Monday, April 23, 2012

Doctors and Marketers - Not so Different?

When you go to the doctor you expect careful examination of your specific ailments, right?  You have no interest in a template response that doesn’t evaluate your pain points or symptoms.  You do not want to be treated like a textbook.  So, why are there so many sales and marketers treating their leads and prospects like data and not like companies with individual needs?

If your doctor measured your weight, height and then factored your age to spit out a remedy for your problem, you’d probably be dissatisfied with that visit and quickly look for a new physician.  Let’s call those measurements, firmographic data.  On the other hand, if your physician sat you down and listened to some of your symptoms and engaged in a conversation that allowed he/she to understand why you are having the symptoms, they would much more likely be able to make an accurate assessment and provide you with helpful remedies. Let’s call these symptoms, triggers. Sales and Marketing is no different. 

This is not to say that at the doctor’s office they shouldn’t measure your height, weight and age.  It is a necessary starting point.  In sales and marketing, firmographic data is important.  We need it in order to begin the segmentation process, but you can’t stop there; there are other symptoms to consider. We like to call these symptoms event triggers.  What events have occurred that could factor into your leads buying process? Did they just have an M&A? Did the VP step down?  Did they just publish their earnings?  These are important questions to help decide what your next move will be.  Think of yourself as the doctor – how are you prepared to best help your prospects’ and leads’ pain points? Firmographic data will only get you so far; you need dynamic data to make an accurate assessment of your patient.  You need to research and listen to their needs to find the best remedy that your leads and prospects deserve.

How do you find that data?

Finding dynamic event data is much simpler now that there are automated solutions to help you discover which companies need your services. Not taking advantage of these services is like a doctor only looking at weight, height and age and prescribing you medicine that you might not need when you might not need it.

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