We are certainly living in uncertain times. In the blink of an eye, the world has gone from full speed ahead to slamming on the brakes across many industries.
No one could have predicted the impact of COVID-19, even a few weeks ago. The spread of Coronavirus has halted the global economy resulting in sales targets being revised down, marketing budgets being squeezed and forcing organisations to adjust to remote working.
With the US now overtaking China in the number of reported cases the economy could be on pause for quite some time. So as marketers how do we adjust and ensure that lead generation does not draw to a halt?
In these difficult times, many marketers are looking for innovative ways to drive demand with their buyers, keep pipelines full and sales teams busy whilst (more importantly) trying to ensure they keep themselves and their families safe.
In reality, B2B businesses are not closing down in their droves, they are leaning in and looking at how they can hit their sales targets, build upon their brand and ensure they come through this stronger than ever.
So, how can intent data help drive demand in these challenging times? Here are our top 5 tips:
- Capitalise on the move to digital events.
- Identify buyers who are actively in buying mode.
- Identify buyers who have funds or are recently funded.
- Identify influencers in your industry.
- Align sales and marketing through targeted account-based marketing.
1. Capitalise on the Move to Digital Events
The events industry has been deeply affected by the current pandemic with most large business events now suspended or cancelled. Many of these events are moving to a digital arena. The good news is that this means more online activity surrounding these events, which leads to more intent data being picked up by Buyer Intent Platforms such as Zymplify.
Intent Platforms pick up on keywords, phrases, hashtags or engagements with events and can provide the contact level data on those interested in, talking about or attending these online events.
This can be an extremely useful tool for marketers to fill the top of their funnel with potential buyers.
2. Identify Buyers who are Actively in Buying Mode
Intent data can be used to identify buyers who are actively in buying mode – and yes they do exist, even during this economic downturn. This can be done in a number of ways, as well as the event tracking mentioned above. You can use Buyer Intent tools to go further by identifying prospects who are engaging with your competitors (through their online channels) or using conversational keywords online. This includes identifying contacts that engage with content from your competitors, follow their social profiles or connect with a key person in that company on LinkedIn.
3. Identify Buyers who have Funds or are Recently Funded
Funding is still ongoing even in these uncertain times and companies who have been recently funded are more likely to be actively in buying mode and looking to implement products to help them scale. Intent data can provide marketers with notifications when a company has completed a funding round and if these companies fit their customer persona then sales can strike while the funded company is in a buying phase.
4. Identify Influencers in your Industry
It’s important to engage with and leverage key influencers within our industries and intent data can be a great source of these influencers. By picking up on keywords and conversational phrases that key influencers might use, intent data platforms can be used to target key influencers with your marketing material.
5. Align Sales & Marketing
Never has it been more important to have full sales and marketing alignment. With sales teams not operating at full capacity, it is a good time to work collaboratively and really deep dive into your customer personas. Intent data can then be used to fill sales pipelines with prospects who fit the ideal buyer persona of our organisations. Sales teams are under pressure to deliver targets and they will be more interested in the low hanging fruit during these times – intent data can identify, through the points noted above, those companies and accounts which are of highest priority and ready to close.
Leaders will inevitably look at marketing budgets during this downturn as an easy option to reduce overhead. It is our job as marketers to provide value to the business and intent data can be a high ROI driver. From crisis comes opportunity and it is vital that we find new and engaging ways to interact with our customers so that they know we are here to help and have a solution to satisfy their needs.
Don’t forget that we’re offering your business a free marketing consultation with one of our inhouse digital experts, to advise you on how to boost your business, even during this current climate. Click here to find out more.