Steps to Prepare Your Building Product Organization for Content and Database Marketing.
Content and database marketing are two marketing tools recommended by Forrester Research, Inc. after they did an extensive study earlier this year. I’ve highlighted some of the key points from this article below.
Content Marketing refers to creating more content than that used in your typical company and product brochures that go to all customers. B2B customers prefer to receive messages that apply to their needs. Therefore, creating custom content with messaging that applies to a specific customer segment increases the opportunity to convert the sale. Building product customers are no longer open to global messaging that is not specific to their needs.
To prepare for content-centric marketing messages CMO’s need to ensure the following:
- Content must educate as well as sell: In many cases building product marketing must educate the buyer regarding features and benefits, as this is an important step in the process. The buyer must understand the features and benefits so they can communicate this to another audience, which makes the purchasing decision.
- Content must fit the purchasing journey: As customers navigate the purchasing process, educational content must be engaging throughout the process. Many building product items are large ticket purchases; therefore, the buying life-cycle may be longer than other products. Content must continue to engage the customer throughout the process.
- Customers want expert opinions: In many cases buyers want information that is deeper than marketing can create. Therefore, subject matter experts should be consulted to provide technical features and benefits for the customer.
Part of the automation process is database marketing, which is a continuous process of maintaining marketing data. Sales force automation (SFA) can have full-time employees that manage the process, but database marketing is an after thought in many organizations.
To prepare for database marketing CMO’s need to:
- Identify the relevant data mix: Building product marketers have data from multiple sources, but in most cases the data is fragmented and out of date. Each data source should be segmented based on importance, then audited to identify needs.
Once internal resources have exhausted their ability to update, an external resource may be required to fill additional data gaps.
- Fill technical and business skills gaps: Marketers, public relations experts, web-based data analysts and operational experts all have a unique skill set, CMO’s must evaluate gaps in the process to close the loop.
- Identify platform needs: Global marketers have a much different platform need compared to a regional building product marketer. Evaluating the marketing database needs of each is important.
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