As marketers continue to create innovative ways to generate demand, whether in the B2C or B2B world, they must have some sort of volume of data to support it. After all, what’s a great piece of marketing content without the proper audience to campaign to, right?
There’s no doubt that like most things in life, we play the “quality vs. quantity” game in the world of lead acquisition. Is it better to maximize the number of available leads, no matter the temperature, in an attempt to generate interest in what we’re offering, and provide sales with more to qualify? Or do we spend a little more time on the front end acquiring a smaller set of leads that are just a bit hotter, more up to date, and in the right business units of their respective companies?
The social shift
The advent of social networking has lent itself to a shift toward demand generation strategies that are focused on targeted (and personalized), predictive marketing based on aggregated, social data. In fact, research firm IDC predicts that by 2015, the lion’s share of over 5,300 exabytes (1 exabyte = 1 million terabytes) of unstructured, digital consumer data will be generated by social networks.
As marketers continue to innovate and adopt new approaches to email marketing, the amount of intelligence available through social outlets can:
help prioritize communications
deliver content to the key individuals and decision makers that are most suited for the message
discover new players within an existing prospect account
As a result, many companies are adjusting their email marketing strategies by scaling back on the volume-based “blast email” tactics with a micro-campaigning mentality. By taking advantage of available social and professional profiles, companies can focus on audience targeting and deliver relevant, personalized content to more appropriate and accurate groups of people that have publicly shared their interests, skills and professional information.
Impact of social data
As social data is being provided directly from the individual, it is more up-to-date, timelier and more accurate than it may have been in the past when purchasing an opt-in list. As companies begin to re-think their lead generation strategies, many list and data providers are stepping up their game to stay competitive. Not only are lead and contact lists obtained with additional social data fields, some offer services that append current CRM databases with additional information that can help their customers marketing efforts and improve data quality.
There will always be a need for marketers to keep the funnel full of leads and deliver great content and messaging to support sales, qualify new leads and help bring in new business. By harnessing the power of social channels in a B2B environment, marketing professionals have an opportunity to fill that funnel with quality data, rich with information on individuals’ professional experience, interests and skills to focus their efforts in a more productive way.