Collecting customer data in 4 steps
Create a CRM foundation for Account Based Marketing
Marketing and sales are changing. In B2C, this movement has been going on for much longer, in B2B the movement towards Account Based Marketing (ABM) is only now beginning. This marketing and sales technique focuses on optimally supporting the buyers journey. You tailor the communication to the specific company, to the specific person within the DMU and at the specific time. So you have to collect customer data and communicate it to measure.
Collecting customer data in 4 steps
To communicate in a customized way, you need to know what’s on your prospects and customers’ minds. You collect that information in your CRM system. In four steps you lay a good foundation for ABM.
1. Rate the customer data in your CRM file
Distinguish between old contacts, active customers and prospects. Then assess which clusters or target groups those companies belong to. Research whether the companies may be part of a group, so that you can also target sister or subsidiary companies. And of course check the data quality: is the data complete and up-to-date?
2. Enrich your database with new prospects
Depending on your industry and target groups, you enrich your database in different ways. You can purchase company data externally. You can be present at events. But you can also get in touch with prospects digitally. For example via LinkedIn and your own website. Tempts website visitors to leave their data behind, such as downloading a white paper or subscribing to a newsletter or webinar.
3. Complement customer data with data that says something about the needs
Anyone who wants to communicate relevantly with customers and prospects must know: what challenges does this company face? Try to figure out and capture:
- How did visitors end up on your website?
- What keyword did they use on Google or which banner did they click on?
- Which pages does a specific visitor view?
- What newsletter articles, blogs or whitepapers has this prospect read?
There is tooling that you can use for this. The answers to these questions tell you something about the specific challenges this company faces.
4. Enrich the company data with information about the DMU members
The more complex and/or expensive the product, the more people can decide on its purchase. Every DMU member has different interests. A user is particularly interested in the functional value of the product or service; a buyer pays attention to the value in relation to the costs; in addition to price, the financial man or woman also pays attention to aspects such as CAPEX and OPEX: does the product or service require a large one-off investment or is another financing model possible such as leasing or ‘as a service’? They are therefore all interested in other information from their other interests.
CRM for customer view, marketing automation for execution
CRM is the cork on which ABM floats, the linchpin in your system landscape. With a marketing automation system, you then set up the content processes that you want prospects to go through. With this software you set up marketing programs and keep track of what content a specific member of the DMU has read, which webinars he or she has attended, et cetera. CRM and marketing automation must of course be linked, so that both systems work together seamlessly. In addition, you also want to be able to easily access customer data from third parties. Consider, for example, a link with LinkedIn Ads and Google Ads, so that you can set up automated LinkedIn or Google campaigns. Or an API to suppliers of data, such as Company.info or the Chamber of Commerce, to automatically validate and enrich the customer data in your CRM system. This creates a broad system landscape of applications that work closely together.
Want to know more about Account Based Marketing?
In a future blog, we will take a closer look at how ABM can give substance to the old AIDA in a new way. Do you want to know more now? Download the white paper Account Based Marketing here: how do you go about it and what does it deliver?