Why marketing tech is wasted without customer insights

Today’s marketers have an abundance of new ways to get their messages in front of highly targeted prospects. Programmatic ad buys, lookalike targeting with paid social, email nurture streams—there is a long and growing list of tactics that increase our ability to control who we reach, when and where. Unfortunately, many of these new opportunities are being wasted. The problem isn’t with the tactics themselves. There is an underlying problem with the marketing fundamentals behind them.

Most marketers don’t know enough about their prospects. What are their needs, challenges and aspirations?  What problems can we help them solve or goals can we help them achieve? Without this information it is impossible to develop messages and content that will cut through the noise and connect. If we end up reaching more people in more places, but are stuck using off-target, non-differentiated display ads, the new technology simply increases our ability to get ignored.

The problem with what we “know”

Every company claims to know their customers, but many work from information that is very one-dimensional – a few key industries, job titles and some general demographic info. To do our most effective work as marketers, we have to push for greater customer insights. We need to identify where we have gaps, propose strategies for gathering and documenting information, and paint a clear picture of why it’s so important to supplement the tribal knowledge and industry stereotypes that often go unquestioned, with a new, more informed perspective.

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