In today’s world where there is an abundance of data and advanced analytics technology, it should be considered sacrilegious when a marketing and BD professional makes a business suggestion, starting with "I think". This attitude, approach and tactic was apt 20 years ago. Today, marketing and BD teams should be operating based on what they "know" – i.e. facts that, in reality, are easily available to them.
In our personal lives, we are buying things very differently, to even a few years ago. Amazon is an example. Based on our individual buying habits, persona, searches and the like, Amazon very efficiently suggests products that we may not have even thought we needed or indeed known that they existed. This B2C mindset is creeping into the B2B environment too. Business buyers are influenced by what they see online and on social media channels. But marketing and BD professionals haven’t necessarily made the corresponding adjustment in how they are approaching their functions. An abundance of data is there for the taking, but they haven’t empowered themselves with it!
Data analytics must be their ‘go to’ tool. Take website analytics. Wouldn’t it be good if BD professionals went to fee earners and told them that their Key Client had viewed exactly which pages, downloaded which whitepaper and looked at which thought leadership blogs on the website? This intelligence could potentially help initiate a conversation on a new matter for the fee earners. Drilling down into the analytics further, the marketing and BD professionals could then determine how those Key Clients were finding their way to the firm’s website – i.e. via Google, Twitter or LinkedIn – which would in turn serve as a credible proof point as to where and which campaigns were resonating with clients and prospects.
Layering CRM data onto this insight would enable BD professionals and fee earners to marry the external and internal conversations for even more in-depth information. For instance, CRM systems offers relationship scores that define the strength of every single relationship the firm has with its clients and prospects. They offer the ability to amalgamate and analyse data that is a combination of information that resides in the CRM system and other systems and presents the findings in an engaging, visual and drillable format. The intelligence they provide is powerful.
By empowering themselves with data, business development and marketing professionals can confidently and assertively tell the firm how to move forward, based on tangible insight. Fee earners and partners will take note too. After all, lawyers favour logic, analysis and precedence – data analytics provides exactly that!
It’s time marketing and BD professionals relegated the tactics of yester years, in favour of a data analytics-based approach. Perhaps if there is a skills gap in the marketing and business development functions today, it is potentially how to leverage data to their functions’ advantage. Addressing it is worth considering.