In the realm of business data management, ‘Garbage in, garbage out’, is a well-worn phrase. And yes, for good reason!
As B2B marketers, the most valuable marketing asset you have is your database. It’s difficult to grow, maintain, and replicate. A large high-quality database gives you a huge competitive edge. The more people you can reach and engage with, the better and bigger it is. You can create more leads if you can reach out to a wider audience. A large database is simply a license to print money.
Bad data is not only a headache for the person charged with cleaning it up, it also costs companies millions of dollars in wasted resources and lost productivity every year. It’s no surprise that 89% of B2B sellers feel having access to high-quality client data is crucial to their sales and marketing campaigns’ success.
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Today’s technology is changing how we use databases. Databases are no longer confined to rows and columns of data; they are now versatile and all-encompassing, affecting every aspect of your organization. Project management, client invoicing, telephone traffic reports, and stock inventory may all be handled by the single database software.
Managing a high-quality database is a common issue
The ultimate success of any sales and marketing campaign is only as good as the data lists they’re built upon. Leveraging your existing database information can help you generate accurate and customized information which would maximize the effectiveness of your marketing and sales campaigns.
B2B marketers that rely on technology to access their customer data are familiar with the pain and effort that comes with managing data from several sources. We’re all awash with data, unsure of what’s relevant, what’s accurate, or where to turn to ensure our data is generating revenue. Bringing it all together is a problem for B2B marketers all around the world.
According to Forrester Consulting research done on behalf of Dun & Bradstreet, managing the volume, diversity, and velocity of data is moderate to extremely difficult for 80% of companies.
Most of the time, the massive amount of data we are collecting produces disruption rather than opportunity. Not only is marketing data in continual change but capturing it – accurately and consistently – across all departments is a huge task. Managing and maintaining customer databases across various applications has proven to be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task.
Building an effective database
Depending on the types of interactions you have with your audience and how you typically offer content and information, there are a plethora of methods to grow your brand’s database. Here are a few of the most efficient strategies to expand your client base:
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Social Media
- Discounts, coupons, special deals, and offers
Maximizing the potential of your database
1. Segment your target markets
This is the most important stage, particularly if you are a B2B marketer. It’s critical to categorize your customers based on similar attributes, such as location or buying behavior, so you can send targeted ads that can boost your conversion rates. The more segments you have, the more you can focus your messaging, and the higher your engagement will be.
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2. Re-engage with your subscribers and customers
This is a typical strategy used by self-improvement and learning firms such as Duolingo and Headspace, but the fundamental technique may be used in a variety of sectors. You may use reminders to contact inactive consumers and try to persuade them to re-engage with your brand.
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If you’re an ad-based business, this means you’ll want more people to see your products. People are more inclined to renew a subscription if they connect with your brand on a frequent basis. The key to understanding when to target each part of your customer base is to look at your customer database.
3. Showcase your company’s new product releases and enhancements
If you launch a new product or service, you should always begin by contacting existing clients or customers who are familiar with your brand and are more likely to use it first. How do you win their approval and maintain that loyal relationship if you do not have access to that database?
Let’s assume you introduce a product that you believe is great and then bring it to market. Your existing customers are a great tool to assess the potential of a new or updated service/product. If your customers aren’t interested in what you have to offer, you may ask for their feedback and make the required improvements.
4. Target social media campaigns for your niche audience
In today’s world, social media insights are highly valuable. Users connect with many businesses on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on a regular basis. These platforms allow you to see what your audience responds to in a relevant and evolving way.
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You can use data insights to target platforms like LinkedIn, which allows you to generate paid campaigns targeted at specific email addresses.
5. Conduct surveys and have focus groups
At some point in any marketing campaign, marketers require insights and feedback on their performance. What better place to look than your database for this information?
You can learn more about what your consumers want from your product or service through curated surveys and focus groups. This information may then be used to improve your offering(s) and marketing approach.
6. Don’t underestimate the quality of your database
The quality of a database is a critical element in determining its worth, especially for prospective buyers looking for new revenue streams. Databases that are cleaned and updated on a regular basis, for example, are far more valuable than those that include obsolete and irrelevant contact information.
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It is important to remember that your database is alive. Make careful you feed it useful data and keep the weeds at bay. Cleaning up after each email broadcast is an effective way of managing data quality. Unsubscribes should be updated, and bounces should be removed.
7. Focus on the accuracy of your database
Try to maintain the database as error-free. Review each data ingredient used for the mailing lists. Often customers come across redundancy, which proves as a threat to your brand. Maintain the hygiene of your data by tracking down spam complaints and hard or soft email bounces. Try not to lose any valuable leads because of data
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8. Designate a task owner
Assign the database implementation to a two- or three-person team. Configuration, installation, and training will all be handled by these individuals. What happens if the database requires the addition of a new field? What are the steps in the approval procedure and who do you contact?
9. Document every new addition or changes to the database
Document the SOPs, custom properties, property definitions, who to contact for change requests, and the approval process for change requests are all covered in standard operating procedures. Make sure the frequency is documented as part of a daily, weekly, or monthly data-management procedure if there are data silos and a manual importing process, for example. Automate as many data cleansing scripts as feasible if possible.
Any updates/changes to processes or additions to the database should be documented so that both past and present employees are educated on the most current information.
10. Make frequent backups of your database
It takes a lot of time and work to build a database. Protect your investment by ensuring that there are no power outages or technical issues. You can use CRM software that can update customer profiles on fetching new information, and online tools can prevent data decay by integrating with your systems and updating each contact with activity data as they browse your site.
Whether you are cold calling or executing strategic account-based marketing campaigns, you’ll need a good B2B database to get started. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer velocity, diversity, and amount of data in this age of information overload. B2B marketers and industry leaders who recognize the criticality of quality B2B contact data at this time will likely be ahead of the pack in the competitive race.
Guest author: Kristin Smith is a marketing consultant with 10 years of experience in the execution of marketing strategies. Currently, she heads the marketing department at Avention Media, a renowned B2B data solution company based out of New York.