Marketing Manners & Business Intelligence: Give, and You Shall Receive

June 23, 2011
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Business intelligence: We all strive for it. Marketing research departments are notorious for shelling out big bucks to survey companies for information on their customers, competitors and emerging products and technologies but often forget that this type of information can be easily and more cheaply found in their own backyard.

Business intelligence: We all strive for it. Marketing research departments are notorious for shelling out big bucks to survey companies for information on their customers, competitors and emerging products and technologies but often forget that this type of information can be easily and more cheaply found in their own backyard.

How? Through techniques such as content marketing, also known as sharing content in exchange for information. In this digital age,  companies are learning to package and exploit basic services in exchange for email addresses, consumer preferences and potential competitors through their own marketing channels and social networks.  The more value a visitor can find in the content, the more information he or she is willing to part with.  The old adage “give and you shall receive” comes to mind. Some just call it good marketing manners.

So how is this method of collecting information better, or cheaper for companies?

Traditional marketing research firms and survey data providers have unique methodologies.  They each have their own recipe for how data is collected, stored and categorized.  When you purchase data from a third party, you lose control of where that data came from, who it came from, how old it is, and what system is used to interpret it.  In a nutshell, you really don’t know what you’re getting. It comes down to the basic principle that if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. 

Sounds expensive though, doesn’t it? Not really. Think about your company’s basic services… whether you sell financial consulting, Ferraris or light bulbs, there are always “freebies” you can easily part with, package  and provide to get people in the door. Instead of spending all your resources marketing your paid products, put some effort into marketing your free ones. You’ll get a much higher response rate and gain valuable information to help in future sales and marketing efforts. The trick is to make sure there’s enough value in your free content so visitors don’t leave without giving you what you need in return.  The benefit is you get to control what information gets collected and from who.  And the best part is you just spent a fraction of the resources to obtain better quality information while also engaging with potential customers.

Sounds like a no brainer, doesn’t it?