Feature Friday: Fatal Flaws of the B2B Marketer
Guest Post by Heather Hinman
Do you feel like your monthly marketing meeting is like the blind leading the blind? Is your CTR (click-through-rate) less than 10%? Is your lead database a sea of no-name, no-company, bad email addresses? If you answered yes to any of these three questions you are likely committing fatal flaws of B2B marketing and you should keep reading.
In the world of marketing analytics it is imperative that you’re collecting lead data, segmenting your leads, tracking your campaigns and attempting to predict who your next customers will be on a monthly basis. If you’re not already doing this, again, keep reading.
Flaw #1: Failure to Segment
Segment your data for successful targeted marketing. For some, this may be rudimentary and a no-nonsense matter. For others, this can be intimidating if you have massive amounts of data that may or may not be accurate. That’s okay. Join the club!
If you want to impress your boss at your next marketing meeting you should pull out trends from your data to show who are the ‘best leads’, who are the ‘junky leads’, who are ‘customers’, and what variables cause them to fall into those categories. Perhaps your best lead is a USA-based, male, operations manager in the retail industry, and first became familiar with your product or service from a Google Ad. Okay, that’s pretty specific and you may not have all of that data readily available, but you get the point.
Tools to help you segment:
Your database or CRM
- Sage ACT
Marketing Automation Software
Data Mining Software
- Classification and Regression Trees
- Stochastic Gradient Boosting
- Regression software
- Random Forests Ensembles
I personally use Salesforce, HubSpot, Classification and Regression Trees, and Stochastic Gradient Boosting to help segment my data, but I’ve listed several other options that are also quite popular.
Flaw #2: Failure to Take Out the Trash
Marketers must clean up the garbage in their database of prospects in order to improve their CTR. By keeping your database ‘clean’ you won’t be sending to bad emails that will just bounce or to people that are not interested in what you have to offer (which brings down your CTR).
For major email sends like a newsletter or product announcement that will go to your entire database you want your CTR to be between 2-5%. For segmented email campaigns that are to a particular industry, job title, or product interest your CTR should be between 10-20%.
So how do you keep it clean? Delete, or move, junky leads and ‘never-gonna-buy’ prospects from your CRM. You can store them somewhere else in an excel spreadsheet if you feel bad deleting them, but you really shouldn’t waste your time marketing to them. If you’re a little bit old school and couldn’t possibly consider deleting a lead in case they come back at some distant point in the future, at least make sure they are on a ‘do not email’ list. Otherwise it will be very difficult to see true success in your email marketing campaigns.
Here are some of my own best practices for improving CTR:
- Clean up the database every three months. DELETE.
- To achieve the target CTR either:
- Add/remove the number of links in an email
- Change the email length (maybe it’s too long?)
- Modify the subject line of the email
- Update and segment the data on a regular basis. This goes back to flaw #1.
Flaw # 3: Failure to Track
If you are not tracking your online campaigns with custom url builders then you really are missing out on some valuable information. Whether you are placing an online advertisement, writing a press release, sending an email or posting something to LinkedIn you must have a way to track how successful that campaign is and how people (prospects) are finding their way to your website or online offer. Google’s url builder and many other free tools are the easiest places to start tracking your campaigns.
Once you are able to segment your data and produce effective campaigns (that are traceable) you can attempt to predict what type of leads will turn into customers. This way you will be more efficient with your marketing budget and you’ll have a better sense of what kind of content you should be promoting to your audience.