How you manage and work your B2B data is at the heart of any good marketing strategy. Whether you operate in the B2B or B2C world; accurate, clean and secure data is the lifeblood of any company. Through understanding your data you should have a good knowledge of your existing customers, what their buyer behaviours are and also who your potential new customers might be. This is why you will often hear marketers fretting about their data and how they can get the most out of it.
The fact is, data is a living thing and it changes all the time. Businesses go bust, phone numbers change, companies move premises, email addresses change and people move roles, it really is a moving feast and unless you keep on top of this, it’s easy for your data to become out of date and become something that people waste their time on.
Nothing is likely to irritate a marketing person more than a chunk of data that they are targeted to achieve leads from, only for them to find that the data is so hopelessly out of date that they haven’t got a hope in hell of achieving their numbers. This is why having a robust game plan for constantly cleansing and updating your data should be a part of your thinking.
Touching Your B2B Data
Ideally you want to be ‘touching’ your data every 3 months. By touching we mean getting in contact with them, either by email or phone to confirm that the contact still works there and the email or phone number is correct. With good automation software and a strong CRM strategy, this process can be automated and out of date data can be identified, updated and discarded if appropriate to do so.
In the digital environment, customers and prospects communicate with organisations on a variety of different platforms. These include email, phone, social media, tablets, mobile, apps etc. Having ‘one view’ of your customers and prospects is a challenge that most organisations face. One solution is to use a reputable automation platform integrated with your CRM. This will make it possible to gain an understanding of how your customers and prospects interact with you, giving you insight into the best way you can engage their interest.
So, when it comes to your data there’s a lot to think about. It needs to be cleansed, duplicate records removed, contact details updating, industry categories may need updating and you need to understand how the people behind the data are currently engaging with you. This is no mean feat and it requires a degree of expertise to do it accurately and effectively.
Delivering the Right Message
If you can get a handle on your data then it makes segmentation so much easier and it allows you to deliver the right message, to the right people at the right time. By managing your data effectively you will also soon see where there might be gaps in your target market and this allows you to generate inbound campaigns to fill those gaps or buy-in data lists to supplement your database.
And then there’s data protection to think about as well. Businesses have a responsibility to keep certain personal data up to date, accurate and safe. If this is not managed appropriately then you might fall foul of EU regulations and face a hefty fine. You can find out more about data protection by visiting the information commissioners website https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/
Taking the Pain Away
In summary, your data is only as good as the time you invest in it. You can waste a lot of time contacting redundant data and your carefully constructed marketing plans can come apart at the seams if you don’t have a well thought-through data strategy. Specialist agencies like GCL Direct can take the pain away from managing and maintaining your data by implementing multi-touch campaigns and building in automation and CRM strategies. By doing this, you can be confident that the integrity of your data is as robust as it can be.