Bear with me while I get something off my chest: “fact-based marketing” might be the worst descriptor of all times. Hyperbole? A bit, yes. But “fact-based” doesn’t fully encompass what fact-based marketing is at all.

The term “fact-based marketing” implies barraging your audience with “just the facts, ma’am,” an approach that seems cold and sterile, not to mention terribly boring. Fact-based marketing, though, is anything but. It’s also not terribly new. It’s simply newer terminology for the age-old marketing practice of “knowing thy customer” combined with the newer trend of relying on peers and not pitchmen to justify a purchase.

Fact-based marketing augments the use of facts with data and customer information. Gone is the exclusive use of rigid, impersonal demographic information about customers. Today, fact-based marketing incorporates personas that condense detailed customer information into approachable “characters” who marketers can actually have conversations with. Those personas are ideally created with insights from big-data analytics along with more traditional tactics, such as focus groups and customer research, and enable marketers to know their customers better than ever.

In all fairness to “fact-based marketing” as a term, the customer information used in fact-based marketing is based on facts.

Why Fact-Based Marketing?

All that said, why does fact-based marketing matter? The short answer is that it gets to the heart of:

  1. What customers and prospects care about and want
  2. Why they want it
  3. What it can do for them
  4. And, whenever possible, provides fact-based evidence that the product or service being offered really does what it promises

Rather than saying, “Our product is industry-leading and better than anyone else’s product, so just buy it,” fact-based marketing says, “Hey customer, whose needs I understand, you have a challenge, and our product solves that challenge—here’s how.” Ideally, it also includes proof that your product solves the customer’s challenge in the way you say it does and in a way that the other guy’s product doesn’t.

It’s obvious why this approach is likely to be much more successful. It’s based on an understanding of the customer, it puts the context of your product into the “what’s in it for me” (WIFM) category, and it offers factual substantiation as to the WIFM. With this approach, you’re not selling to a customer, you’re educating the customer and offering hard evidence to prove your point. Essentially, you’re empowering customers to sell themselves on your solution.

All of that might sound simple enough, but a lot of time goes in to understanding a customer, creating the right persona, understanding how to talk to that customer, and attaining factual data with which to educate the customer. There are, however, tactics that can make your fact-based marketing excel. And Prowess Consulting can help you with make the most of those tactics and your marketing.

Add Power to the Facts in Fact-Based Marketing

Substantiation is rampant today. Think of reviews for online shopping, such as on Amazon. Consumers, who are inundated with options, rely on other, real-world opinions or facts—preferably from anyone but the seller—to make purchase decisions.

A 2016 survey by Demand Gen Report found that 62 percent of business-to-business (B2B) purchasing decisions included the consumption of third-party/analyst reports.[2] It also found that, of all content types, B2B consumers found third-party/analyst reports the most valuable in making a decision.[3] You could say that third-party/analyst reports are the business world’s version of reviews. Third-party/analyst reports are social proof, and they give marketing credibility.

In addition to third-party substantiation, relevance is a key component for adding power to fact-based marketing. This is where customer insights—as in, “know thy customer”—come in. In order to make information relevant to your audience, you have to understand your audience and know their pain points. For example, I’m not going to sell a reliable station wagon to someone who just wants to drive fast. Why? Because that reliable station wagon isn’t relevant to a speed demon.

A key part of relevance, and almost intertwined with it, is making an emotional connection with your audience. We are emotional beings, no matter how hard we try to be rational. Creating an emotional connection with your audience makes your marketing more relevant for that audience. “This car offers top speeds” is a rational, emotionally void statement. “This car’s speed feeds your need for freedom,” on the other hand, packs some emotion into the car’s performance and is likely to get our speed demon closer to making a purchase. Studies have found that ads that make an emotional connection with the audience outperform those with only rational messaging by two times.[4]

Add Power to Fact-Based Marketing with Prowess Consulting

Prowess Consulting specializes in producing fact-based marketing materials for the technology industry. We can help you add power to your fact-based marketing efforts because:

  • We understand the technology audience, its pain points, and its emotional triggers.
  • We understand, and specialize in, technology and what it can offer the technology audience.
  • We regularly produce quality Prowess-branded analysis and benchmarking reports utilizing a full complement of skilled engineers, developers, writers, and designers, so that you can incorporate third-party credibility into your marketing efforts.
  • We also create case studies and much more.

Learn more about the essentials of fact-based marketing in our infographic, “3 Must-Haves for Fact-Based Marketing.” And, if you want to tell a compelling fact-based story, contact Prowess Consulting to see how we can help. Until then, keep up with our take on emerging trends and technologies by reading the Prowess blog and by following Prowess on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[1] Demand Gen Report. “2016 Content Preferences Survey: B2B Buyers Value Content That Offers Data and Analysis.”

[2] Demand Gen Report. “2016 Content Preferences Survey: B2B Buyers Value Content That Offers Data and Analysis.”

[3] [Repeat endnote 1] Demand Gen Report. “2016 Content Preferences Survey: B2B Buyers Value Content That Offers Data and Analysis.”

[4] Neuroscience Marketing. “Emotional Ads Work Best.” July 2009.