There was a time when B2B sales and business development professionals would scour their market in an endless search for customer data. It was a time-consuming and laborious affair, but it was critical to understanding what customers wanted, how they wanted it and what they considered critical to making a purchase decision.
Nowadays, companies spend less time in the field searching for customer data and more time gathering and interpreting that data from multiple real-time digital sources. There's data emerging from social media, from apps on smartphones, from email lead generation campaigns, from digital advertising, from content marketing and from a company's website and landing pages. The focus is to continually improve upon how this customer data is gathered and the quality of that data. Some companies go it alone, while others call upon a data enrichment service.
Data Enrichment in our Digital Age
A data enrichment service is successful when it provides a clearer picture of your buyer personas. Better yet, data enrichment works when you not only understand those personas, but are also able to use the right data with the right call-to-action. So, what are buyer personas? Simply put, buyer personas represent your ideal customers; they are the individuals that drive purchasing decisions and each one of them approaches the buying process differently. Each of them can be in a different position in the buyer's journey and therefore require different information to progress to the next step in the process.
Understanding each of your buyer personas helps you to give them the right information, the right pricing and the right offer at the right moment. However, it's not only about making that all-important final proposal. Instead, it's about gathering the right data and using it to guide your buyer persona through their buyer's journey, all the way from interested prospect to paying customer. So, what are some of the critical points that can help ensure your customer information makes sense and can be leveraged properly?
- Constantly Refreshing Customer Data
Your market is constantly changing. Customers are inundated with new offers and new products on a daily basis. This forces them to adjust. Your market drives your customers and your customers' preferences drive the market. This means you have to keep up with the speed of your market and constantly refresh your customer data. Don't rely upon one source. Take it a step further and increase your online reach.
- Cross-Referencing Customer Data
Don't ever take a single data point as gospel. Always cross-reference customer data points with other data points. Eliminate any ambiguity by ensuring that you have multiple inputs for all your buyer personas and customer segments. The more data you have, the better your results.
- Measuring Results
Measuring your results will help you duplicate success. If your results aren't forthcoming, then change your approach. You may need to redouble your efforts and find new ways of gathering market information. Think of new digital marketing strategies, ones that may be more in tune with what your buyer personas engage with on a daily basis.
- Eliminating Data Gaps
If you're left with unanswered questions about who your buyer personas are, how they make decisions, or why your offers aren't working, then you have to double back and fill in the gaps in your data. Today's customers are mobile, constantly engaged online and always voicing their opinion in real-time. Some data is immediate. Some comes in less frequently and some data is often overlooked. Improving the gaps in your data will improve your understanding of each of your buyer personas and help you make a better offer.
Never stop gathering and improving your data. Match the speed of your market and focus on reacting in real-time. The more accurate your data, the more likely you're able to beat your competitors to the punch. A data enrichment service can help, but only if you've fully accepted how important that data can be to winning business.