Warren Buffett once said, “A market downturn doesn’t bother us. It is an opportunity to increase our ownership of great companies with great management at good prices.”
While Mr. Buffett was referring to investing in stock, this same sentiment applies to investing in marketing. For example, as marketers emerged from Covid-19 lockdowns, those who took a longer-term view and invested in marketing thrived—they gained an outsized share of voice at much lower costs.
The key to investing confidently is finding ways to minimize risk. During the pandemic, I was vp of the U.S. SME commercial business within the global commercial services marketing team at American Express. We set out with a clear mission: “Invest with no regrets.” Instead of casting a wide net, we used data and analytics to identify prospects who looked like our best customers. We then invested proportionally to their potential value. There was no wasted spend. Back then, we had access to teams of people with deep data sets. Today, you can access similar actionable insights with sophisticated marketing tools.
Depending on your ROI threshold, this is an excellent practice for any economy, but it’s increasingly essential when the climate is uncertain—when the cost of being wrong is elevated. The right lead intelligence and insights give businesses of all sizes the confidence to invest when others pull back.
Broadly defined, lead intelligence is information about potential customers that reveals insights into their behavior, motivations and interests to improve marketing, sales and customer experiences. Of course, the best business decisions—and ultimately, the greatest return on investment—require the best intelligence: accurate, timely and relevant.
Marketing in the dark
You may know when a lead visits your website, clicks an ad or downloads content. But do you know when an online search, social ad, billboard or mailer inspires them to pick up the phone and call or text?
For too many businesses, call and text data is the most significant gap in their lead intelligence. The good news is it’s one of the easiest to fill. Even better: If your business receives high volumes of phone calls, you’re probably sitting on a treasure trove of business-building insights.