We recently did the Ask a Data-Driven Marketer Webinar with our friends at SnapApp to answer all your marketing data questions. Our panel members were ReachForce's Director of Marketing, Kristi Bjornaas, and SnapApp's Rick DeCosta, Marketing Operations Manager. Below is the transcript of the recording, and you can find the webinar recording here.
Icebreaker: Why is data important to you?
Rick DeCosta: Data is important to me because I find it to be the backbone of a business. It could be really hard to know where to begin if you don’t have some good data points to start off with. But with the way I view it, if you have good clean data in your system, then you’re really able to understand your customers and your overall target audience. Essentially the more data that you have on your members, then the better personalized experience that you can create for them with your brand.
Kristi Bjornaas: I am a virgo, and a very strong, red personality runs through my veins. Data serves as the black and white to the red personality of mine. Data can be the great unifier, and in my job it helps my team be more agile in our marketing strategy.
1. If your data is sourced with a US postal code, and that is how you are targeting, are you GDPR compliant?
RD: When it comes to anything GDPR related, if you’re unsure of something, I would suggest to reach out to your organization's legal team, as they’ll be able to give you the best guidance on how to tackle specific circumstances. Each business handles processes differently when it comes to GDPR and obtaining personal data. But if you’re currently doing business with European countries and you want to be compliant with the GDPR regulations, then you must have direct consent from the actual member that you are marketing to. This could be anything from having something written in writing, to even having the member check of a consent box on a form in your automation system.
KB: I’d say that if you are targeting B2C and using home postal codes, you will definitely want to ensure you have received opt-in. You will also need a way to accurately map zip codes to countries.
2. What other investments go hand-in-hand with data, eg. recommended tools, people skill sets etc.?
KB: I recently did a webinar with SiriusDecisions where we laid out a framework for this. You want to have a data steward that owns the process. You need to start with your people. This could be your marketing ops manager, systems admin etc. I also recommend avoiding any duplication of technology--take a good look at your tech stack and see what you currently have to see if it can serve your data management needs. Also, at ReachForce this is what we do--we provide data management tools to ensure you maintain a quality and actionable database.
RD: I like to think of data marketers as someone who is very analytical minded. You’re dealing with a lot of pieces of information on a day-to-day basis. There’s a lot of concentration needed in order to segment and dissect the information that you have on hand - so you can relay it to other members on your team.
Yes, if you’re collecting data that isn’t valuable to you or your team, then you’re not going to be able to achieve much success with it. I usually like to strategize and take a step back for a second to really think about what specific pieces of data are important to an organization. Do you care about the industry that your database members belong to? Do you care about what kind of products they use within their Martech stack? In the end, it’s all about what’s important to your organization and how you can achieve success from learning different pieces of information.
3. How do you sell the value of data to a management that has adhered to the traditional marketing environment for very long?
RD: I think my best solution for this would be to try to come up with some use cases showing the value of how data could have a successful impact within your organization. It never hurts to take a look at some other businesses and see what they have done in the past. Some things to think about are, what are the types of benefits you could achieve from using a data quality service? How will it make you and your colleagues lives easier by dealing with good clean data, instead of the traditional approach?
KB: To tag onto that, if you're doing traditional marketing, they probably have a very stale salesforce instance. I think every company can encourage more efficiency-- marketable contacts, ABM, protecting investment in the database , metrics, time to close. Velocity--these are metrics that people across the board will understand. Everyone understands revenue and cost savings.
4. What are some of the proven methods that marketing can demonstrate to Sales the benefits derived from complete and accurate data?
KB: When you have complete, quality data, your segmentation and scoring is going to much more accurate, you’ll rely less on things like progressive profiling and sales researching those leads in hopes of filling in the gaps of your data. You can get those leads to the right salesperson faster to speed up that marketing to sales handoff. Ask sales what their key data points they need to qualify, then identify those gaps with them. It will really help sales see the value in enriched data.
5. We operate in a niche space, how do we collect the data for our hyper-targeted audience?
RD: Not to plug our own product, but by utilizing interactive content it could serve as tool on gathering important pieces of data from your audience that you’ve been trying to obtain for a while. Whether it’s creating an interactive survey, assessment, or adding qualifying questions to your marketing collateral pieces, there’s many ways you can gather data from your audience.
KB: You would be surprised the data out there, get a feasibility report against your required data.
6. How often should I purge inactive members within my database?
RD: For a best practice, I’d say a few times every 6-12 months. It’s always best to do a health check-up to make sure members are tagged accordingly to prevent poor email deliverability or run into SPAM traps with invalid pieces of data
KB: We have workflows that work with this and we ensure we maintain our database on a quarterly basis.
7. When you have data coming in from multiple locations (2 websites, advertising platforms, esp, etc) how do you get all that data into one location cross associated (so it doesn't duplicate) and make it usable for decision making?
KB: Determine a system of record/ or single source of truth. Typically that is a CRM or ERP system that have bi-directional syncs between the tools. Also, have a process or technology in place designed specifically to standardize the data in your system of record to allow syncing back.
8. How do you convince your boss being data driven is worth the time put into it?
RD: For scenario, say you’re marketing team is attending multiple trade shows throughout the year, you receive the attendee lists, but you’re not cleansing your data before you upload it into the system. It’s going to be a much longer process for you and your colleagues trying to perform tasks like segmentation de-duping leads, and obtaining correct reporting numbers if you’re dealing with data where you’re unsure if it’s correct or not. In this instance, I’d showcase the overall value that you and your team will receive once you make the investment.
9. Are the best practices to ensure that you are asking the right questions to collect actionable data?
KB: I recommend having a data council that consists of all the key stakeholders, someone from sales, someone from marketing, operations etc. to collect requirements of the necessary insights. Look at the metrics that matter to those people, see if you have all the data to support those reports.
10. Is there an automated way to update stale data with my database?
KB: This is what we do at ReachForce, and there are a number of tools that are available that will both verify and enrich your data in real time. Look at tools that integrate with your MAP or CRM, and also perform multiple data management capabilities. If you're trying to piece this together your costs are going to get really high. Make sure you have someone who owns this process so they can make a process of bring in third party tech.
11. Are the best practices to ensure that you are asking the right questions to collect actionable data?
KB: I recommend having a data council that consists of all the key stakeholders, someone from sales, someone from marketing, operations etc. to collect requirements of the necessary insights. Look at the metrics that matter to those people, and ask yourself if you have all the data to support those reports.
RD: When it comes to this, its really based on what you feel is valuable for your organization. When it comes to actionable data, its really what do you value, what do you think your sales team will value, from reading certain pieces of info from your audience. Will it help them qualify leads?
12. What types of data should content marketers care about?
RD: When it comes to the data there’s actually a lot of different pieces you should care about, mainly it's what matters the most to your organization. So how is it going to help your organization move down the path to getting more engagement with your audience? Interactive content also helps bc it captures information you would not typically get in a form.
KB: Content marketers should look at engagement data with contact types and layering over your ICP metrics. So who you say is your ideal customer, who’s looking at what content, and get some insights like that.
13. Are purchased lists GDPR compliant?
RD: It’s really up to the vendor whom you’re purchasing the list from if it is GDPR compliant. If the vendor has direct consent from all persons in the list, and they’re located in the European countries, it could be GDPR compliant. My best guess is no, I’m sure not everyone is going to allow their information to be out there.
15. In addition to the normal data marketers collect (name, email, job title, company…) what are some data points that we might overlook, but could be helpful to the decision making process?
RD: Depends on organizations overall objectives. If you're a B2B organization, you're most likely looking for additional information on your potential buyers. What's their overall marketing interest? What type of industry do they belong to? What’s going to make it easier for your sales team to make a decision on whether the member could be a good opportunity or not?
KB: I would recommend looking at demographic data that would segment around revenue, industry, number of employees, and those types of things. Not to sound like a broken record, but you need to ask what data points matter to sales and what are the things they need per your organization's ICP.
16. In order to draw conclusions or make informed decisions, how much data do you need to collect on your audience?
RD: This one could be based on your qualification criteria. Obviously, the more data that you can gather on someone then the better, but if you really understand your target audience, you'll most likely only need around 3-5 qualifying questions to make an informed decision.
KB: Avoid analysis paralysis when possible!
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