Big Data Makes For Better Outbound Marketing

Don't let inbound marketing overshadow your outbound marketing. Columnist Victoria Godfrey discusses how data-driven campaigns are bringing outbound marketing into modern times.

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Since HubSpot coined the term “inbound marketing” in 2005, many businesses shifted from marketing strategies focused on outbound campaigns to methods designed to bring the business to them in order to be more efficient.

As is so often the case, some looked at inbound marketing and figured the new methodology meant abandoning outbound marketing tactics without analyzing how they could improve upon long-proven strategies with new capabilities.

For example, big data and the development and adoption of predictive sales research solutions offer organizations a way to modernize their outbound efforts and reap greater benefits from a sales and marketing strategy that remains essential to most organizations.

From Big Data To Big Business Intelligence

Marketing strategists spend hours on end wading through masses of information. Simply having that information isn’t enough, though.

Outbound marketing efforts succeed when they reach the right audiences. Leveraging data collected from years of successes and failures helps paint a picture of the most effective methods for filling the sales funnel with qualified, eager prospects.

Whether it’s email marketing, direct mail, sales calls or any other form of outbound marketing, knowing when people are most likely to convert can make an average campaign a successful one.

Moreover, sales teams empowered by analytics can glean critical insight into actual conversion triggers. Those triggers include events such as a prospect being promoted into a position with responsibility for purchasing decisions or a target company emerging on the cusp of a new trend in its industry.

Big data analysis can surface those triggers so that brands can make effective decisions about outbound marketing strategy.

Beyond just providing trigger information about prospects, sales and marketing teams can use big data to identify which prospects to target.

For example, by looking at the attributes of their existing customers, teams can determine that the companies most likely to purchase from them are based in the Northeast, have been around for more than 20 years and have revenues of more than $500 million.

With this ideal customer profile in mind, marketers and sales professionals can use big data tools to find other prospective companies with similar profiles, thereby focusing their efforts and reducing the amount of time spent researching targets or worse, contacting irrelevant ones.

Unfortunately, many companies are reluctant to innovate when it comes to established processes. When something has worked for so long, decision-makers are often blind to the trend of worsening results.

One trait of the successful B2B sales or marketing professional, though, is understanding where things are going — both in terms of the marketing landscape and in terms of the industries of his prospects and customers.

Even during the most bullish of times, trends change, and intelligent outbound marketers anticipate coming shifts and capitalize on them, either by referencing the trends up front in sales calls or by increasing efforts in one region particularly affected by the trend.

Data-Driven Campaigns Are The Future Of Outbound Marketing

Smart sales and marketing teams know that outbound is alive and well, even as they might be experimenting with complementary inbound strategies. The difference between the outbound campaigns of yesterday and those of the future comes down to data.

Solutions designed to gather, organize and analyze information have become truly business-critical, and they are transforming outbound marketing campaigns that once seemed largely hit-or-miss into highly targeted strategies with multiple facets capable of reaching every kind of prospect.

Real-world context, real-time triggers and highly specific buyer profiles fuel smarter, more effective outbound activity.

The rise of inbound is important, but outbound marketing hasn’t been replaced, as so many want to believe. It has prompted decision-makers to get more creative and resourceful about tapping into available data.

The information is out there. Use it properly.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Victoria Godfrey
Victoria Godfrey is the chief marketing officer of Avention. Prior to joining Avention, she spent five years running her own marketing and research company, Godfrey Research. Previously, Victoria was the chief marketing officer of Zipcar. She has an international MBA from Thunderbird (The American Graduate School of International Management) and a bachelor’s degree from The University of Vermont. Since 2001, Victoria has taught marketing at the Gordon Institute at Tufts University.

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