In some ways the spread of digital marketing spread has had a Doctor Hyde and Mister Jekyll effect on today’s business marketing. On the good side, it is easy and economical to send thousands of messages to increase awareness and brand your service, product or company. On the other hand, it can overwhelm the recipients with irrelevant messages.
Recently, a study by Accenture™ stated that Big Data provides astronomical gains in data in terms of revenue and many other attributes. Carefully analyzing the impact of Big Data, one could conclude that the beneficiaries are predominantly large B2C companies with the ability to spread the message via M2M. This new future with the right message going to the right contacts based upon their past behavior has been touted as revolutionizing B2C relationships.
But while digital marketing is good for the business to consumer markets, I maintain that it is not as effective for complex business-business markets. I personally believe that companies in business markets simply do not have enough human touch with the customer base with digital media alone.
My experience tells me that business marketing professionals can quickly become out of touch with their market if using primarily digital media. Often I wonder why many of us are even needed – to develop content for an email or glorified press release? What has happened to real market understanding and account insight? Who listens to the customer? Is this why many old established powers are in impending trouble or diminished in relevancy?
If you truly poll business marketers about the source of the leads moving through the pipeline, you will conclude that a large proportion of business sales leads are derived from events and personal connections. That personal touch is the difference because you uncover what your customer base is really thinking.
Bombarding your customers with seemingly customized web messages or standard BANT questions can only tell part of the story, and often annoy them, as well.
To supplement your “big data” findings, however you define it, you need to have a methodology to gather objective personal insight (even if it is not flattering). And when you apply that insight/intelligence customers know that you truly want to partner and work with them.