We all know that the standard “batch and blast” or “spray and pray” emails simply don’t get great results. And with the rise of social media, even business communications are starting to feel less formal and more directed at the individual consumer, even in B2B situations. After all, it is an individual who will be making the final purchasing decision, not some building or company logo.
If you begin to think of your marketing on an individual basis, it actually becomes easier, in my opinion. I’m not suggesting you send specific emails to every person in your database talking to them about their dogs and kid. I’m simply suggesting you talk to their individual needs, which, coincidentally they share with a lot of other people in your database. We like to call these buckets of characteristics “personas”, and if you can accurately market to the individual personas, you will likely be able to more deeply affect the individual buying decisions as well.
So, without having an individual conversation with everyone in your database, how do you affect them personally with a targeted message?
First, start with your data. Segment your database into various categories based on things you know. At first, it may be as simple as dividing by title. A Director of Sales and a Director of Marketing might be interested in two very different sets of content, so let’s start there. Once you get deeper analytics, you can refine even further, but this is a good place to start. In addition, here is a list of other data you can use to determine the best message:
- Current customers. It’s shocking how many companies don’t separate out current customers when running a marketing campaign. There’s nothing worse than a long-time customer getting an email that says “Let us introduce you to XYZ company”. Now you have 2 ways to segment: on customer status and title.
- Event attendees. Some people may attend a lot of your webinars or local events. Now you know where to reach them and what they are interested in. This gives you a 3rd dimension on which to segment.
- Click throughs and downloads of your content. This is a more advanced approach for companies with sophisticated marketing automation systems and tracking, but eventually these items can be used to lead score your contacts. Now you have 4 ways to segment and are able to craft a fairly targeted message to this group.
- Real-time trigger events. If you have the appropriate business information software, you can actually segment by real-time events that are occurring, which give you the most up-to-date information on your contacts. For instance, you could pull a list of all companies in your database who have offices opening in a certain zip code or companies that have had CEO changes in the past month. This data allows you to be extremely specific in your targeted messages and allows you to meet your customer or prospect when the need is the greatest.
Depending on the sophistication of your database, there are numerous other ways you can segment. The bottom line is, segment based on information you know about the customer or potential customer. They give you signals and information daily that tell you what they want to know. Use that information to build a message that they will respond to.
In my next blog we’ll examine ways to deliver this information, so stay tuned!