Aberdeen Group - Home
Noblesse Oblige or a Conundrum in Modern, Data-Driven Marketing
Trip Kucera, Aberdeen Group
SEP 04, 2013 05:00 AM
A+ A A-

Here’s a dilemma for today’s modern, data-driven marketer to consider. You’ve bought into the spirit of permission-based, inbound marketing. You’re committed to developing amazing content that shapes your buyer’s vision  and nurtures their interest to the point of sales-qualification. You track their digital body language using marketing automation and have developed sophisticated scoring models that inform your next contact.  Maybe you’re even using predictive analytics to better prioritize leads for sales engagement or determine the optimal message and channel.  In short, you’re doing everything right. But what if you could do more?

Inbound, and to a lesser extent content marketing, generally stand in sharp contrast to old school marketing  (not the good nostalgic kind either) in which companies would acquire a list of possible prospects based on a demographic profile, develop a campaign offer, and blast the heck out of that list until those contacts begged for mercy, or simply opted out. Open, click-through, and conversion rates were incredibly low, though this was built into the economics, and sales complained about lead quality. Even if this is an exaggeration, much of it isn’t far off from the way many, many companies market today.

So here’s the question, what if you could approach only companies that you knew within say 75% accuracy were actively investigating  the kind of solution you offer? To take if further, what if you had a predictive analytics or look-alike model that told you  these were ideal customers that would result in 50% lead-to-close rates? By taking action to approach these companies you could surpass your revenue goals by 20% and help boost marketing’s contribution to revenue and overall company revenue significantly. To quote John Quinones “What would you do?”

The fact is, this vision isn’t complete fantasy. New data providers, marketing analytics and “big data” capabilities, and programmatic advertising make some version of this smart, but interruption-driven approach possible today. For example, firms that once provided “dumb” lists of contacts sold on demographics are beginning to develop more sophisticated segmentations that combine demographic and firmographic information with behavioral triggers (like real estate transactions, major procurements, regulatory filings, etc.).  Programmatic advertising can be used to identify patterns of “intention” based on web browsing and content, and intelligently buy targeted media through an exchange at very low CPMs/CPAs. Marketing analytics are being used to optimize the messaging and offer delivered to customers. What if you had access to an algorithm that modeled a path to proactively contact each and every one of these high-potential prospects—even if they’d never heard of your blog or seen your nifty infographic—with a highly relevant and compelling message? What if as a B2B marketer you could target buyers with the precision of consumer direct marketing?

Most marketers I know are pragmatic and I suspect most of them would jump to embrace this reality. I’ll go further and suggest that many already are, even if only in small ways. Programmatic marketing is gaining traction among B2B marketers, for example, as is predictive analytics. This is the coming noblesse oblige of the modern marketer, and a reminder that with great power comes great responsibility. The basic bargain must be: can I the offer or content that I put in front of a buyer without their explicit permission be so compelling, so relevant and timely that it earns me the “right” to put my offer or content in front of that buyer? I suspect many marketers will say “yes” to this bargain if the metrics prove it works.

[%= name %]
[%= createDate %]
[%= comment %]
Share this:
Please login to enter a comment: