Marketing is an exciting business field. It provides professionals with the opportunity to get creative and connect with customers on a whole new level. When it comes to marketing raw materials, however, the work becomes a lot more challenging. Encouragingly, it is becoming easier for companies to use the power of buyer intent data to overcome these challenges.
What is buyer intent marketing data?
As the name implies, it refers to marketing data that give clues regarding buyers’ intentions. Obtaining and using the data can happen at both the individual and collective levels. When companies collect this data, they are in a much better position to identify their most likely prospects, find out what buyers are most engaged and identify loopholes in the sales funnel.
Examples of buyer intent data include product views and customer feedback. Companies can use this at the individual level to resolve issues with existing customers and reward loyalty. They can also use the data at the collective level to improve operations and fine-tune how they handle marketing raw materials.
What are the main obstacles?
Marketing to other businesses is almost always more difficult than marketing to individual consumers. Whereas customers can make purchase decisions on their own, Forbes pointed out that businesses often have a more bureaucratic process. The bigger the business, the more likely a top-level executive or several managers had to agree and sign-off on decisions.
To add to this, organizations may have existing relationships with other suppliers. Convincing them to break those relationships and create new ones can present an interesting challenge. In fact, some may remain bound by contracts that make it impossible for them to make an immediate decision, even when they feel encouraged to make the switch.
How can companies overcome these challenges when marketing raw materials?
An important thing to note about B2B marketing is that while companies become clients, the decisions are still in the hands of human beings. This makes it important for companies to appeal as much to broader corporate brands as to the professionals making key decisions. Finding the middle ground between these two priorities creates a thin line to walk, but it can be done.
1. Improve online presence
It’s not impossible to track buyer intent data from traditional forms of marketing, but it is more expensive, more labor-intensive and less accurate. Companies that move more of their business operations and marketing initiatives online stand a much better chance of acquiring usable buyer data. This data can improve the process of marketing raw materials. Simple ways to accomplish this include building a website, creating social media accounts, expanding your online presence with relevant third-party websites and installing data analytics tools.
2. Use third-party sources
Small businesses often rely on in-house marketing data to determine user intent. This may include information from Google Analytics or the web platforms they use to create and host their sites. However, customers often much prefer searching for objective and unbiased information outside of the company’s website. In fact, Gartner’s research team estimated that potential customers spend about 50% of the pre-buying research on independent, third-party websites.
3. Make key changes
Using the data presented to inform the sales process is a crucial step in harnessing the power of user intent data. Despite this, many companies continue to use the same process for marketing raw materials. Continuing the same path undermines the value of the data but making big changes can create challenges too. Instead, use buyer signals to make key changes and then prioritize ongoing optimization.
4. Monitor signals
In this dynamic market, fueled by a 24/7 news cycle, there is no guarantee that what worked tomorrow will work today. Companies need to reexamine marketing strategies regularly. They should also reevaluate after each new sociopolitical or economic change that can affect buyer intent and how potential buyers perceive existing messages.
5. Partner with customers
When it comes to marketing raw materials, remember that your clients are as invested in your company doing well as they are in the success of their businesses. When your business does well, they can rely on a constant supply at affordable prices. Use this common ground to be proactive. Set up trigger points to determine when to ask for feedback and how to handle feedback when received. One good trigger point, for instance, is after onboarding a new client.
How can businesses make this process easier?
Companies must rely on accurate, thorough and targeted data to properly harness the power of buyer intent. Many sources meet these criteria but piecing them all together can take time and reduce the efficiency of this process. Because of this, companies marketing raw materials should rely on software to automate the process.
At UL, our UL Prospector® marketing solutions and Connect products help our clients identify and connect with the right potential buyers. Contact us to learn more about what these products can do for your business.