Your B2B marketing decisions shouldn’t be made in a vacuum. When you’re spending time crafting and honing campaigns, you want to ensure they hit their mark – and deliver you the leads and customers you’re hoping for.

The best way to achieve this is to allow your B2B data to influence your marketing decisions. Your data is a highly valuable resource that will help you to know who to target, when, and in what way.

Writing for CIO, Tom Kaneshige says: “In words tinged with sombre acceptance, today’s digital marketers proclaim customer data as their new master. No marketing decision shall be made without closely consulting the data-analytics tea leaves. Marketing’s black art has just become quantifiable.”

So what does this look like in practice?

The right people; the right way; the right time

This is an important marketing tripod: it is just as ineffective to aim your marketing campaigns at the wrong people, as it is to target the right people in an inappropriate way. To construct each leg of this tripod, the best place to start is with your current B2B database.

First and foremost, you need to ensure that your database is clean.

You can then start analyzing your database.

By examining your contacts, you can work out who your best customers are, where they’re coming from and what they have in common. You can then target similar prospects, in order to win more sales. For instance, you might find that people who hold a particular position within an organization are the most responsive to your campaigns; or that contacting prospects in the middle of the week leads to better results than doing so at the start or end of the week.

You can also look at which mediums work best – whether email, telemarketing, direct mail, or a combination of the three. Of course, different segments of your audience may produce different results in this area.

All of this information can then be used to inform your future marketing campaigns, helping you to better meet your audience’s needs and significantly improving your return on investment (ROI).

Your content

It’s not just who you target – and how and when – but what you say too. Successful marketing is dependent on providing value to your audience; in showing them that you are the organization that can solve their problems and alleviate their pain.

You can analyze your B2B data to see how your audience reacts to specific topics that you have covered in blog posts and eBooks, emails and direct mail.

Writing for HubSpot, Rachel Sprung says: “One of the most important parts of blogging is figuring out which content performs well and which doesn’t – so you can avoid writing content that doesn’t. To figure out what works on your blog, it’s helpful to understand not only how many visits you get to an individual blog post, but how many leads that blog post generates.” You can achieve this by looking at how many people click-through to a landing page from each of your posts.

Similarly, with emails, you can track how many people respond to each message that you send out and you can also implement A/B testing, whereby you send out two versions of the same email to see which one performs best. Direct mail is a little harder to track but you might, for instance, include a link to an online landing page, where recipients can access other content in return for their contact information.

It may simply be a case of trial and error to figure out what works best for your business. But figuring out what types of content deliver the highest ROI will pay dividends for your company.

Your data can tell you a lot about the people best suited to do business with your organisation. Of course, carrying out this level of analysis on a regular basis can take up a lot of your time. Whether you decide to implement these practices internally, or partner with a B2B data consultancy, who can help you to make the most of your records, your data should be a driving force in your marketing decisions.