Data enrichment plays a central role in today’s fast-paced, data-driven marketing landscape.
As you know, there is no shortage of customer data available to your business. To draw reliable insights from that data (and subsequently boost campaign performance), a great demand generation marketer needs to put an emphasis on data quality above all else.
Before launching a campaign based on data insights, every marketer must ask:
- Does the data offer an accurate portrayal of customer behavior?
- Is the data free from inaccurate or duplicate information?
- Do I have enough data to draw accurate conclusions about my customers?
If you cannot answer “yes,” to those three questions, then the result of your campaigns could be a far stretch from what you planned for and desired. At best, you can expect to see flat progress in customer engagement or revenue growth. At worst, you may actually find your campaigns have an adverse effect leading to customer churn and a decrease in lead conversions.
Luckily, data enrichment offers the ultimate solution. While most demand generation marketers are likely familiar with the concept of data enrichment, surprisingly few truly understand how critical data enrichment as a process can be in boosting the value of your data assets.
This post examines eight use cases for data enrichment to which any demand generation marketer can relate their business, regardless of industry, segment size, or target audience.
But, First, Let’s Address a Pressing Question: What Exactly is Data Enrichment?
Simply put, data enrichment refers to the tools and processes that improve data quality.
Customer data comes from any number of different inbound sources. From site traffic to social media, email lists to machine learning technology, your business receives near-constant updates on who has an interest in your product (demographic data), what makes them interested (psychological data), and how they will (or do) intend to use it (behavioral data).
However, the problem for most marketers comes when the source of that data either lacks credibility or cannot accurately source enough information to make the dataset valuable.
The former often comes into play when the customers themselves act as your primary data source. Virtually everyone has entered a fake name, address, telephone number, or email address into a lead capture form at some point, and businesses that rely on lead capture to source customer insights often struggle with finding the right balance between sourcing the desired information and not scaring visitors away with lengthy forms. Even when customers intend to offer up accurate information, input mistakes can lead to data duplication or your CRM failing to register the information properly.
In this setting, data enrichment tools serve the purpose of filling in the gaps left by inadequate or inaccurate information. A simple example would be correcting an improperly entered home address. A customer may enter their address as “188 Main St., Phoenix, AZ” but improperly enter the postal code. A good data enrichment tool compares the newly entered data against accurate postal records to correct the mistake in your CRM.
In regards to the second problem surrounding quantity of information, data enrichment means creating a composite of a customer from a variety of data sources, both proprietary to your business and sourced from third-party databases. When done properly, with a reliable tool pulling data from quality sources, businesses can create robust customer profiles without significant disruption to the customer’s natural interaction with your business.
With That Definition in Mind, Here are 8 Use Cases for Enriched Data
#1. Shorter Lead Capture Forms
Lead generation is, of course, always a central focus for any marketer. Everyone knows that minimizing the “barrier to entry” for site visitors to become leads through shorter lead forms naturally results in more people in your database.
Historically, however, a shortened lead capture form came at a cost. Marketers needed to strike a constant balance between asking for the information needed to determine lead quality and not turning away potential leads with long, daunting, or even invasive forms.
Data enrichment tools create a win-win situation for site visitors and marketers alike. Marketers can use shorter forms that request only must-have information (creating a better customer experience for your site visitors). In turn, an enrichment tool like SmartForms will source additional information in real-time to create a more robust customer persona.
That persona can be helpful in determining lead quality, which naturally leads to the next use case on our list.
#2. Automated Lead Scoring
Previous posts here on the SmartForms blog have detailed the critical role lead scoring plays in improving conversion rates while also developing a successful relationship between sales and marketing teams.
However, any demand generation marketer will tell you that even partially manual lead scoring processes are tedious and often more trouble than they are worth. Data enrichment can be a great way to completely remove yourself from the lead scoring process by automatically categorizing lead priority based on real-time enrichment data.
For example, if a lead enters your database with nothing but a first name, last name, and personal email address, your current lead scoring system may see the personal email address and automatically give the lead a low score. A data enrichment tool, however, may link that lead to more information, including a business email address that helps recognize the visitor as a key decision maker at a target account. Now, your lead scoring system can reprioritize that lead and automatically pass it along to sales, all without any manual effort on your part.
#3. Better Segmentation
Customer segmentation is the backbone of any successful marketing campaign driven by big data. As a result, seeking new, better ways to segment your customers is always a big topic of interest for demand generation marketers.
Data enrichment offers just that. With enriched data, your view into your target audience can grow exponentially, giving you the opportunity to segment customers across new lines previously inaccessible to your business. Those new segments may reveal themselves through newly acquired third-party data, or organically through scrubbing and unifying your own data sources.
Of course, better segmentation gives you a competitive edge in an important way.
#4. More Personalization
As covered previously on the blog, your customers crave (and increasingly demand) more personal interactions with your business.
In the early days of big data, plugging a customer’s name into an email template was often enough to stand out from your competitors’ outdated marketing techniques. Today, basic demographic data is available to everyone and as a result, successful demand generation marketers need enriched data to be more creative and more personal in their campaigns.
What is one of the best ways innovative marketing teams today facilitate more personalization without requiring more manual effort?
That is our next use case.
#5. Enabling Machine Learning Technology
Artificial intelligence has taken the marketing world by storm and rightfully so. Through the power of machine learning, savvy demand generation marketers can offer increasingly unique and personal touch points with leads and customers in ways that previously would have required tremendous manpower and huge budgets.
Chatbots have completely changed the way marketers gather critical information from site visitors. Instead of offering self-serving lead capture forms, your team can acquire customer data through conversations with an artificially intelligent machine. Marketers can then enrich that data with existing information in their database, or from third-parties.
#6. Improving the Overall Customer Experience
All in all, data enrichment improves your customers’ experiences while engaging with your business. Enriched data means more accuracy in the insights and conclusions you draw from your existing database. That means more accuracy in your campaign targeting, which means customers derive more value from your interactions, thus improving the customer experience.
Remember, that applies to both new site visitors as well as your existing customer base. In fact, data enrichment empowers demand generation marketers to help customers further along in the customer lifecycle in a few key ways.
#7. Identify Upsell Opportunities with Existing Customers
While lead generation will always be a prominent piece of your marketing strategy, demand generation marketers understand that tremendous value rests in your existing book of customers.
Big data helps marketers nurture existing customers toward upsell opportunities, just as you would nurture leads at the top of your sales funnel. Of course, the more clean, quality data you have, the easier it can be to identify the signals that indicate your customers are ready to expand into other product offerings or grow their existing contract. Data enrichment offers the opportunity to expand the quantity and quality of your data in a significant way, thus offering more upsell opportunities and bigger increases in revenue.
#8. Uncover Red Flags in Customers Susceptible to Churn
Just as enriched data helps you easily identify opportunities to grow your customer base, it can also help retain your baseline of customers. Predictable churn activity is often behavioral in nature (i.e. how your customer uses your solution and what value they derive). However, demographic and psychological data can have an influence as well and is often overlooked by marketing and sales alike. For example, suppose a key decision maker and champion of your solution leaves your client’s business. While behavioral activity may not change, your sales team needs to be aware of this change to properly mitigate risk at renewal.
These eight use cases help demonstrate how data enrichment can transform your marketing strategy. If you want the tools to make it happen, look no further than ReachForce SmartForms.