As a young marketer, I used to dream of a day that I could craft compelling messaging & eye catching content and have it truly reach my target audience. You might be thinking, “Well, gosh, that’s no dream at all, that’s reality.” My response to that is 3-fold: First, how well do you really know your target audience? Second, when you send campaigns out to your marketing lists how do you know you aren’t hitting a percentage of contacts that are NOT in your target range? Third, how are you segmenting your marketing lists (if at all) to best reach your target audience?
Everyone talks about the ‘buyer persona’ and of course it exists, but the challenge is defining that persona and defining it to a ‘T’. That’s not the easiest thing to do either. Marketers typically create a buy persona based off of what they know about their product as well as what they know about the buyer. For example, you might know for sure that an “Account Executive” is not who you are trying to reach because that’s not a title of someone who has the authority to make decisions, or because your product is not intended for members of sales departments.
But what about the information you don’t know? If you had access to more detailed contact information, you would be able to weed out even more of those who aren’t exactly in your target. Imagine the contact has the title that you desire, lets say CMO, and they have an email domain of a company that you know is large enough to afford your product…awesome, lets add them to our campaign. BUT what if you also knew that the contact is actually located in a remote office in London, and lets say your product can only be sold within the USA. That means that that particular contact literally can’t buy your product. All Marketing Automation Platforms charge their users based off of the number of contacts you send to. Save yourself some money and only send campaigns to contacts that you KNOW are exactly in your target audience. Learn as much as you possibly can about everyone in your database, the more you know the more targeted the campaigns can get. If you know that 5,000 contacts in your database all belong to the same group, say AMA, then you can create targeted messaging just for those folks.
A large majority of marketers purchase “lead lists” or “Marketing lists” but a word to the wise: be careful what you buy! Social data collected from professional social networks is the most accurate data available because profiles on sites like Linkedin are typically always updated and all of the data is self-reported, not collected by a call center in Manila or sourced from multiple other contact databases. Who knows how old that data is, I mean, how do you even know when they called the contact? It could have been months ago, and believe me that is plenty long enough for the data to go bad. Our workforce is a transient as ever, the average role is only held for just over 2 years and if you have a very large database, you can bet that about 25% of it is outdated.
Harness the power of social data for your outbound marketing lists; you wont regret it and neither will your sales team. Send targeted messaging to contacts you know are interested and then send over real MQLs to your sales team.