Are you familiar with the good-better-best principle in merchandising? Well, the same idea can be applied to B-to-B data. In a session titled "Web 2.0 Impact on Traditional Data Hygiene" presented at the MeritDirect Co-op this past July, data experts Bernice Grossman of DMRS Group and Kevin Akeroyd of Jigsaw detailed the best practices for data capture in the B-to-B sector.
Most companies' data structures fall into one of three levels:
- Minimum: first name, last name and business e-mail OR business phone OR business address (address 1, address 2, city, state/province, postal code, country)
- Standard: first name, last name, business e-mail, business phone, company, title, primary business role, buying qualification, business address (same elements as minimum level)
- Suggested Full: first name, last name, business e-mail, business phone, company, title, primary business role, buying qualification, business address (same elements as Mmnimum level), communication preference (phone, mail, e-mail)
As you can guess, fewer marketers attain the suggested full level than minimum or standard, but the benefit of collecting, maintaining and following contact preferences is higher response from more targeted communications that better reach their audiences.
To stay competitive in the B-to-B sector, Grossman and Akeroyd recommend marketers at least test the value of collecting minimum versus standard data to gauge the impact of this additional information on ROI.