New Research between Tomorrow People and B2B Marketing reveals for the first time the link between data and content marketing success. Alistair Norman, marketing director, Tomorrow People, comments on the results of the findings.
B2B marketer? Address the elephant in the room
According to a new research by B2B Marketing and Tomorrow People, 60 per cent of marketers describe themselves as data-driven. The same percentage said they used insights from data to shape their marketing campaigns.
But the survey revealed a core problem. Despite this commitment to being data-driven, just 15 per cent described the quality of their data as “very good”, while 80 per cent believed leveraging data would lead to better customer focus. They want to use data – but they haven’t got a grip on it...It’s the data elephant in the room.
Great customer relationships start with great data
Despite businesses collecting 44 per cent of their data in-house where it should be easiest to deal with, just 48 per cent used defined customer personas in their marketing plans. With roughly the same number able to serve truly personalised content to people in different demos, psychos, and geos.
Perhaps as a result, only around a third or so (35 - 41 per cent) thought their own content was insightful or educational. When asked further about their marketing, respondents were brutally honest with themselves: 80 per cent believed they could do more to achieve customer-centricity, and 10 per cent even admitted their content was “boring”! Less than half had a content strategy in place that painted a picture of what success looked like.
Average data and average usage, of course, leads to average content. If this data elephant cannot be addressed, the foundations of most future content strategies will be fundamentally flawed. So taking content from average to great will be the marketer’s biggest challenge in 2016 and beyond.
Content marketing is dead – long live the content experience
Great content is more than marketing. It’s about delivering an experience, which differentiates, engages, and builds an emotional bond with your customers, prospects & employees. But to achieve this holy grail, data must be front and centre.
To that end we must end our obsession with the sales funnel and customer decision journey. Instead we must think about creating experience-driven touch points that go beyond the products and services we sell.
We can’t restrict our efforts to what drives the immediate sales leads, because that limits what we do. Don’t focus on persuading and promoting in order to sell. Rather think about enabling and empowering experiences...with data at the core.