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Are B2B Marketers Leaving Money on the Table by Ignoring B2C Data?

Collin Dayley is Senior Vice President Sales and Strategic Partnerships at Versium.

Companies don’t buy things—people do. And they buy for emotional reasons first. So, understanding what motivates people is at the heart of learning why and how they buy. If you are focusing solely on B2B data, then you’re missing a critical piece of the equation.

In the “age of the customer” where customers are in control, B2B marketers need to understand their prospects in new, sophisticated ways.  This requires utilizing data about your buyers at work—and outside of work too.

Typically, B2B data focuses on role, and firmographic information. While B2C data can reveal information providing clues to the emotional reasons and process your customers use when making buying decisions.  By combining both B2C and B2B data, marketers can develop more relevant content and experiences that meet individual buyer needs. This is proven to increase the ability to contact and engage B2B buyers.

‘Integrated’ Customer Journey

Customers know when they are being targeted. And they don’t like it. Let’s say you have an insect problem, and you mention it to a neighbor. Then a pest control salesman shows up at your door. While it’s convenient that the product arrived right when you needed it, you are naturally skeptical. You feel targeted. Modern day targeting strategy must be natural and non-intrusive. And achieving that requires data-led insight and context.

Meeting B2B sales objectives requires thinking bigger—beyond the business to consider what’s happening in your customer’s life. Real people shift personas and uniforms throughout their day. From 9-5, B2B buyers assume their work persona. From 5-9 they assume their home, friends, family, and general B2C persona. Despite these shifts, they are all integrated. What motivates, inspires and scares a customer are essentially the same across work and personal life personas.

How and why someone buys a specific car, house, vacation or clothing brand is directly related to how a person will buy a server, services, or consulting.

Let’s say your customer is passionate about a certain sports car brand. This could indicate that they have a more adventurous and aggressive attitude. Which often translates to the same attitude at work. These insights can help B2B  marketers craft messaging and offers that connect with and leverage these attitudes toward their product.

For example, cybersecurity may not seem like an exciting topic, but marketing it in a clever way can show the more adventurous consumers (who also make B2B decisions) that it’s worthwhile. HP’s campaign of movie shorts parodying the TV show Mr. Robot starred Christian Slater educating people about the importance of cybersecurity. It was a bold move that brought a lot of attention.

Combining B2B and B2C data attributes are key to understanding the emotional and philosophical nature of your customers. When we accomplish this, we can create messaging and creative that sings—and entices buyers to act.

Data-Driven Marketing

Modern customers interacting with a company through different channels (store, website, social media, app), want it to be personal. Marketers who accomplish this across platforms increase loyalty and trust.

Data about your costumers must inform what you do. It’s not about applying B2C techniques to B2B marketing. It’s about using more data to become a more relevant marketer.

Combining predictive analytics and machine-learning models with the millions of B2B and B2C data attributes we can now collect about prospects provides the tools to connect 1:1 on a human level. Even better, we can use this data to increase B2B marketer’s ability to expand their reach.

Connecting with customers is more complicated than ever and reaching them in a modern omni-channel world can be challenging . If you’re a B2B marketer, the first step is to use data to create a 360 degree view of your customer. When you do, you can reach more buyers, with more relevant content and messaging in more mediums.

I think Steve Jobs was right: “You’ve got to start with customer experience and work back toward the technology–not the other way around.” Incorporating B2C data attributes in B2B marketing gets to the heart of understanding your customer, creating tailored customer experiences and reaching them in more relevant media. And that’s a good thing to keep in mind as you strive to improve ROI.

About the Author

Collin Dayley is Versium Senior Vice President Sales and Strategic Partnerships. He started his career in marketing for one reason: to discover the secrets of how words can sell. Collin is obsessed with the art and science of persuasion. This passion has been instrumental in helping his clients implement high-impact marketing programs around the world. Throughout his career Collin has worked on hundreds of national and global campaigns with the world’s leading agencies and brands, including McCann Erickson, Young & Rubican, Wunderman, HP, Expedia, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Oracle, Intuit, Wells Fargo, and many more.

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