B-to-B Spotlight: 4 Data Quality Must-Haves for Marketing Automation
As any experienced B-to-B marketer knows, data quality is king. Because B-to-B prospect universes tend to be smaller and better defined than their B-to-C counterparts, identifying the right prospects and tailoring the marketing message to their needs is vital. You'd better know exactly what your ideal customers look like, where to find them, and what messaging they respond to. This means you need access to high-quality data.
Recent trends have exacerbated this fact, and one major trend is the adoption of marketing automation technology. Witness the meteoric rise in recent years of automated demand generation tools, such as Eloqua and Marketo. During the past five years alone, Eloqua has received multiple rounds of financing and recently announced plans to raise as much as $100 million through an IPO. Marketing automation in the demand generation space makes sense because, when employed correctly, it can dramatically improve response rates, reduce costs and boost marketing budget ROI—not to mention nurture leads and acquire customers at astonishing rates. Moreover, it works quite literally while you sleep.
Effective marketing automation for B-to-B demand generation requires accurate and up-to-date business data. What good is setting up an elaborate drip-marketing acquisition program if prospect contact details are incorrect or out of date? What's more, lead scoring may be a highly effective tool for evaluating which leads get specific communications and follow-up, but what happens if you're sending out these communications to the wrong type of companies in the first place—firms in the wrong industry, firms that are too small, too young, or simply don't pay their bills on time?
This is where data quality comes into play. The way marketing automation usually works, as data is pumped into the software's database, the marketing automation gears begin to turn and key performance indicators (KPIs) are tracked based on the prospect's interaction—opens, clicks, forwards, etc.—with the campaign elements. These data points are all tracked and used to calculate the lead's score based on business rules established by the marketer.
Who’s Your Data? is a blog that aims to disseminate thought-provoking tips and techniques involving the use of data and database marketing to direct marketing professionals. Why should you care? Because implementing data best practices has been shown to lift response rates, improve analytics and enhance overall customer experience. Reader participation is encouraged!
Rio Longacre is a Sales & Marketing Professional with more than 10 years of experience in the direct marketing trenches. He has worked closely with businesses across many different vertical markets, helping them effectively leverage the use of data, personalization technologies and tracking platforms. Longacre is currently employed as a Managing Consultant, Marketing, Sales & Service Consulting at Capgemini Consulting, a premier management consulting firm. He is based in the company's New York City office, which is located in Midtown Manhattan. He has also previously worked as an online media buyer and digital marketing strategist.
Email Longacre below, or you can follow him on Twitter at @RioLongacre. Any opinions expressed are his own.