Cutting corners – especially when cooking – is something we’re all guilty of. If we can find an alternative ingredient simply because we don’t have time to nip to the shops to buy the specified one, we will. And as we all know, the alternative, more often than not, lacks that all round, sought after taste that makes that all important difference.
So, let’s apply this same theory to our b2b marketing communications activity. So you’ve whipped up the perfect campaign, all the components are simmering and fusing nicely but there is still something missing. Something which wasn’t fully considered in the initial mix, and which now seems to be negatively impacting the results you desperately wanted.
Data – one of the key b2b campaign base ingredients
Most marketers realise that maintaining data accuracy and quality is key to the marketing communications process. But how much attention do we really pay to our data profiling when sitting down to map out our campaigns?
When it comes to audience research, we all play the part of Big Brother. We’re able to outline detailed personas, identifying audience pain points and needs, and their key day-to-day challenges when it comes to the product or service we are promoting. We may even know what their preferred social channels are, as we’ve drilled down into complex behavioural traits. But reaching these prospects with targeted communications is almost impossible without a qualified and up-to-date contact data list, with ‘relevant’ segmentation to support messaging.
In a world which is moving faster than Usain Bolt in the 100m sprint, b2b marketers are obsessed with keeping abreast of the hottest new industry trends. But a gap still exists in understanding the role quality data plays in capitalising on these trends, especially for optimising marketing communications.
According to a survey conducted by The Global Review of Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising to 3000 data-driven marketers and advertisers in around 17 countries, 73% of respondents recognised the importance of good data and have agreed that their data budget will rise again over the next year in a bid to deliver more relevant communications to customers.
Access to data should always sit front of mind when outlining your businesses’ strategy and with so many online data analysis software tools now available, paying that little bit more attention to your data strategy can – and will – boost ROI and the efficacy of your marketing efforts.
Avoid mass data list purchases without checking first
Improving b2b data quality is undervalued by many marketers; most believing that constantly buying ‘fresh’ data lists may be the solution to their problem. And whilst buying data from a data specialist can have its advantages, such as highlighting new contacts, not only is it expensive, but it isn’t always accurate in keeping up-to-date with the decay rate of contact-level information (runs on average at 5% per month).
So, if you are going to purchase data, firstly check the limitations around how it can be used and for how long. Next invest time to thoroughly check through the list to ensure the data is qualified and ‘tagged’ before simply uploading it to your database, or worse still, using it without reviewing it first.
As a minimum, you should be tagging your customers within any bought in data list to ensure that they aren’t treated as ‘prospects’ – as nothing annoys a customer more than you ‘reselling’ a solution that they already buy from you!
Know and love your data
When you’ve invested £10k + into a marketing campaign you expect to see results, and although there will always be some bounce backs (between 0.30% – 1%), those who include data optimisation in their marketing strategy will be the ones who benefit from higher conversion rates in the longer term.
Remember, every bounce back is in effect a lost opportunity, so cleanse and qualify to minimise loss and drive optimum results. A more accurate and structured data set also helps you to audit unsubscribes, opt-ins and data regulatory requirements which cannot be ignored.
So, ensure you add that all important data ingredient to your next campaign, follow the recipe and hopefully you’ll enjoy the tasty results!