How to Optimize B-to-B Data Capture
In today’s marketing environment, most B-to-B prospects are hesitant to just give away their individual and company data to any old marketer.
But while the task is daunting, B-to-B data capture is not a lost cause. In fact, the Web has made gathering information more efficient, if done correctly.
The most important thing for B-to-B marketers to remember is they can’t expect to get all the information they want right away. In actuality, this can be a detriment to the process because most businesspeople do not want to be bombarded with information requests from the onset. “Marketers oftentimes get real excited about the Web and the ability of the Web to capture information from customers,” says Theresa Kushner, director of customer intelligence and strategic marketing for San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems, a B-to-B hardware, software and service provider. “And so the tendency is 'if I’ve only got one chance to do this, I have to ask them everything.' What we constantly have to keep reminding people of is that’s not true.”
Kushner says Cisco has tried capturing data every way possible, but according to her, collecting data in incremental steps is the only way to go. And to do that, marketers have to develop a relationship with customers and prospects that offers value to both parties involved—a value exchange. And that’s the challenge—offering enough valuable resources to leads so they’ll in turn provide marketers with the information they need.
On that initial point of contact, for instance, Cisco asks for very little data—often no more than a name and title or company. “Over the last couple of years, what we’ve seen is that it’s taking more and more value to get people to give us their names. … But what we find is most effective is the value exchange of, 'You give me your name, I will give you something.' From that information then, the next round comes back to say, ‘OK, thank you very much. We’d like to continue this conversation. Here’s some additional information we’d like to give you. Could you give us back some additional information about yourself?’” Kushner describes.