One of the best tactics for marketing managers to help your company gain a competitive advantage is focusing on how to manage and grow your marketing database.
Why is this? According to a recent research report on how companies are managing data, only 57 percent of surveyed companies say they have the right data skills and resources available to act upon their information. That means you have an opportunity to out-compete nearly half of your competitors by supercharging your database.
Specifically, you need to be able to gauge demand for your company’s solution. This is achieved by accurately and efficiently capturing names, businesses, and contact information of the people your company wants to do business with.
Having this information will allow you to identity the profile of the ideal customer to target and then add relevant new contacts to your marketing database that fit the target audience.
Consider these seven best ways to engage with your ideal customer as part of your normal course of business. Additionally, if you are seeking additional support growing your marketing database, consider how ProSales Connection can support this vital function.
1. Create Engaging Website Content
First, your marketing team needs to focus on creating engaging content for your website that’s optimized for conversion. The website is generally the front door to your company’s solution, so your ideal customer is going to seek information about you and your solution by exploring your website.
Once the prospect is on your website, entice them to convert with content that will be used to capture emails and contact information. The content needs to be relevant to the ideal persona you are interested in doing business with to ensure that you convert readership into actionable leads that are captured in your marketing database.
It is important that your website is optimized for conversion with various calls to action at multiple stages of the buyer’s journey, such as subscribing to a blog all the way to scheduling a demo. The buyer may not be ready for a sales call at this stage, but you can still capture their information and place them in a nurturing program.
2. Develop Relevant Evergreen Content
Another important way to manage and grow your marketing database is utilizing evergreen content, such as video features, to continually feed your pipeline.
Consider that video is king of content right now, especially as prospects continue moving away from their desktops to mobile devices and the capabilities of their phones continue to improve. According to this report from TechCrunch.com, video content will make up 80 percent of the Internet by 2021.
If you are not already utilizing video content, start thinking about the type of content your team should develop to engage your target audience. A popular feature is a “welcome message” from the company owner or high-ranking executive explaining the value proposition of your solution that engages prospects as soon as they enter the website.
Another popular strategy is placing evergreen video content on your YouTube and Facebook platforms for relevant prospects to engage with. These features should include a call to action to send an email or schedule a phone call to receive more information about your solution.
3. Build an Online Presence Outside of Your Website
Sometimes you just need to build awareness for your solution in order to capture contact information to fill your marketing database. If you are not reaching enough of your ideal customers through your website and company social channels, consider using alternative means to generate leads.
An important tool is guest blogging on an industry website that your target audience is reading and familiar with. When you guest blog, though, be strategic about the outlet and timing of the content.
If your ideal customer has heightened awareness about a particular topic, industry trend, or event that is affecting their business, then take advantage of the opportunity to submit a guest blog to a relevant outlet that will reach that audience. Be sure to include a strong call to action that will lead to your prospect submitting contact information to start a conversation.
4. Attend Trade Shows
Where can you find your ideal customer in a real life, face-to-face setting? Trade shows are the place to start. These events are an effective way to acquire new contacts to feed your marketing database.
Before the trade show, consider acquiring the registration list of both attendees and exhibitors. Having both lists is helpful to pre-screen target customers. This way, you will be efficient with your time and resources ensuring that your marketing team is reaching out to the individuals and companies who best fit your target persona.
This will also give you a better idea of whether you should schedule an executive or another officer from the C-Suite to attend the trade show. Giving prospects the opportunity to talk with a high-ranking executive or see a demo from a notable person will improve your chances of capturing information for sales opportunities.
5. Take Public Speaking Opportunities
Another method to engage with prospects in a face-to-face setting is through public speaking. Sure, not every person in the audience will match the ideal persona of your target customer. However, an engaging speech and a strong call to action will encourage attendees to take action plugging your website landing page into their phone or submitting their contact information. Then, your marketing team can filter the captured information.
You should also consider attending conferences where there is an opportunity to talk with prospects after your presentation. This way, you can screen individuals who come up to you to determine if they are a potential lead. If the conversation seems promising, you can also collect and exchange business cards to gather contact information.
* Pro Tip: When collecting business cards, be sure to write down relevant information about the conversation on the back of the card to then enter in the marketing database along with their basics of phone number, email, organization, and position.
6. Buy a Contacts List
The idea of buying a list of prospect contact information is taboo for many businesses, as traditional cold call outreach programs often get a bad rap for being too aggressive or pushy. However, there is a right way to use a list when prospecting.
The first best practice is to use vetted list brokers who have a good reputation, do not have a record of complaints, and have a track record of delivering accurate lists with actionable information.
Secondly, do your research to ensure that you are obtaining a quality list to augment existing data in your marketing database. A list can be a very affordable, efficient way to obtain information that breaks down the complexity and uniqueness of the target audience you are trying to reach.
This is especially important considering changes to the buyer over the past decade, according to a new sales research report:
- 2007: You could reach a prospect in less than 4 cold call attempts
- 2017: It takes 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect
This highlights the importance of growing your marketing database to better understand your target audience to reach more prospects.
7. Pursue Co-Marketing Opportunities
One of the most underutilized ways to manage and grow your marketing database is sharing contact lists with business partners.
Obviously, you do not want to share your lists with competitors! However, pursuing co-marketing opportunities with business associates could lead to sustained growth by ensuring you have a reliable partner who will also share information to fill your database.
This is especially valuable if a business partner has a comparable service that could enhance your company’s overall value proposition to a prospect. The idea being that when you succeed, they succeed. And when they succeed, you succeed.
Your marketing database is crucial to a healthy sales pipeline. Want to become a pro at building a successful marketing list? Download our free guide Active Demand Generation today!