Arguably, the most crucial element to your marketing success is your B2B database. After all, no matter how good your message or offering is, if it doesn’t reach the right people, then your chances for marketing and sales success are greatly hindered. Not only will you see low response rates, but bad data can cost your company revenue. Consider the following (source):
- 62% of organizations rely on marketing data that’s up to 40% inaccurate
- Up to 25% of B2B database contacts contain critical errors
- 40% of business objectives fail due to inaccurate data
- It costs $1 to verify a record as it’s entered, $10 to scrub and cleanse it later, and $100 if nothing is done
Data is an important organizational resource. Yet, most companies fail to establish the proper processes to manage it effectively. Why? They don’t know where to start.
So, to help get you on your way, here are four steps you can begin implementing to ensure your data is paying dividends.
1. Develop the Proper Data Controls
As Carlos Hidalgo (CEO, The Annuitas Group) can tell us, open rein policies for CRMs are often a bad idea: “I once worked with a client who told me they had an open access policy to their CRM database. Even their front desk administrator had open access. Not only could anybody in the organization access any record in the CRM database, they could alter it, modify fields, etc. It was a recipe for data disaster. The result was a database that was filled with errors and duplicates.”
To help avoid data corruption, you should establish and document controls on who can access your data, who is allowed to change/append records (and to what extent), and who is allowed to change the data structure. By establishing and enforcing these controls, your data will remain more consistent.
Too many companies have disparate databases throughout their organization; sales has their database, marketing has another and so to do finance, customer support, etc. This creates a problem. Each group has customer data that is important to them, but they fail to get the whole view of the customer. As a result, engagement with the buyer fails because customer and prospects don’t feel like the company knows them.
The solution? When possible, consolidate your data to form a better view of the buyer. Consolidating doesn’t necessarily mean putting the data into one database; it usually means integrating databases so that each group can still access the data they need, but can also access supplemental data that gives them the buyer’s whole story.
3. Develop an Ongoing Hygiene Process
Many companies expect the sales team to update contact information as they go about their day-to-day routine. However, this practice often results in errors, inconsistencies, and duplicate records. A better alternative is to utilize a database resource that performs regular cleaning, de-duping and appending of data.
Although data hygiene can be accomplished by utilizing internal resources, often working with an outside vendor is the most efficient approach. By consistently cleaning and updating your data you will improve the overall return on your marketing and sales campaigns.
4. Make it Dynamic
Many organizations view data management as a one-time exercise; they clean their data, but within a few months, they’re right back where they started.
Data can’t be managed statically. Instead, it must be managed as an ongoing, dynamic process. Prospects move from company to company. Customers move within organizations. As a result, your data changes. Because of this, a regular process for keeping data clean is a necessity.
For more information about data management contact ZoomInfo today. Our contact and company database can help scale your most important business efforts.