You know what they say about assuming: don't assume when it comes to your B2B marketing data

Ass-u-me. That's what they say about assuming. It makes an ass out of u and me. In my previous post about collecting B2B marketing data, I walked through all of the cool places you can collect data as a digital marketer. One of the things I highlighted was that great marketers that are collecting tons of data might not be looking at it correctly, or making incorrect assumptions. 

Here are a couple of ways that I like to protect myself from that mistake:

  • Be clear about your audience
  • Be clear about your goals
  • Understand and avoid vanity metrics

Your audience

These will be more commonly called your personas in this blog. Your personas are your target market. If done well you should develop your personas before you even develop a product. They should be the reason you decided to develop a product. They should be the kind of people you want to serve for the lifetime of your organization. They will tell you what they love and hate about you and you will be clear to continue to serve them, not getting distracted by other shiney objects.

Your goals

What do you want your organization to be? Do you want to be an amazing product that serves very few people really well? Do you want to serve the masses? Do you want to build an organization that offers opportunity for your community? Are you trying to go public? Do you want to get bought by a gigantic company like (Amazon or Google)? Do you want to get onto shark tank?

Vanity Metrics

These are the ones that don't tie to your goals but might make you feel better about yourself. Some great examples include traffic or followers. Basically anything that doesn't align with your goals, shouldn't be measured. If your goal is to drive leads that convert into revenue, then you shouldn't measure how many times your sister in law shares your content on Facebook, unless she's an influencer in your persona market. If your goal is to attract investors then you need to measure revenue growth, and brand recognition.