In business data, nothing is more important than accuracy. And in B-to-B marketing, data represents a company’s most important asset—its customers. The more specific and current information companies have about their customers, the more effectively they can target their market and deliver their message to those customers. And, because a “customer” includes both the business and the contacts within the business, it is essential to keep both types of information up-to-date. With complete and accurate customer data, a marketing database truly can become a knowledge center for a business.
The keys to finding and maintaining quality B-to-B data are:
* Keep data accurate during workforce change;
* Find the most valuable data;
* Trust the data—and its source;
* Target the right contacts;
* Make sure the information is relevant; and
* Maintain data with frequent updates.
Keep Pace With Change
The pace of business change makes the frequency of data updates even more important. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly 50 million hires and 50 million separations occur in any 12-month period. It also reports that the median length of time workers had been with their current employer was four years as of January 2004, up only slightly from 3.5 years in 1983. Among those who started a job between the ages of 33 and 38, 39 percent had ended it in less than a year, and 70 percent had moved on in less than five years. Many companies struggle to keep up with internal changes, let alone keep up with such a high volume of transition in the workforce of their target market. Therefore, having access to an external source that maintains current business and individual contact information is vital for marketing success.
Find the Value
So, how do marketers find valuable business data? Since this is the information age, it should be easy. However, that is not always the case, and the challenge is even greater when marketers are looking for decision maker-level data and are trying to uncover who is responsible for each area of the business and which purchasing decisions they make.