Could individual analytics be the secret weapon for B2B marketers?
Today, marketers and business owners alike are enamoured with the insights provided by big data. This is understandable, of course, because web analytics tools have revolutionised the way businesses run. Big data is now the largest influence on how companies structure their online content. Even with all its merits, however, it comes with its own shortcomings. This is because with B2B marketing, the browsing behaviour of just one individual can influence business success in a number of ways.
Individual analytics is all about gathering data from one person’s interaction with select marketing content. This helps you to understand your client by understanding their perception of you.
Understand the Individual to Earn the Opportunity
Individual analytics can be a valuable marketing tool for B2B’s when the browsing behaviour of a single decision maker can mean the difference between a major sale and a missed opportunity.
With the proliferation of data-harvesting tools, a new level of detail has been afforded to marketers. Today, they can easily quantify their CTR as well as accurately measure one campaign’s success against another. The problem with this method is that these values refer to how website visitors, as a whole, have interacted with content.
Individual analytics shifts the emphasis from trying to understand everybody, to primarily understanding key decision makers. Because, lets face it, every B2B marketer can benefit from getting into the mind of the person whose name is on the credit card.
Choose Your Fields
Individual analytics aren’t just for engaging in one-to-one B2B transactions. They can also be utilised to gain an understanding of what a preselected ‘controlled group’ thinks as an overall mean. Several companies already use this method with shareholders and employees. Doing so helps them guide corporate policy and inform future company decisions.
Utilising small data to study investor perceptions doesn’t have to be limited to just annual reports. Monthly newsletters provide an opportunity to better understand investors and their interest in new company developments. The data fed back from a newsletter can guide future business decisions. Additionally, this data can provide ‘an event’ in which to engage with both shareholders and staff alike (on the issues that matter to them).
There are several different methods to try your own controlled field for exclusive analytics. For example, today, let’s say you want to send your shareholders your annual financial report. But instead of just sending them a pdf, you also want to gain a better understanding of which areas are most important to them. Here’s how you could take advantage of this opportunity and better your relationship with them for the following year:
- Create a unique page within your company domain.
- Send that specific page to ONLY the desired recipients.
- Study how they interacted with the content through the analytics for this page.
- Build future annual reports around these metrics.
Target Your Marketing
For starters, marketing your brand to a mass audience isn’t easy. With the growth in data harvesting tools, however, businesses are now able to take a new approach to fulfil the needs of their web visitors. In short, big data harvesting tools allow companies to analyse how visitors interact with their content. By studying each stage of the click-through process, marketers can streamline the experience and increase their ROI.
When it comes small data, precision-targeted marketing resources run a bit thin. The truth is, small data won’t provide the answers to big questions. To access these details, you’ll have to take a closer look at your marketing results. This is exactly what individual analytics helps you do.
To target your marketing, remember to engage with leads through the channels best suit them best. Here are just a few questions you should ask yourself.
- Do they rely on social media?
- If so, which channels do they frequent?
- What time of day do they engage?
- Is email their principal communication tool?
- If this is the case, when is best to email them?
The key here is to experiment with different channels and times until you achieve the desired results. For email interactions, send your content with an opening tracker to see what time they opened it or clicked on it, how long they viewed your content, etc.
In this way, you can begin to build a detailed picture of their working day and gain an inherent understanding of the best times to interact with them.
Personalise your Content
Personalisation is now an essential element of marketing. This goes beyond simply changing the names on a mass email. To truly personalise your content, you must understand what your target wants, then provide it.
Create an accurate portrait of your audience and their individual nuances.
As a marketer, it is important to consider your target’s personal tastes and interests:
- Which content gets the most shares?
- Which content gets more comments?
- What are they talking about within those comments?
- Which content gets no engagement at all?
To answer these questions it’s important to interact directly with your leads & followers. As you do this, you will be able to track their responses with individual analytics. In doing so, you will gain an earnest understanding of their interests.
The Hawthorne effect applies to marketing, just as it does to psychology.
Test the Water with a Tracked Introduction
The strength of data within any industry is that it allows you to make decisions that are more informed. For industries like architecture, for example, which functions on an acquisition-based business model, this data is essential. Pitching new designs can be a multi-stage process. Each new stage and interaction bring with it the potential to gather and apply new information.
Following the traditional methods of communication, the early stages of pitching a new project require sending a printed portfolio. The pitfall here is the expense of printing hard copies of a portfolio with no guarantee of a return. Additionally, once delivered, there’s no way of knowing if it was reviewed, what content worked and what material fell flat.
Opting to showcase your latest designs through a unique URL on your official website resolves all of these issues. The architect can deliver the portfolio through a custom-made microsite and track the actions of the potential client via individual analytics. This allows the designer to gauge a prospective client’s interest through the entire engagement.
See it as like dipping a digital toe to test the waters of a potential new business relationship. Once you have the data, you have the framework around which to construct the best pitch for that particular client.
Combine Large & Small Data
While individual analytics (on its own) will not cure all your marketing woes, it can provide detailed insights into your target audience. Similarly, big data has several practical applications but lacks the detail afforded by individual analytics.
In particular, big data is great if you’re concerned with boosting your official website’s traffic. It is also great if you’re attempting to pull in more leads through your content. But if you’re looking for the special sauce to set your marketing apart from the crowd, blending big and small data strategies can give you that competitive edge.
The pace of technological change is so rapid today. Marketers must think hard about the innovations they choose to integrate into their campaigns. To ensure your strategy hits all the right notes, combine large-scale data harvesting with a more intricate, individualised model. This will help you maneuver those all-important one-to-one interactions. After all, there never was any harm in getting that little more detail.