Enterprise B2B marketers spend the majority of their effort marketing to individuals that don’t have any chance to become customers.
- Your marketing database is full of contacts that will never become clients. Even if it’s well maintained, it is full of tire kickers, companies that are too small or large, or contacts that just aren’t a good fit.
- All types of people visit your website. Whether you have thousands or millions of visitors a month, most of them do not even have the potential to become prospects.
- And let’s not even start with banners for B2B marketing, where most of the audience of even the most targeted sites will never represent an opportunity for you.
The problem is, you don’t want everyone to register. You don’t want everyone to spend time on your site. You don’t want everyone to respond to your advertising. You care about the people who have the potential to drive business.
The probability of most of these people becoming customers is zero. And that means you are optimizing your marketing investment based on how people you don’t care about are responding.
This quote from Nate Silver in his book The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don’t highlights the problem many B2B marketers are facing.
“The signal is the truth. The noise is what distracts us from the truth.”
B2B marketers today are overwhelmed by the noise from all of the activity that is tracked and reported on from people who will never buy. Your A/B testing is optimizing your site for the average visitor, the one you don’t actually care about. Your reporting is dominated by the responses from people who will never be qualified and represent a dollar of opportunity.
Seeing past the noise requires letting go of the big numbers you report on. Likes, visits, even registrations. These numbers represent everyone, and you can’t continue to focus on everyone.
You need to take targeting and segmentation well beyond industry, role or previous responsiveness to your marketing. You need to identify the audience that is most likely to purchase and then focus your effort and evolve your marketing based on how these segments respond.
Are you ready to make the leap, to cut out the noise and focus on a just a small portion of what you call your audience today?
Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@wittlake).