Written by guest author Shannon Prager, President Leadit Marketing
Demand Generation Demands Strong Data
The importance of good data cannot be overstated. According to the Aberdeen Group, companies that actively manage their data and segment it well require 64 marketing touches to gain a customer—compared to 329 touches by those that do not.
The quality of your data will inevitably trickle down into the quality of your sales and marketing campaigns. Yet more than half of all companies in the U.S. continue to work with unreliable marketing data. Without good data, all your marketing efforts hang in a precarious position.
The Future of Marketing Data
Amazon is a perfect example of how data supports success today and in the future. They know how to recommend your next book based on what you just downloaded to your Kindle. Through a combination of big data, integrated tech stacks and advanced algorithms, Amazon not only can recommend products—soon it will have your next order ready to ship out before you even buy it.
Even for companies not tied to ecommerce, big data and tech stack integration will improve B2B and B2C marketing efforts. According to SiriusDecisions, cleaner data and better targeting directly correlate to improved performance at the top of the waterfall. Here’s a quick look at the big data and tech stack that can support you up there.
Five Key Parts of an Effective Data Strategy
Here are the top five aspects of data management I go through with clients before developing a strategy.
- You need to know your customer. Develop marketing personas and use what you discover to create a customer profile in your marketing database. Keep evaluating it on a regular basis. The customer who shopped at JCPenney 10 years ago is a lot different than the one today. Don’t figure this out the hard way. You don’t want to have a Kodak moment on your hands.
- Just because you got data, doesn’t mean you get to keep it. Marketing data is like produce. You can keep it in the fridge but it won’t last forever. Typically three percent of it expires every month. Your loss could be greater depending on the type of business and marketing you do. You need to track call completion rates and the deliverability of online marketing campaigns.
- You must evaluate the data you get for accuracy and completeness. You can buy millions of names, but it won’t do any good if they’re not your target customer. Get to know pre-configured profile clustering systems that weed through lists for your customer, based on behavioral or demographic data, or other factors. B2B marketers need access to industry-specific lists.
- Usually companies buy information from multiple third-party sources while also mining for data themselves. This often proves to be draining on resources and usually produces inconsistent results, which is why purchasing data through a single provider often proves to be so invaluable. Usually you’ll get cleaner data at a better price.
- Segmenting email marketing campaign lists gets better results. Sending the right message to the right customer improves your relationship. You might see unsubscribe requests increase. But that’s helpful too. It lets you know who is simply not into in you. Scratch them off the list and focus on customers that are listening to you and tracking down new leads.
Developing an effective data strategy can be overwhelming, but with the right partner and right data vendor, you can get it right a lot faster for a lot less cost.
Shannon Prager is president of Leadit Marketing, which leads demand generation campaigns and strategies for B2B companies. Based in Texas, Shannon has more than 18 years of experience in B2B demand generation and marketing—including demand generation processes, content and technology. Follow her on Linkedin @LeaditMarketing or @linkedin.com/shannonprager on Twitter @LeaditMarketing and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LeaditMarketing.