If you’re a B2B marketer, you probably have one or both of the following problems with marketing and customer data:
- There’s too much.
- All that data still leaves you with open questions, or partial answers to key questions.
As a result, your data-driven marketing strategy fails to win you new buyers. Consequently, you might be seduced by the idea that more powerful software will make your marketing problems disappear. Or, that you are just one software integration away from truly understanding your customer. But more software won’t fix your problem.
In our research, we’ve seen purely software-centered B2B marketing strategies fail because B2B sales are too long and complex. A B2B sale might take months or years, and involve an average of 6.8 stakeholders. Thus, a single database can’t comprehensively represent what’s going on, and B2B marketers see large holes in their data they can’t always explain.
Conversely, in a B2C sale, the entire purchase might take a single buyer half an hour on Amazon. So, while B2C marketers can find everything they need to know about their buyers from analyzing social media, click streams, web analytics, and content marketing statistics, B2B marketers need a different approach.
Specifically, good B2B marketers rely on a blend of great software, data, and organic market insights – based on independent research.
So before you pull out your credit card, try this sanity check: when you look at your existing dataset, do you have a clear idea of how to fill in those dark spots in your data? If you answered “no,” put the credit card away. More software won’t solve your problem.