During a recent B2B marketing research project, I found myself speaking to multiple suppliers and peers about the level to which their offerings could measure prospect, lead, and customer data. More often than not, the conversations led to discussions about capturing a variety of behavioural data and insights, and then automatically feeding this back into a marketing automation platform. Now, as marketers, we experience unrivalled levels of excitement when discussing subjects such as automated data capturing, but this is what led me to question, ‘what is the most important factor here?’
B2B metrics - Sweating the small stuff
APIs, query strings, and a variety of other technical phrases surfaced during these discussions, and they were analysed for hours at a time. Can the activity do this? Can the tool measure this? Can we capture that specific data? The outcome was a process that we believed would effectively capture behavioural information, factor it into the prospect’s automation profile, and instigate a related nurturing campaign… great. We knew what data we could get, and most importantly what we could do with it. But at this stage, the one thing we didn’t have was… actual data. All we had done was create a way to capture and use it in future. It was then I realised…
Without good messaging, you’ve got nothing
Without prior research, persona document creation, and the production of relevant marketing messaging, prospects and leads won’t engage with your emails, content, and brand. And of course, without their interaction, it’s not possible to capture, measure, and analyse the behavioural data. The truth is, if you’re not speaking your buyers’ language, and you’re not feeding them interesting and engaging marketing messages, then don’t worry about the metrics you have in place, because you won’t have much worth measuring. B2B metrics, as we know, are there to measure the ‘success’ of activities, and without the right activities, the metrics are redundant.
So we can say that messaging is more important that metrics? No, no we can’t.
You can’t have one without the other
Without well-researched and relevant messaging in all forms of marketing (from emails and ebooks, to social media and blogs) you’re unlikely to generate any real engagement. And, without the right metrics in place, you won’t be able to tell what worked and what didn’t anyway. Importantly, targeting prospects and leads with the relevant messaging, and then measuring results is the best way to inform your future marketing. Do more of what worked, and less of what didn’t.
Conclusion: Always take a holistic view
Successful B2B marketing is a delicate balancing act between a variety of channels, tools, activities, and experts. So, when you find yourself becoming overly excited about the latest developments and innovations, remember to take a step back. It’s important to investigate and implement new approaches, but not at the expense of other marketing fundamentals.
To find out more about developing the best multi-channel approach to B2B marketing…