These days so many B2B marketers rely on data to ‘talk’ with their customers. They measure the number of views they get on their online properties. They set quotas on how many tweets, blog posts, and LinkedIn connections they need to keep a campaign going. If a certain course of action isn’t creating the right numbers, it’s automatically discarded in favor of a different approach.
Meanwhile, you risk forgetting that IT leads aren’t things you find like you would with a metal detector. You don’t ‘talk’ to your audience just by reading the data they generate on a graph. To find your leads, you need a human detector.
There are a lot of things that machines can detect that humans can. In fact, science-fiction and fantasy play with this trope a lot. Vampires don’t show up in mirrors. Zombies don’t give off a heat signature. (Cosmic horrors are an even more extreme case. )
So while the future of the marketing industry does seem like humans are out of the picture, don’t forget that all that technology and information are still just products by humans.
It’s like a new way of finding the same old trail of bread crumbs. You can have a bread crumb detector (or even just a good, old fashioned crow) but it’ll still be up to you to track that trail and rescue Hansel and Gretel. Most experts give the impression that understanding the human element in B2B lead generation can be complex. That’s not entirely true. Some of the most human activities include simple common sense such as:
- Understanding what customers want – This has always been the sole purpose of gathering customer data. Their habits and content preferences are but indicators of what they want. In fact, the only reason why they even allow you to observe them is with the hope that you will put them first.
- Empathy is a buffer– Seeing things from your prospect’s viewpoint sometimes require you to actually go against the data. Special cases, despite being such, are commonly overlooked because you insist that they’re part of the majority. On the other hand, if you actually took a deeper look into their situation, you might reach a different conclusion.
- Seeing things in plain view – A common problem when using marketing technologies is that the wrong metrics are often misused. This can result in lead generators having everything from qualifying non-ready sales prospects to ignoring bottom-line results. Sometimes it’s better to see things in plain view than under the microscope.
Proper detection requires the proper perspectives. All the tools you have at your disposal can spot the tracks of a prospect leaves behind on every channel. It’s still up to you to find out where they went.