An old boss once told me that success happens when preparation and opportunity meet. This also holds true for targeting an audience with your marketing campaigns. I’ve been thinking about the evolution of targeting and how it has and, in some cases, has not progressed. As marketers, we often default to the basics of a targeted audience’s make up: title, industry, role, technical characteristics and so on. Why not first think of project, responsibility on the buying team, interest level, purchasing stage… Because targeting is not just about capturing the right audience at the right time, it is also about the investment you make and passing on the most likely opportunities for sales to engage and close. Helping sales save time, effort and hard costs and focusing efforts on the opportunities that really matter could move those opportunities along faster as well as save budget and resources.
So, how do we do this? Employ a targeting strategy that takes into account activity, content and context at least as much as demographics. Finding an active, interested, engaged audience can help your marketing campaign by providing a better starting point for your qualification and selling efforts. How you use the intelligence from the activity, content and context can also better shape the follow-up approach to lead qualification. Think in context of the enterprise technology buying team. All the leads that you capture may not have ultimate authority or the need may be latent, but knowing their role can help with qualification by determining the type of questioning and relationship that sales would want to build. This type of strategy can help you identify the urgent, actionable leads that inside sales and field sales can jump on quickly and can put the proper emphasis on the leads that matter.