What good is a great marketing campaign if all the wrong people are hearing it?

For your marketing to be effective, your contact database needs to be a pristine, well-oiled machine.

CMO of Everstring Matt Amundson spoke at This Just Works to share how your database needs to function in order for you to be successful as a marketer or salesperson.

This session was presented at This Just Works, the digital anti-conference. You can see the full session (and 14 other talks) by registering here with code TJWAG2020.

Building a (good) list has never been harder

“It seems like building a list has never been easier because there’s so many different leads and vendors out there – you can buy just about anything that you want. But building a good, quality list has never been more difficult,” says Matt.

A great list is essential to run successful go-to market campaigns – not just for marketers, but also for salespeople. Marketers need good quality data so they can run segmented marketing campaigns that they can break down and make as personalized as possible (and at scale). Salespeople need it for prioritization so they know where to spend their time to make sure they’re calling the right people.

A great email list is essential to run a successful go-to-market campaign. Unfortunately, building a good list is harder than ever.

What’s the real reason why?

People’s buying behaviors have changed. The old tricks of content+engagement = pipeline don’t work the way they used to 10 years ago.

Buyer expectations have changed

“A lot of people become hip to the idea that if they download a piece of content, they’re probably going to get a call from a salesperson. And that’s scary. And that’s driven us as marketers to do things like ungate content so people can just kind of access as they will without fear of a phone call from a salesperson or an SDR,” shares Matt.

Buyers’ expectations are changing. A lot of it is driven by not just B2B brands, but B2C brands. B2C buyers – like Netflix or Uber customers – expect that they’re going to be presented with a solution. Many times before they even know they want it.

How do they do it?

Well, they do it with really, really, really good data.

Data like:

  • What their customers look like
  • How their customers behave on their website and other locations
  • A combination of behavioral data, machine-learning data to predict outcomes, and 3rd-party data to augment what they already know

“A person who’s consuming – maybe a show’s been running too long and you ask them if they’re still watching, or maybe in the case of a Capital One user, a person has been very diligent in paying their credit cards so Capital One extends them an additional line of credit leading into a holiday season. Businesses use a combination of that behavioral data that they collect on their properties, some machine learning to predict potential outcomes, and 3rd-party data to augment what they already know,” says Matt.

Does that sound crazy to you?

“It’s not crazy. It’s the reason that these companies have grown so quickly while simultaneously keeping their customers coming back,” says Matt.

There are 2 pieces of data that these companies really understand – fit and intent.

What do these data pieces mean?

  • Businesses know exactly what their buyers look like
  • They know what their common pre-purchase behaviors are

These 2 data pieces combined are more valuable than the sum of their parts.

“When you think about it as a marketer, if you’re presenting leads to a salesperson and that lead is a great fit and is looking to buy something…well shoot, that’s an A-plus lead, right? And these B2C brands like Capital One, and Uber and Netflix, they really understand this. And a lot of this stuff is starting to shift into the B2B space,” says Matt.

Bring B2C Intelligence to B2B with Fit

“If you don’t have a piece of technology that can help you determine the best companies for you to target, sales and marketing have to sit together and have real conversations.”

“There are customers of yours that are actually a terrible fit. But for whatever reason, they got it in their mind that they wanted to buy your solution, their usage may be low, their use cases may not be right, you cannot include those as good accounts, right?”

“You have to focus on the ones that not only bought from you, but are using the product and are thriving using the product. Those are the ones that you want to focus your attention on. And you have to share the common characteristics that exist between them, like size, tech stacks, or markets they serve,” says Matt.

Bring B2C Intelligence to B2B with Intent

Here’s what intent looks like from a B2C business:

  • If Amazon sees that you buy a new iPhone, they’re probably going to recommend an iPhone case.
  • If Netflix noticed that you watched “To All The Boys I Loved Before,” they might recommend that you check out another romantic comedy

Because there are similarities that exist between those and because you’ve shown interest in another one of the products that they have, they’re going to recommend a product that is complementary to it – or in certain cases supplementary to it.

What are the behaviors your customers may exhibit prior to purchasing your software or service?

Maybe you sell contact data and a prospect is sponsoring a trade show, and they may want to get contacts before a conference from every business in the United States that uses Salesforce as their CRM. Or maybe you can recommend a Marketing Automation Platform to a recent CRM purchaser.

The clues are out there – you just have to find them.

Combining fit and intent for engagement

Now that you know what your buyer looks like and how they behave prior to purchase, your lists should be accounts.

But you’ll still need to fill in the gaps. Which people do you want to add?

These can be a lot of different people in a given organization, like:

  • Buyers: the people who are actually going to sign those are probably not the people that are going to get involved early
  • Influencers: the people who probably have some kind of need and they want to bring on a new product or service
  • Practitioners: the people who are actually going to be utilizing this

“For each account, I recommend adding 10 to 40 contacts depending upon the account size. Generally speaking, small businesses can be up to 10 accounts unless it’s maybe a micro business – in which case maybe closer to 2-3. But always more than 1,” says Matt.

“For enterprise, I like to strive for 40 contacts per account, because you want to be able to kind of spread wide and make sure that everybody in the organization understands the value props of the product or service that you sell.”

Divide up which contacts that marketing will engage with with the ones sales will engage with.

Measure recency and engagement

Engagement matters, but how recent that engagement was matters even more.

Now that you have your list and your assigned personas, measure their levels of engagement using the tools you have:

  • Marketing automation
  • Sales engagement within CRM

After all, you don’t want to be the person who shows up the day after a party with a bottle of wine.

“If somebody has been on your website, or somebody’s engaged with a piece of content that you sent them 6 months ago, you don’t want to be reaching out to them about it now. That’s completely irrelevant. You need to be on top of that as soon as possible. So engagement matters, but the recency of engagement matters a lot,” notes Matt.

After all of that, your list will be F.I.R.E.

Fit. Intent. Recency. Engagement

“It’s an acronym. It’s fire. Those are the hot leads. Those are the ones that we want to be spending the most of our most of our time, money and energy going after,” says Matt.

Taking the data that you’ve brought together on Fit and Intent and adding the engagement data you now have an understanding of who is ready to buy – but also who knows who you are. That way when you reach out, they aren’t completely blindsided.

These leads are going to buy faster, they’re going to spend more and they’re going to they’re going to keep coming back here and your year in and year out.

Just remember these 3 takeaways for building out a great list:

  1. Sales and marketing need to pair up on what makes a good account
  2. Add contacts to target accounts (~10 for smaller companies, ~40 for larger accounts)
  3. Use new data types to uncover FIRE leads

To download the full recorded This Just Works digital event, go here to register with code TJWAG2020!