Developing a Prospect Database for an Emerging MarTech Company
CASE STUDY: Marin Analytic Consulting recently assisted a client in its database marketing initiatives and prepared an article summarizing the project for the contact list vendor which is set out below. Delivering meaningful content to good quality leads via email marketing campaigns is the most effective way for B2B companies to build prospect pipelines and ramp sales. There is considerable evidence to support this contention but it should be noted that it applies to small companies just starting a marketing program as much as larger more established businesses.
Key Learnings So – what lessons did we learn in undertaking our first email campaign? ➡➡ We wanted a list that was as large as possible but still filtered out data dimensions that we felt were not relevant. The upfront time spent on aligning the list with our business model and value proposition was time well spent. ➡➡ Our open rates were a function of both the message content as well as the cleanliness and quality of the list. ➡➡ Email campaigns are part of the overall marketing journey and we generated a number of responses from people who may not be current prospects but who demonstrated an interest in the message and are receptive to learning more. ➡➡ The ROI on an email campaign can be very attractive for a small company.
Our expectations for the campaign were more aspirational than based on precise metrics – we had no baseline or experience other than some generic guidelines on click through rates. We were therefore very pleased that the open rates exceeded our hopes and led to a number of product demos and ultimately to a number of qualified leads.
Marketing departments can become overwhelmed at the large number of marketing technology vendors around today that provide software platforms for managing prospects through the pipeline funnel but the process really begins with the data – a list of prospects with accurate contact details. Relevant offers targeted at the right people with accurate contact details are the foundation of a successful email campaign.
Emerging data analytics companies,like most other small B2B technology companies, tend to be led by data scientists and engineers or others with a
technology background. Consequently, these businesses tend to run lean with a focus on product development. Marketing infrastructure tends to be more of an afterthought. With luck the product will reach the market, word will spread and customers willknock on the door. Sales will accelerate and suddenly the business is on its wayto becoming a unicorn!
However, life rarely imitates art and the start-up world is not a “Field of Dreams”. If you build it, they will come may have worked for Kevin Costner but it is less likely to work for the average entrepreneur. Many companies can win some initial (beta) customers and start generating operating cashflow but pretty soon they realize they need to scale and promote their brand and product to the wider population of prospective customers.
This was the conundrum facing Marin Analytic Consulting as it worked with a marketing technology start-up that had completed development of its solutions and was looking to ramp up sales. The client company is a saas based revenue attribution and marketing mix platform targeted at companies that do not have the large budgets typically required for this type of marketing effectiveness analytics. The company had no marketing prospect database to speak of, but had developed some strong content targeted at marketing operations executives describing how the software could improve their work life by providing an actionable set of recommendations to optimize their marketing spend as well as a testing environment to conduct experiments. What was needed was a targeted list of leads that matched our assumptions regarding prospective purchasers.
Enter Oceanos We realized we needed to develop a list of quality contacts – that is, marketing technology executives that would be receptive to our value proposition and had influence over the purchasing decision. Oceanos provided us with an unfiltered and very comprehensive list. Reviewing the fields forced us to think rigorously about the key attributes of high quality prospects and led to us refine our criteria based on such things as company size (focusing on companies outside the Fortune 100) and executive titles that represented likely prospects. This list comprised both B2B and B2C prospects and we generated customized content for each group that was desktop and mobile friendly.
Oceanos provided us with an unfiltered and very comprehensive list. Reviewing the fields forced us to think rigorously about the key attributes of high quality prospects and led to us refine our criteria based on such things as company size (focusing on companies outside the Fortune 100) and executive titles that represented likely prospects.