Ignorance Is The Curse Of God: Harnessing Intelligence
Old Bill Shakespeare, as Matt Foley The Motivational Speaker called him, did not believe that ignorance is bliss. In his Henry IV Part 2, Shakespeare had the soon-to-be-beheaded Lord Saye utter these important words of wisdom: And seeing ignorance is the curse of God, knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.
Ignorance is indeed the curse of God, and of your board, shareholders, and customers. With so many different customer segments, buyer types, influencers, and sales channels through which companies sell to the market, ignorance about what makes individual business buyers buy or individual consumers purchase your product through the channels you have established is a curse, one that slows sales cycles, allows competitors to advance in, and shifts your customers’ preferences away from your proposal.
However, knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. Dozens of marketing intelligence resources are at the fingertips of even small to mid-sized business marketers. Every company should be taking great pains to identify the unique characteristics of their individual customers, seeking to understand what makes them prefer what they prefer, and what makes buy where they buy. This knowledge can empower the organization to interact, respond and communicate in a way that drives revenue.
The Peppers and Rogers Group publication 1 To 1 Media recently commented on this, noting how important it is for sales organizations and their marketing teams get on the same page and harness data on customers, the sales cycle, and other data in order to identify precisely what moves the sales cycle along faster towards close. Forrester Research chimed in as well, noting that the proliferation of mobile devices is making it a prerequisite for marketers to acquire intelligence on the dynamics of buying and selling in a mobile channel.
Literally dozens of resources are available to help small to mid-sized businesses understand more definitively what their target market prefers in a sales channel. For example, our firm Foretelligent has worked with dozens in the clients in the last 12-months to provide marketing intelligence on questions such as, Which sales channels do your customers most prefer? The Web? Catalog/Mail? In store? And, Which social media properties do your customers frequent more, and how active are they there? This data is collected through on and offline sources and compiled into a marketing intelligence syndicate that small to mid-sized businesses can utilize without conducting expensive primary research. Other resources include firms like Epsilon, Digitas, and Carlson Marketing, who collect, manage and deploy rich marketing intelligence along with the analytics that deliver a way to speed from insight to revenue. Combining rich intelligence, such as the answers to the questions posed above, with other demographic, financial and purchase history detail, marketers can precisely identify how and where to position, present and advance their sales opportunities faster and for lower cost. This intelligence and the means to utilize it is no longer the exclusive domain of enterprise firms.
Being satisfied with high-level, genericized data on website traffic or national-level market research is the curse of God, not to mention boards and shareholders. But identifying the segment or individual customer-level preferences, their propensity for each sales channel, and how they interact online and offline can be wing wherewith you fly to heaven.