The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work – probably forever. Pew Research reports that 71% of American office workers now work from home.1 And Business Insider found that nearly 40% of workers would consider quitting if their bosses made them return to the office full time.2 The rise of remote work means marketing and sales teams have to change their approach to contacting and communicating with prospects.
Jessica Jones, Data Axle’s Chief Revenue Officer, said, “Our new normal is more about work/life integration than work/life balance. What was once unacceptable (hearing noise from kids and pets in the background) is now expected.” Jones continued, “I apologized to a customer one day about the potential of hearing kids and he replied, “It’s ok, I came to sit in my car for a bit of peace and quiet myself, everyone has the same challenges.” What was once seen as an interruption, is now a way for us to get to know our clients on a more personal level and it binds us together. When we are all having the same challenges, we need to tackle them together. And that needs to come through in your communications with current clients as well as prospects.”
Companies across industries need actionable plans to adjust to long-term changes. In this regard, the need for complete and accurate business and consumer data has never been greater. Marketing campaigns and sales strategies need to start utilizing the powerful combination of this data to speak to individual prospects on a holistic level. Building a 360-degree view of your customer and developing a comprehensive account-based marketing (ABM) strategy will help you tackle new marketplace challenges while keeping audiences engaged and your business competitive.
The 360-degree customer view is when a company is able to get a complete view of their customers by aggregating data from various touchpoints and sources to understand what the customer needs, when they need it, how to reach them, what communications resonate with them and what motivates them to purchase. This data can also be used to receive better customer support and enhance the customer experience by using the knowledge of their history with a company to better serve them. Some consider the 360-degree customer view to be unattainable. However, with access to the right data a 360-degree customer view is achievable. A tool such as B2C Link can create a single, unified view of your prospects and customers—whether they’re sitting at their desk at work or lounging on their couch at home.
B2C Link is a specially designed dataset of over 100 million records that blends business and consumer databases to allow marketers to link their audience’s consumer and business data into a single, 360-degree profile. With a consumer and business profile, companies can link John Smith’s personal and work details, giving themselves the opportunity to reach him with the right contextual message wherever he is – whether at his office or at his couch. Using this information, a B2B marketer or salesperson could identify new ways to connect with John (like knowing that he loves hiking and is a Colorado Rockies fan). Alternatively, a B2C retailer could personalize their apparel recommendations based on their knowledge that John currently works from his home in Denver, CO.
Brand example: Cobb EMC uses consumer data attributes to increase B2B email marketing effectiveness
Cobb EMC, a nonprofit electric utility company, needed to tweak a marketing strategy that wasn’t working – they were sending their database all communications they deemed noteworthy, without taking the time to figure out what messaging would actually resonate with different segments of their audience. Using consumer data to segment their audience, Cobb EMC was able to figure out which types of communications would interest each group. For example, one group had an interest in electronic vehicles. Cobb EMC put together tools, resources and programs that would engage this particular segment. By tailoring their messaging and abandoning a “one-size-fits-all” approach, Cobb EMC increased open rates from 34% to 56.7%, and drove click-thru rates as high as 9%.3
Account-based marketing is a strategic approach to B2B marketing where the campaign treats the individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one.4 ABM is an effective marketing strategy and many marketers take advantage of it. In 2021, 70% of marketers reported using ABM, up 15% from 2020.5 For ABM to be effective, a deep knowledge of the prospect is required. According to a study from the ABM Leadership alliance and ITSMA, the most effective account-based programs invest more in data and analytics.6
Achieving a high level of personalization for outreach to decision-makers and influencers requires a complete picture of each person as an individual. This includes firmographic data to understand their work-life as well as consumer data about stakeholders to understand them outside of work (demographic data, interests, passions). Today, your prospects and customers may go from walking the dog, to checking work emails, to a shower, back to meetings, helping the kids with online school, back to work, etc. You need to have the knowledge to reach key stakeholders when their lives and location have changed. A tool like B2C Link offers the insights needed to create targeted messaging that speaks to stakeholders as an individual vs. a company employee.
Brand example: Oracle sends personalized content and gifts to HR professionals to increase conversions
Oracle created a campaign for individuals in HR roles to drive awareness about Oracle HCM (Human Capital Management) Cloud at specific net-new target accounts. The multichannel ABM campaign targeted 400 contacts at 100 accounts and included personalized direct mail gifts, email, landing pages, and a dynamically personalized whitepaper. The campaign exceeded the $5 million campaign goal by more than a million dollars and drove a 38X ROI.7
6 Source ITSMA and ABM Leadership Alliance, 2019 ABM Benchmark Study, October 2019
As Content Marketing Manager, Natasia is responsible for helping strategize, produce and execute Data Axle's content. With a passion for writing and an enthusiasm for data management and technology, Natasia creates content that is designed to deliver nuggets of wisdom to help brands and individuals elevate their data governance policies. A native New Yorker, when Natasia is not at work she can be found enjoying New York’s food scene, at one of NYC’s many museums, or at one of the city’s many parks with her two teacup yorkies.