Marketing automation is part of the never-ending attempt to find the customer before someone else finds him or her. How firms do this is varied and evolving. Virginia-based True Influence is the latest to seek an advantage in this market with today’s release of InsightBASE.
“We link with the account (the company), the technology they use and the people you want to contact,” explained Brian Giese, CEO at True Influence. InsightBASE is “a fact system. It is presenting facts to the marketer,” Giese continued. “We’re not a predictive system.”
InsightBASE is aimed at the business-to-business marketer. It tracks who visits third-party B2B web sites, and more importantly matches those visits to a database of “contacts of record”. A marketer using InsightBASE knows more than just which company to contact, but which person to call.
The very first act a customer takes when trying to buy something is research. That will entail spending some time on the Internet, visiting web sites to gather information. Those visits signal interest in a product or service. Online monitoring of web site visits can add up over time. By True Influence’s count, over 3 billion of these “signals” can be gathered in a month. These web site visits can be analyzed, comparing visits to similar web sites to detect any surging interest in a particular good or service.
This can reverse how sales are done. “The buy process is 80 percent done by the time a sales person is engaged,” Giese said. Marketers now can “engage before the customer engages them.” he said. “The marketer gets the intelligence to do the right thing.” That contact could be a well-timed e-mail or banner ad appearing at a particular web site visit.
Intelligence comes down to knowing who to call and when, thus avoiding “database fatigue,” Giese noted. The last thing a marketer wants to do is contact someone who has no interest in buying the product. InsightBASE at this point replaces the shotgun with a rifle, aiming the message at the targeted individual instead of blasting a message at the entire mailing list, hoping for a few hits.
This approach also stands as an alternative to Google AdWords. One can buy keywords and go trolling for web site hits, but there is no guarantee that the person clicking on the site is the right one, Giese explained. InsightBASE instead links a contact name with that web site visit, so it gives the marketer a good idea of who is looking for information, he said.
InsightBASE was formerly an internal tool used by True Influence as part of an ad targeting system provided for clients. “We decided to turn over the keys of our Porsche to our customer base,” quipped Giese. The tough part was the graphical user interface, which took a year to figure out.
InsightBASE can operate on its own or integrate with CRM systems like Oracle Eloqua, Marketo or Salesforce. Sold on a subscription basis, InsightBASE is priced on the number of accounts being monitored.