The Marketing Fish Finder: Using Data to Identify New Market Opportunities

As marketers, give us a lead and we’ll be set for a minute, teach us how to get leads, and we’ll be set for our careers…

The framework of the old “teach a man to fish…” proverb fits well for marketing not only because it’s a good life lesson, but also because marketing and fishing actually do have a lot in common. Unfortunately, one of the strongest commonalities between fishing and marketing is that both endeavors revolve around targeting limited resources. Just as aquatic ecosystems can be overfished, so too can our target audiences become over-marketed. To avoid over-marketing, like avoiding overfishing, we need to spread out our fishing grounds more effectively – maintaining a healthy mix of new target audiences to supplement the same old tried and true sources. Fortunately, we don’t have to guess where the best new spots will be. With specialized predictive scoring & prioritization, along with market segmentation and visualization, we can actually know where the fish will be biting – so to speak – before ever even dropping a line.

Knowing the Behaviors Behind a Bite: Any avid angler knows there are situations when fish will bite, and situations when they won’t – the same goes for b2b buyers. The idea of lead nurturing actually hinges on the artifice of putting b2b buyers into a state where they are receptive to messaging. But unless a we can serve up content and scoring based on clear data for what works and what doesn’t, even the most sophisticated nurture program really boils down to guessing and checking. With customer, market, and industry data, however, we can flush out commonalities and patterns that receptive b2b buyers demonstrate. Once these patterns are established in known segments, we can look to new segments that display similar receptive traits.

Data for the Marketing Fish Finder: Just as fish finders have dramatically changed modern fishing, new technologies like marketing automation platforms and CRMs have dramatically changed modern marketing. Before, fishermen had to test depths, aquatic structures, temperatures, etc. all by trial and error – marketing wasn’t much more sophisticated either with batch blasts, primitive A/B testing, and buyer personas limited to company, title, and contact information. With quality data, however, we have a much more vivid picture of what’s happening below the surface. Not only can new segments be found from data-derived patterns, but more segments can be targeted as well as the time, effort, and risk associated with venturing into new markets decreases as the quality and depth of data increases. Just as a fisherman can cover more area, hitting more relevant hotspots for fish, we can use data to more effectively target even more relevant segments.

Simplified Science, Empowered Art: The difference between good and great is the same for both fishing and marketing – good means understanding the science, but great means perfecting the art. A good fisherman can find fish under the right, scientifically-defined conditions like a good marketer can find the right prospects, but great fishermen and great marketers alike still find ways to make their lures look as inspired and appealing as possible. In our own marketing efforts, data and data services can help us save time and effort on scientifically understanding the right audiences, the right personas, and the right pain points, allowing us to more artistically craft the right messages and the right presentations.

For more information on how we can help with your data-driven marketing efforts, contact us today.

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