One typically under-utilized asset possessed by most B2B companies is their database. Whether that database is a snail-mailing list, email list or social media following, the capacity to contact interested people must be harnessed as a part of a complete promotional plan. It is assumed that management already has a reliable, easy to understand tracking system in place. However, the dilemma lies in how a B2B company can utilize a contact list, since it is extremely rare when a received message leads directly to a purchase.
Solidifying the Expert Position
Management should use their contact list to make sure that industry trends are explained and contextualized for subscribers. Additionally, care should be taken not to re-state news that is already part of the industry discourse. Company executives should add to the conversation by providing fresh thought, analysis and opinion. As management shares their insight with prospects and customers in their database, they can continue to hold a thought-leading position among other industry professionals.
Providing a Glimpse of the Future
Executives should keep subscribers involved in product and service development. By reminding subscribers of new products to come in the future, companies can keep prospects engaged in their activity. When using social media contacts, companies should expect to dialogue with those who show an interest is communicating 'real time' with them.
Getting the Entire Story
Additionally, companies should also use their database to get feedback on all pertinent sharable information. In this vein, management will want to make sure that their database is segmented according to people's entry point into the marketing funnel. Doing this will give companies the ability to query only those who would have an related interest in particular subjects.
Adding Subscriber Value
Companies should provide their subscribers with relevant assets that assist them in accomplishing their goals, at no additional charge. This keeps people interested in receiving messages and makes them more receptive to opening them. This additional value can take the form of specialized digital content or software that enhances some aspect of their daily activities.
Leveraging for Joint Ventures
Moreover, companies should find non-competing but compatible businesses in order to expand their reach. In other words, a business can present an offer from a compatible company to its database, with the expectation that the same will be done for them. Each company gets to expand their reach of customers, but what makes the joint venture possible is a well established and engaged database.
Revealing Special Offers
While it is not the sole purpose of a B2B customer database, making special offers should be part of the engagement and promotional process. It should be the kind of insider information and reward that clients receive for remaining loyal to a company by continuing to receive their mailings. Special offers should be an aid to the sales process, while not replacing it.
A marketing database is an integrated part of a B2B company's promotional plan. Companies should build their database with extensive effort as there can be short and long term benefit. The two winning factors for success in building a database are: 1) consistent communication and 2) frequent rewards. These factors will then entice customers to be willing to view messages when they arrive.