best of breed marketers view this differently.
The goal of any demand generation program should be generating the largest number of most highly qualified leads possible, generated at the lowest possible cost.
Optimally targeting high potential value customers is best achieved through applied data analytics of current customers to understand; what are the key characteristics of my best customers? What did they buy? When? How much are they worth?
Data analytics helps greatly narrow the population for promotion, but unless you combine this effort with customer-informed messaging your effort will be efficient but not optimally effective.
Which is the reason we need to get to the "why of buy". The best marketers understand why customers buy from you or from others. It's easier than ever to learn. Again, social media monitoring, complemented by qualitative and quantitative research intent on understanding why we buy, leads to radical customer-centricity that can more effectively and efficiently drive demand.
Measure, Optimize, Repeat
As companies execute radically customer-centric marketing programs it's easier than ever to learn more and more about customers and prospects with each campaign. Leaders are measuring three key metrics:
? Perception -
how do customers and prospects "feel" about the brand?
? Performance - how are they responding to marketing campaigns? (campaign metrics)
? Value - what incremental revenue are your radically customer-centric marketing programs contributing to the company?
Get Radical - Today
The best technology marketers understand that radical customer-centricity results in more efficient, effective, revenue-generating marketing campaigns.
Taking the time and applying the resources necessary to deeply understand customers behaviorally, attitudinally and communally makes the results of their finite budgets infinitely successful.