Leading companies continue to enrich their data-driven B2B lead generation strategies as new data and technology resources to support these initiatives become more widely available and easier to use. Our resident expert, Ken Stout, discusses how B2B companies can structure and enhance their lead generation programs to unlock new efficiencies and increase revenue.
Ken Stout is Senior Vice President at Data Axle, a leading provider of data and real-time business intelligence solutions for enterprise, small business, nonprofit and political organizations. He has also held executive roles at companies such as True Influence, QuinStreet, IT Business Edge, GameSpy Industries, CNET Networks/TechRepublic, CMP Media/Miller Freeman and Colgate Palmolive Co.
Lead generation is the lifeblood of B2B client growth. When done correctly, lead generation will fill all stages of your pipeline with opportunities with a high likelihood of closing. Here are a few reasons companies should invest in advanced lead-generation techniques:
Successful lead generation programs start with a comprehensive understanding of a company’s existing customer base. This means B2B marketers need to have the right data about their customers and the ability to analyze that data and identify common attributes across their most valuable customer segments. Gaining a deep understanding of audiences has three key components:
Your high-value prospects will “look” like your highest-value customers. That is to say, they will have similar attributes (e.g., job titles, industries, company size, business models, etc.). Look-alike modeling takes customer data and maps it against a broad prospect audience to identify which prospects most closely resemble your “best” customers. Once they are identified, B2B marketers can reach these “best” prospects through a cross-channel lead generation/acquisition strategy designed to engage and convert.
Intent data has become a crucial tool for B2B companies, and using it can increase close rates by as much as 79%. Companies can use intent data to recognize purchase signals and determine when a prospect account is “in-market” to purchase your product or service.
By layering intent data on top of traditional components of lead generation, such as hosted asset downloads and custom audiences based on pre-defined parameters or lookalike modeling, marketers can target prospects when they are most receptive to their messaging. For example, when prospects fitting the target criteria start showing a surge in relevant intent topics, marketers can use that information to deliver targeted display ads to that target or reach out with a well-timed email.
As B2B companies become more sophisticated with their lead-gen techniques, it’s important that they be able to capture the insights delivered by intent data and other sources of intelligence in a way that the insights become actionable for sales teams. Tools like Data Axle for Salesforce and Data Axle for Dynamics can feed and update information on B2B prospects straight into your CRM in real time. This allows for leads to be nurtured properly. When a lead-gen program is fueled by real-time insights, prospects can be sent timely follow-ups and targeted content. Companies can also leverage identity resolution techniques to reach prospects via multiple channels to boost the likelihood of conversion.
B2B audiences are extremely responsive to personalization. In fact, 93% of B2B marketers report that personalizing content increases revenue.1 Although some level of marketing communications need to reach a wide range of prospects to build awareness, personalization becomes imperative as data-driven techniques help organizations identify the highest-value and most-likely-to-convert prospects.
Personalization is all about using what you know about your target audience to deliver relevant messages. With account-based marketing, B2B marketers can personalize communications for their target audience without having direct knowledge of the prospect as an individual. For example, B2B marketers can tailor language to a particular industry or job title. A company targeting insurance companies can show a display ad to insurance executives touting their previous success helping insurance companies reach their business goals. Or, a company targeting Chief Marketing Officers can serve ads that illustrate how they have helped marketers meet their higher-level business objectives.
When looking to serve personalized ads to high-value prospects, B2B marketers can tap into unique industry datasets to enrich their knowledge of a given prospect at the personal level. For example, Data Axle’s cross-over data solution, B2C Link, enables companies to get a comprehensive view of each member of their audiences, both at work and at home. Such data can help marketers understand not only the messages and creative most likely to resonate with an individual, but also the channels in which they’re most receptive to marketing communications. Quality sources of business data should help organizations understand who the buyer is (job title, role, level), their business needs, and the personal characteristics that enable a deeper connection. To guide content creation and choose the right content types, channels, timing, and frequency for their outreach, B2B marketers should also leverage insights from campaign data, behavioral data from current customers (e.g., email opens and clicks, display ad conversions, browsing history, etc.) and third-party data resources, including intent.
By taking a sophisticated, multifaceted approach to lead generation, B2B organizations can supercharge their traditional tactics with the latest digital techniques and data resources. Are you ready to get started?
Read more about our lead generation solutions HERE or contact us to learn how to get your lead generation program off the ground.