Database Marketing: Up Close and Personal
5. One Size Doesn't Fit All
In the B-to-B world especially, you should never be talking to your prospects or customers as if they're all the same. Segmenting by industry type is the easiest and most obvious way to create content that is most useful and relevant to your various audiences.
Start by understanding your customer base or target audience; chances are they fall into about six broad industry types (identifying segments based on your sales force alignment is another good method). Within each industry segment, create case studies and whitepapers most relevant to that industry. Create separate pages on your website dedicated to each industry type, and constantly refresh them with new and relevant content. Consider having a blog on each industry page from a different thought leader in your organization, and look for ways to help increase awareness of that blogger by encouraging speaking at industry events. The more you can build believability about the blogger's knowledge and leadership in that thought leader's particular industry, the more likely you are to build brand awareness and interest.
6. Direct Mail Still WorksIf You Divide and Conquer
Many believe direct mail is dead. But quite the opposite is true, if you can create a compelling and relevant message to your target. Not unlike email, you need to slice and dice your audience into meaningful segments, and then craft a message that's relevant to that segment.
A recent B-to-B campaign for a software company helped keep the sales staff busy with follow-up meetings as the creative and benefit message zeroed in on one industry segment only.
7. Celebrate Milestones
Acknowledge and celebrate customer milestones. The simplest way of making a customer feel good about your brand is to recognize and reward key milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries or even the date of a first purchase. Starbucks always salutes its cardholders' birthdays by adding a free beverage to their cards, while many other brands mail out postcard or email coupons with a birthday "deal." Don't have this information in your database? It's easy to get from your customers with a short questionnaire—especially if you tell them you'd like to celebrate their day with them by giving them a special offer.
A blog that challenges B-to-B marketers to learn, share, question, and focus on getting it right—the first time. Carolyn Goodman is President/Creative Director of Goodman Marketing Partners. An award-winning creative director, writer and in-demand speaker, Carolyn has spent her 30-year career helping both B-to-B and B-to-C clients cut through business challenges in order to deliver strategically sound, creatively brilliant marketing solutions that deliver on program objectives. To keep her mind sharp, Carolyn can be found most evenings in the boxing ring, practicing various combinations. You can find her at the Goodman Marketing website, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @CarolynGoodman.