Let’s say you want to put on a music event for all the people who live in your city who love rap music. You don’t know who likes rap music and, in fact, you’re new to the city altogether and don’t really know anything about anyone at all. You want to sell as many tickets as possible so that you can get a return on your investment for the venue and the rap artists and all the other expenses which you’re going to have to pay for, and to do this you want to invite and try sell tickets to as many nearby rap-loving people as possible.
Where do you start? Well, you’re smart, and you know that the best way to sell anything is to sell to somebody who is interested in what you’re offering. Rap music tends to appeal to a younger audience so why not head to the local university?
You go there and hand out flyers to young students, who might like rap music. If not, they might tell their friends about it at least. You could try and advertise the event in a local magazine or newspaper that young people read. You could even try getting hold of some sort of student email directory and sending out bulk messages.
You sell a few tickets, but nowhere near enough to make the event even close to being profitable for you. In fact, as things stand, it won’t be nearly busy enough to keep the audience or the artists interested, and if word gets around that this first event was a complete failure, nobody will come to another one ever again. You have experience in marketing and feel like your event marketing isn’t the problem – you just can’t seem to reach the right audience.
This is where intelligent data can make the difference! The previous approach of going to the university on the off-chance that young people like rap music seems like a natural thing to do, but as the event’s primary sales technique, it was too general and unfocused. Really, if you want to sell tickets to people who like rap music, you should find data which tells you exactly who has been to previous local rap concerts and events, who has bought rap music in the past, who reads about rap music in the press, and who likes or follows rap music on social media.
By using focused information, you can direct your sales efforts in precisely the right places, which is especially important for small businesses with limited resources. More general marketing can be, and is, useful, but it should be complementary to a more focused campaign. For events like this, Facebook can be a powerful intelligence tool to show who attended specific events, who likes certain types of music and where these people are.
For salespeople in less social markets, the above example demonstrates how using focused data, regardless of what is being sold, can boost sales figures without investing extra time or effort. It simply requires a shift in the initial sales approach.
When put in such simple terms, it seems obvious that all sales professionals or business people should now be using the data available to them online to generate greater returns on their sales efforts. To not do so would be inefficient, and almost reckless, given the level of fierce competition present in almost all markets. You can be sure that if your business isn’t using intelligent data for sales prospecting, then your competitors almost certainly will be!
Credit for this post goes to Simon Davies