In Data Management, Marketing and Sales Alignment, Marketing Automation

Our last post previewed the RPM (Remediate ― Provision ― Maintain) Contact Data Management strategy as a way to maximize your investment in Sales & Marketing Automation systems. It follows a very logical, yet sometimes difficult to execute progression … 1) clean the data to add and/or replace missing or incorrect information 2) analyze it to pinpoint gap fill and net new persona acquisition provisioning requirements and 3) maintain and continually compile objects that generate the most business benefit to the end users.

The first of the three RPM tracks is Remediate, which simply means fixing a problem. A good place to start is fixing your data so you are able to configure targeted deal making activities with precision. The best business case for data remediation is for market segmentation purposes. With or without automated B2B sales and marketing applications, I have rarely been in a situation where “one message does it all” in terms of relevancy. Whether configuring lead generation campaigns or selling directly, the thoughts and values you are communicating in your messages have to directly relate to your target. That means the type of business they are in, the characteristics of their organization, and the job they do. Opportunities increase when unique target groups with varying needs, wants, and what we call “segment vernaculars” are recognized.

This concept (taken from the Wind & Cardozo Model) is known as Two-Stage Market Segmentation.  It is based on “broad two-step classifications of macro-segmentation and micro-segmentation.” That sounds complicated, but it’s really not. In fact, it’s one of the most commonly used methods in B2B marketing and is often extended into more complex models that include multi-step, and three and four-dimensional models which many Marketing Automation systems support. To make segmented campaigns happen, the data in your system(s) needs to have the following (at the very least) segmentation data points to sort, slice and dice by:

  • Segmented Messaging by industry – If you market to more than one industry segment, your outbound communications need to take into account unique industry-by-industry needs, wants and vernaculars, which is a good approach for application-based selling. You need SIC and/or NAICS codes in your company and account records for this type of segmentation. However, the former is based on very basic and standard industry classifications and shouldn’t be relied on exclusively. For instance, many industries that have a lot of technologies, or have new, innovative products are classified as ‘other.’
  • Segmented Messaging by company size – Messaging that pinpoints needs and wants relative to the size of a company can be a big deal when it comes to being relevant to whoever is on the receiving end. You need to append employee headcount and reported revenue (when available) for this type of segmentation. It’s best to have both since many companies don’t report earnings. This is one of the most practical and easily identifiable criteria. It can be good indicator of the potential business for a company. However, it needs to be combined with other factors to provide a reliable picture.
  • Segmented Messaging by geographic region –A company’s location is just as important as its size because it’s very important to relate to its culture, language, general business attitudes, and communication requirements. For example a company would adopt a different selling strategy with a prospect if it’s based in EMEA instead of the U.S. Geographic segmentation is another important element, especially for multi-national and global B2B businesses and brands. Many marketers have regional and national programs which alter their messaging strategies to meet the individual needs, wants and (obviously) languages of geographic areas.  You need to append complete postal address information for this type of segmentation.
  • Segmented Messaging by role or function – Too many marketers fail to take good segmentation practices to the human level and rely solely on a person’s title to decide whom to target and with what message. It’s best to go through a process of determining what personas make up the ideal decision-making unit (DMU) for the product or service you’re selling, and craft a messaging approach that highlights your value in a very personal way. This borrows from the concept of Micro-segmentation and focuses on factors that matter most to people in the course of daily business. At ReachForce we use proprietary software and data processing tools to conduct title density and clustering analysis in combination with role title correlation tagging to append role-function information for our customers who want to add this important segmentation capability.