I’m always amused when I get an email from someone asking if my “corporation” would like a free trial of some piece of software. That they “read” my blog and thought their product would be a good “fit” to be mentioned in one of my posts.
If they’d actually taken a moment to read my blog or my website, they’d have seen I’m a one-woman band and have no one else to contact about “setting up a call”. This is what happens when companies market to their database and not the people behind it.
You miss the mark and risk getting marked as spam by the recipient (me.) Marketing to the people behind the data will do more for your B2B tech company than anything else you might do. You’ll engage more deeply with them, create positive customer experiences, and encourage conversation.
Here are 4 reasons why you should care about the people in your marketing database and how they’ll help your B2B tech business.
1. People Listen When You Speak to Them
When you create messages that speak directly to people and resonate with them, they’ll take action. They’ll click that button or book a sales call.
Marketing personas can help you remember precisely who you’re talking to and what they’re interested in. You want to know who uses your products and learn how to speak to them.
When you create content just for those personas, you’ll differentiate your products from the market while attracting more readers who identify with it. As Loni Stark, senior director of strategy and product marketing at Adobe, told DivvyHQ, “It’s becoming harder and harder to stand out. That’s why many brands are setting the bar higher by engaging with customers on a personal level with content and messaging that is personalized, relevant, and more likely to garner engagement.”
2. People Influence Buying Decisions
Even tech companies selling to B2B customers need to remember the people behind the accounts. After all, it’s the employees who’ll recommend your products to their bosses and decision makers. You need to capture their attention enough to create a relationship and have a conversation with them.
Ann Handley talked about this a few years ago when she was re-launching her newsletter. She decided to approach it as if she were writing to individual subscribers, rather than a big list of people. Since that shift, she’s been able to consistently send it out every other week, like clockwork.
You can use your marketing database to find out more about your customers and then write just for them. Use it to refine your email marketing to orient it towards your customers’ needs, aspirations, preferences, and pain points. Help them understand they’re not alone and that you’re ready to help them.
3. People Spread Your Influence
Most marketers use the terms audience and market interchangeably, but they’re not actually the same thing. An audience is a group of people who gather willingly to read, view, listen, or consume your content. They like your content and want to hear more from you. A market is a group of consumers that would buy your tech product, and can be individuals, groups, companies, and more.
Marketers are usually referring to the second group when they say “target audience” because they’re considering mostly people who buy their products. Yet, you shouldn’t discount the audience either, since they’re a more engaged group of people. They’re more willing to mention your brand name to their network, their boss, etc. and will passionately advocate for you with decision makers.
So by attracting an audience to your B2B tech content, you’ll create an audience of fans that are passionate about what they like. It’ll be easier to create a deep engagement level with them because of their passion (and your amazing content.)
They come for that first piece of content and stick around for whatever you’ll publish in the future. They’ll talk about you to whoever will listen and will definitely bring up your name when their boss asks for suggestions on a new tool they should add to their tech stack. Engaged audiences help you develop better customers and a more meaningful customer experience because they reinforce your marketing organically and sincerely.
4. People Guide Your Strategy
While people need to hear about your latest product launch and all its tech specs, that’s not what they share with their network. They share the tweet about which employee pet matches the mood of their followers.
Or the fun CX choose your own adventure game that helps explain the benefits of their products to customers and prospects.
Zendesk has a clear idea of who their audience is and what they respond well to. They have created an engaging and effective marketing strategy that uses casual language and fun ideas to encourage views, clicks, and downloads. They use different images, tactics, and content formats based on the marketing channel they’re publishing to and where people are in their customer journey.
The customer journey is a vital part of this experience as it’ll guide you every step of the way. Lay out your customer journey and align your marketing strategy to each step. People respond differently based on their position in the journey, so you’ll need multiple messages, formats, and topics that’ll engage with different people. Use a good mix to target the most people at each stage.
When you’re in the middle of a busy marketing campaign, it’s easy to forget about the people behind the accounts you’re targeting. You start to think of people as numbers or categories from your marketing database, and begin to treat them that way.
Instead, remember the people behind the data. It’s still people who open your emails, share them with their network, and advocate for your brand with their bosses. Focus your marketing efforts on the people and you’ll create deeper relationships with them and offer a more positive experience. They’ll remember you long after they read your email. You’ll convert people into audiences and audiences into loyal customers.
If you’re looking to create more customer-centric marketing for your B2B tech company, reach out spacebarpress.com/contact. I’d love to hear from you.