Is Dirty Data Sabotaging your Marketing Results? - B2B Marketing and Sales Tip #133

Dirty data—whether purchased, gathered via download offers or aged and stored in your internal database—costs companies billions every year in wasted resources and lost productivity.

Today's mobile workforce is changing jobs faster than ever before. According to Gartner, 30 million of the 138 million workers in the US will switch jobs in the next 12 months. Now add that to the number of businesses that move or get acquired every month. It’s easy to see how they dirty data piles up and piles up fast.

Feeding dirty contact data into a marketing automation or CRM system has a multiplier effect that can derail success by:

  • Delivering the wrong message to the wrong person
  • Annoying customers and prospects with redundant messages
  • Losing credibility due to botched attempts at personalized communications
  • Failing to leverage multi-modal marketing capabilities
  • Misinterpreting campaign success metrics
  • Creating more Sales inefficiencies

Even with so much at stake, tackling data cleanup issues is a daunting proposition. Most Marketers are overwhelmed by a customer or prospect database with hundreds of thousands of duplicate entries, old data, inaccurate contact details and countless records in myriad states of completeness. This existing data has likely been gathered by many different individuals over multiple years. It is often too difficult to know where to begin.

Before you undertake any data cleaning, segmentation, or augmentation initiative, be sure to map out your plan. Here’s an outline to get you started.

Targeting the Right Companies–
Use what you already have access to first – your CRM data and your web site visitor logs

  • CRM data
    • Profile your top performing market segments – where are you winning?
    • Identify your best target markets – what kinds of deals close the fastest?
    • Determine key qualifying company characteristics and buyer roles.
  • Website visitor logs/Unknown visitor logs
    • Look for visitor patterns – ex. are there lots of healthcare companies visiting you that you haven’t directly targeted?
    • Are companies visiting already currently in your database, if so, are you recording these page visits?
    • Your online marketing and PPC advertising is driving lookers, just because they don’t announce themselves doesn’t mean they aren’t potential leads.

This analysis will help you determine where to find your target market “sweet spot”.

Once you've built a profile of common denominators or qualifying criteria for your target market “sweet spot,” now you’re ready to identify your decision making unit. The decision making consists of everyone involved in the buying decision of your product or service.

Start with a decision making unit profile to identify the types of buyers involved in the buying process and the roles of these buyers both in the buying cycle and their role within the organization. It is vital to understand the responsibilities for each of your buyers. With this information, you will be able to refine your data augmentation program and standardize data collection requirements for more targeted marketing programs.

Now that you have your buying unit profiled, pull a list of pre-existing contacts that correspond to your Target Accounts so you can begin the process of de-duping, identifying missing fields such as addresses or contact details, and identifying gaps such as key buyers, roles and other relevant details.

After your de-duping process, you now know what you have and what you need to fill in. When filling in the gaps, remember to look for role-based contact resources, like ReachForce. Shameless promotion I know…but remember the title-based lists we’re all used to using are still delivering a less than 3% response rate. Isn’t it worth the risk of trying something new?

A few extra data hygiene tips from our Marketing Ops Guru, Lauren, here at ReachForce –

  • Mark all records that are included in your current target market, you don’t necessarily want to delete the data you aren’t using but you want to be able to pull your new target market data easily. You’ll be thankful you did this, I promise.
  • Add a ‘born on’ date field to the record and once you’ve refreshed it, add the date, everyone touching the record will be happy you did this.
  • As you are filling in gaps and building out contact data for new roles, consider other segmenting options. While you’re updating you should go ahead and do this too. This will enable you to laser target your message at these prospects.

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