The definition of clairvoyance is the ability to perceive events in the future beyond the normal ability of our senses. Whether this is a real ability or not, one doesn’t have to have extra sensory perception in order to read the minds of prospects who are nearing the end of their B2B buyer journey. In fact, this practice is not a special power, but the implementation of predictive marketing strategies. As marketers, our mission is to always deliver information our prospects want, when they want it, in order to make it easy for them to choose our solution at the end of their buying cycle. Predictive marketing strategies help marketers do this, delivering precisely the right information, using the right tools at the right time.
The mission of marketers in most organizations is to understand and deliver exactly the kind of information prospects want, when they want it and how they want it, in a way that helps them conclude a buying decision in their favor. If done properly, B2B marketing campaigns could be done with pinpoint accuracy, very little waste and greater ROI. This is of great importance, especially today, as only about 15% of all targeted accounts are actively preparing to buy. Although this ability may sound magical, it’s not an expression of extra sensory perception or the ability to read minds. It’s actually referred to as predictive marketing strategy and is something quite tangible with the right tools in place.
Predictive Marketing Strategy Defined
Predictive marketing strategy is defined as the use of data to determine – or predict – precisely which actions an organization should take in order to have the highest probability of success among prospects. There is no magic formula associated with the ability to translate B2B buying signals that can predict the behaviors of your organization’s most valuable prospects. In fact, the ability to translate buying signals that predict buyer behavior is squarely rooted in data science and incorporated into tools available today.
Predictive marketing strategy is driven by what is known as B2B intent data. Intent data comes from information collected about a web user’s content consumption or observed behavior. This information then delivers insight about their interests. From this, a determination can then be made about their intent, whether it be casual information gathering or focused research to help with a buying decision in the immediate future.
Predictive Marketing Strategy and B2B Intent Data in Action
An example of predictive marketing strategy might begin with tracking of anonymous visitors to your website. This tracking begins with website visits – tracked at the company level – and observing how often they return, which pages they visit, what they click on and how long they stay. At its most robust, today’s technology – from providers such as VisitorTrack – allows anonymous visitors to your website to be identified and tracked as they progress through the buyer journey.
In addition to the anonymous website visitor identification technology native to VisitorTrack, its users now have greater insight into the behavior of their website visitors with the ability to see their web visitors’ intent scores. These intent scores are based on the users’ content consumption behaviors at the company level revealing exactly which companies are in the most active phases of the buyer journey. Layered on top of this predictive marketing data is the contact records database that includes names, titles, business email addresses and direct phone numbers for individuals within that organization.
VisitorTrack’s treasure trove of information gives marketers the ability to decipher business buyer behavior as intent signals, allowing them to tailor information based on B2B buying signals and deliver it to the right prospects at precisely the right time during the buyer journey. All of this data combined provides the seller with a wealth of knowledge, allowing them to determine, or predict, which of their audience members are near the end of their buying cycle and which ones are at the beginning.
If your marketing team spends their time and effort delivering key content to those most active in the buying cycle, then your team will be more successful delivering very hot prospects to the sales department. This is all easily achieved when you have the predictive marketing tools in place to translate the buyer signals that convey whether their intent is to simply engage in casual research or if their intent is to make a purchase.
Deliver Real and Measurable ROI
The ability to invest your marketing dollars more wisely using predictive marketing strategies is currently available, but most companies have yet to take advantage of it. In fact, only about 25% of B2B companies indicated that they use B2B intent data and monitoring tools while 35% said they plan to do so in the next year1.
Companies incorporating predictive marketing strategies with a focus on intent data experience a number of benefits.
Increase Email Open Rates
Marketers see an increase in email open rates, as predictive marketing strategies allow for more informed account-based marketing – targeting those companies that have exhibited the most interest in your product or service.
Increase Measurable ROI from Ungated Content
Providing ungated content on your website, where both the interested and the uninterested have access without providing any information, is a necessity but is difficult to measure. With predictive marketing strategies and intent data tools, marketers not only have the ability to track who visited the website and accessed the ungated information at the company level, but can also determine whether that was a single event or a series of events typically associated with a serious buying signal.
Increase Social Media Engagement
By only targeting those specific audiences that have exhibited interest in your product or service, your paid and unpaid social media efforts will result in increased engagement.
Shorten the Sales Cycle
Rather than spend time and effort cultivating prospects who are only passively gathering and consuming information, marketers and sales teams can spend their time on those companies and individuals that are actively signaling purchase intent. This approach can significantly shorten the sales cycle and allow the sales team to be more efficient by spending time with those that are near the end of their buyer journey.
The ability to predict which audience members you should spend time is no magic trick. It’s merely the smart implementation of predictive marketing strategies along with the appropriate tools and techniques that prove vital to the organizations that desire pinpoint accuracy in their marketing efforts and a greater return on their marketing spend.
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