Nearly 15 years ago, Salesforce.com launched its “No Software” campaign. It was a way to move CRM technology – and marketing – into the future. A more user-friendly future, with mobile access to contacts and easier collaboration within workflows. The campaign also played on pain points like server management overhead and the need to update client software on all different types of desktops.
Now, D&B’s CMO Rishi Dave (@rishipdave) is borrowing a page from Salesforce.com’s playbook. At a recent Dreamforce conference, the digital marketing expert suggested we take a similar approach to another painful commodity: data.
“It’s no longer about the data. What it’s really about is how you’re driving your relationships with your customers,” Dave said last month during his talk, The Role of Customer Intelligence in an Inbound Marketing World. “The nature of that relationship has fundamentally changed.”
Here’s an example. In the old world of B2B sales, customers start their due diligence on a new IT solution by calling their sales reps. With the growth of information on the web, as well as social media and other influencers, typical buyers today are 60% of the way through their research before they ever pick up the phone. That means the heat is on to find ways to influence potential customers, before they make contact with your company.
Digital marketers need to evolve to meet this new reality. At the very least, they will need:
- A 360-degree view of the customer
- To build models for automated response
- To deliver excellent online experiences that reflect a customer’s buying preferences and behaviors
- A combination of highly targeted content, influencer management, and digital and physical experiences.
Easy, right? Except there’s one more thing: You’ll also need a feedback loop to monitor progress and tweak the mix, constantly. The new challenge – and it’s a big one – is to make sure you’re keeping pace with the market, every place the customer goes.