B-to-B Marketing: Reach Beyond LinkedIn
LinkedIn has more than 360 million members worldwide, making it worthy of the title, “The World’s Largest Business Network.” But largest doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end-all prospecting solution.
A recent study of more than 24,000 C-level executives (opens as a PDF) in the DiscoverOrg database found that one-quarter (25 percent) of them do not have a LinkedIn profile. This shows that even in an increasingly digital age, sales and marketing professionals can’t rely on social networks alone to identify and connect with key decision-makers or influencers.
The task of finding and connecting with ideal prospects is hard enough. Reducing the pool of potential prospects by 25 percent only makes it tougher.
While LinkedIn is a highly effective way to reach prospects, no marketing team should rely on it as a primary prospecting tool. This method relies solely on end-user submitted data on those networks; unfortunately, this data is often incomplete or outdated.
The most effective marketing teams use a database that doesn’t source its data primarily from LinkedIn or other online sources. With the help of such a database, marketing teams can achieve the following goals:
- Reach More C-level Executives: In most cases, the buying power lies with the C-suite. So cutting out a quarter of those prospects isn’t necessarily a recipe for success. True business intelligence offers comprehensive contact information, coupled with in-depth context on major initiatives going on within a company’s walls. This includes direct-dial phone numbers and personal email addresses, which enable users to reach out to their target prospects directly.
- Learn Critical Background Information: LinkedIn profiles often don’t include information on the entire organization or the contact’s role. Without this essential contextual data, it can be hard to approach prospects with the right messages at the right time. This is especially important at large companies, where the buying power is more spread out.
- Gain a Competitive Edge: It’s extremely difficult to earn a competitive edge using data found on a public social network because, well, the information is public. There’s no information you have that your competitor doesn’t. Gaining that competitive edge is dependent on privately sourced data pools, where you’re privy to exclusive data on target prospects. Access to database insight provides information about trigger events, such as a change in leadership or new technology investments, detailed job responsibilities and direct reports – to loop in all stakeholders from the beginning and approach them with relevant and targeted messaging.
Across any industry, sales and marketing professionals can benefit from better intelligence on their prospects – making them more efficient and effective at their jobs. Successful sales and marketing teams realize that LinkedIn, although helpful for relationship building, is not a sufficient or efficient database for prospecting and doesn’t give you a leg up on your competition.
Instead, LinkedIn should be used as an additional touchpoint when it’s available and is most effective when leveraged in tandem with a direct-dial phone number and additional context beyond what is available publicly online. Only with a database will you be truly equipped with the information for competitive success.
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