In the midst of everything the world is going through right now—the pandemic, economic distress, social distancing—we marketers face an incredibly challenging time leading our teams.
While balancing the priorities of family, work, and everything in between, we still need to continue generating predictable revenue—just not in the ways we were before.
Maintain Relationships With Prospective Buyers
I like having all the answers. But I’ll be honest, this situation had me stumped. I mean, where should I point my team? Should I tell them to keep going? Empathize with customers? Use their best judgment?
Of course, these are useful tips to relay to your team. But personally, when plotting my team’s victory, I rely on data and insights. Our tactics have changed a lot, but our targeting strategies are already rooted in behavioral insights into what our buyers really care about and which of them are currently in-market.
It’s obvious that insights are now mission-critical to driving revenue teams. This strategy has been a saving grace, especially when our current situation means you’re one tone-deaf email away from being blacklisted.
Not to mention, there are a total of zero events going on right now—so we can kiss those leads goodbye. But we still have to reach our pipeline goals, which leaves us with a ton of questions, such as these:
- Should our event marketing budget go somewhere else?
- Should we dump that money into advertising, paid social, or some other function of “digital” marketing?
- How can we continue generating pipeline when everything has changed?
Enter the Three I Formula
Now that we’ve established insights are the driving force behind revenue growth, it’s time to talk specifics. During our CMO breakfast series earlier this year, we asked 200 CMOs where they were focusing their marketing dollars now.
Their three primary areas of focus (in order):
- Thought leadership
- Sales enablement
Excellent areas of focus, but this brings me back to our original challenge: Where are we targeting our ABM, thought leadership, and sales efforts right now?
While I’ve already talked about the importance of insights, there are specifically three types critical to your operations. I’m in marketing so, naturally, I love alliteration.
I introduce to you the Three I Formula:
No. 1: In-Market
If your industry hasn’t been brought to a complete halt, then you’ll have accounts that still need your solution. There may be a decrease in inbound volume, but active buyers are out there. Encourage your team to seek them out and begin building relationships with them.
To help your team build these connections, use predictive analytics to identify patterns in a buyer’s behavior. Predictive analytics can help you uncover the specific keywords prospects are researching or if they’re visiting your website without raising a hand.
An account is in-market when they’re ready to engage with a solution. By using insight from predictive analytics to time your outreach, you can pull the trigger when the account moves in-market and be the very first vendor they talk to. Connecting with buyers at that point allows you to build a solid relationship before other vendors can even get their foot in the door.
No. 2: Intent
Intent data helps you determine if an account is in-market, but more importantly, it focuses on what the account intends to do. It answers the question “What does the account care about?” by compiling first-party data (like who’s visiting your website and interacting with your campaigns) and third-party data (like the branded and generic keywords they’re using to conduct research).
The promised land is where you know exactly which keywords an account is researching, which of your website pages they’re visiting, which locations are most active, and which buying personas are most engaged.
With intent data, sellers have insight into what is most relevant to their prospects at an account level and which personas are best to target, allowing them to initiate valuable conversations. On the other hand, marketers better understand the most critical topics to their audience in real-time—which matters when that changes daily!
No. 3: Industry
It’s important to address how a given situation impacts an account’s overall industry and business model. Does it have a positive or negative effect? Your team has to understand an account’s industry if you expect to centralize your targeting and messaging.
A situation like the one we’re in affects everyone differently. Imagine it like an earthquake: Right now, airlines would be atop the epicenter of our earthquake, whereas an industry like breakfast cereal might only feel a slight tremor. The impact level of the situation, and how well industries adapt, shapes your targeting.
You also need to look at accounts outside of your CRM. Based on how much everything has changed, they might not be relevant anymore. To fill your pipeline, you have to uncover patterns outside of your own data.
Unlocking Mission-Critical Insights With the Three I Formula
Even during the best of times, the Three I Formula is mission-critical. Together, in-market, intent and industry insights give you everything you need to effectively market and sell your solution in any situation. Of course, you should always know what your prospects want and target your outreach based on what is most important to them. But, when times are tough, the Three I Formula helps you put limited resources to work for you and avoid potentially tone-deaf messaging in your outreach.
With clear insights, the Three I Formula helps you fill your pipeline. By creating targeted, personalized outreach to accounts needing your attention right now, your team will have the confidence to push through trying times and continue generating revenue.