Managing data can be a little scary—especially if you're not a statistician by trade. But if properly managed, your B2B marketing database can help you to make effective outreaches and maximize your business. Here are five steps to make the most of your B2B marketing database.
1. Identify outdated data.
According to Market Watch, the average worker in the U.S. stays in a position for an average of 4.6 years. According to Peter Harris of Workopolis, job-hopping is the new normal. With change like that, a lot of outdated information is inevitably lurking in your database.
Face it full-on by conducting periodic assessments to explore what information is missing, what information is wrong, and what information needs to be updated. Doing so could involve flagging and filling in incomplete records, removing obsolete records, or eliminating duplicate records.
2. Quality over quantity.
Having a huge database is useless if it doesn't consist of complete and accurate records from customers and prospects. Good marketing programs start with good data.
3. Maximize with automation.
With the help of most marketing automation systems, you could capture just about any kind of information on customers and prospects, from basic Web-form information to specific information, such as when someone last called the customer support desk.
With such detailed data in-hand, rule-based communications could ensure prospects receive timely, relevant marketing messages. For example, if someone watched a particular video, that person is already a qualified lead, and he works in XYZ industry, the system could serve a highly targeted piece of content.
4. Target wisely.
If you don't have the right information to know whether to include someone in a campaign, don't guess. You'll just scare them off by sending irrelevant content. But when you complete steps one through three, your data should be complete enough to allow for proper targeting and segmentation.
And if you're still not convinced this approach works, consider this frightening statistic: Untargeted campaigns cost nearly 3.6 times as much as targeted campaigns.
5. Combine inbound and outbound.
Though inbound strategies are effective and generate leads, treating these leads as a group that needs further nurturing is best. Complement inbound lead generation with outbound marketing tactics such as appointment setting, lead qualification, or e-mail marketing for a more engaging conversation, and for optimal results.
Article adapted from Maribeth Ross, Marketing Profs.