Live from INmarket: The Dawn of Data-Driven Marketing

This morning at the inaugural INmarket conference in San Francisco, 6sense CEO Amanda Kahlow announced that B2B marketing is forever changed because of one thing: data.

Takeaway #1: Find Your Clients When They Are “In Market” to Buy

To illustrate the point, Amanda told a personal story about what she described as a once-in-a-lifetime purchasing decision – CRM. As Amanda was evaluating vendors, she took a call from a company she had never talked to before and as she said, “will probably never talk to again.” Amanda took the call because the rep found her when she was “in market.” For many of the most important buying decisions in B2B, this window is small and rarely comes around twice.

Modern marketing is about finding this “in market” window and reaching the customer with the right message and business knowledge that helps solve their business challenge. This gives you a chance to become a trusted advisor in what is otherwise a sea of vendors. To do this, marketing and sales must follow the buyer’s digital footprint. As Amanda said, “Buyers leave a rich digital trace of their online activity. This data tells you what their pain is.” If you want to win in the modern marketplace, you can no longer wait for your customer to come to you.

Data and predictive analytics can help B2B companies change the game and build a truly responsive sales and marketing operation. 6sense customers are seeing a two to 20 times increase in MQL to SQL conversion and a 33% increase in sales productivity. They’re also able to predict with 80 percent accuracy who their future customers will be.

Takeaway #2: Your Website is Not the Center of the Universe

The second speaker of the morning, Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping, urged marketers to rethink their world view from sales funnels and white papers to moments of inspiration.

Like a lot of people, marketers see their product and their company as the center of the universe. “This is how we build our websites,” Drew said. “We think customers are going to flock to us and read our content and fill out our lead-generation forms.” But, somewhere deep inside we know that the if-you-build-it-they-will-come model doesn’t work. Instead, Drew told us to follow Galileo’s model and accept that “we’re not the center of the universe.’”

So what can companies do differently to reach their buyers when the average marketing team is focused on optimizing their website and late-stage sales collateral? They can create what Drew calls moments of inspiration or M.O.I. By creating stories about the greater purpose of your organization, you can inspire your clients to come on that aspirational, suspenseful, and emotional journey with you. If marketing can do this, it breaks the sales funnel and drives people to your brand.

So the next time you sit down with your marketing team, ask yourself what you’re doing to inspire them.

Andrew Davis (left) high fives Amanda Kahlow between sessions.

Check out hashtag #INmarket15 to follow the conversation online.

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