A recent contact discovery and account penetration survey of Marketing Directors, VPs and CMOs found that almost 40% called their marketing efforts “Mission Impossible.” The survey also identified several reasons for this difficulty.
- Marketing Database Problems: 73% said their contact database needs work. Of these lack of contact emails was the most commonly cited flaw. Breaking into new accounts can take up to 5 times as many touches as selling to existing accounts. Lack of accurate email contact information adds complexity to reaching the 5X touch hurdle.
- No target or named account focus: 18% said that their company did not pursue specific target accounts. An earlier survey indicated that improved targeting and segmentation was the one thing that would most enable marketing to contribute more to their company’s revenue. Have you ever tried to cut into a tough steak with a dull knife?
- Using outdated tools to engage management: On a scale of 1-5, where 5 was the most important, “Engaging at the management level,” received a 4.78. Yet, our experience is that companies are still spending much of their marketing budget on old tools, such as telemarketing, which these same people rated as marginally successful.
So what can be done to move from “Mission Impossible” to “It’s a Wonderful Life?” Here are three important strategies:
1. Clean up your database. Third party vendors can help with this initially, by testing and filling in inaccurate or missing emails and other contact information.
2. Implement disciplined processes: However, to keep the accuracy up to the level needed for success requires disciplined processes with sale and marketing. Clarify who is responsible for tracking prospect changes in job title, address, email, etc? How frequently is database accuracy confirmed?
3. Use targeted surveys to contact senior prospects: survey respondents identified targeted surveys and direct sales contacts as the two best ways to penetrate accounts. Given that a targeted survey is many times less expensive than a direct sales contact, increasing surveys in the overall marketing mix is an efficient way to improve results.