According to you what should be a relatively straightforward part of marketing process, procuring B2B data can be an absolute minefield. And with finances under ever-increasing scrutiny, it’s important to squeeze every last drop out of your investments.
Now, there is a major chance that your existing data could be anywhere between 6 months or 2 years stale and the people within your database might have changed their jobs or their roles. You will never be able to run a focused campaign though such a database. Additionally, you might know your target audience and companies, but you don’t have the desired data to run your campaigns. What to do then? Here are six basic aspects you should keep in mind while considering any data procurement plan:
1. Data quality
Data quality is far more important than the quantity of data on offer, as it enables more accurate targeting than blanket marketing, and means that even small, high quality databases are well worth considering – especially if they enable you to access decision makers that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. Accurate company and contact level information and frequency or time-lag of data updates are keys to reaching the right contact at the right time. How many times you get this comment from your inside sales guys – ‘ x’ contact has moved from ‘y’ company 6 months back!’ pity we are contacting now.
This aspect is as important as data quality itself. A qualified lead has to be relevant as well. Now relevancy can be subjective and can be best defined by people who actually know a business inside out. In your case, it’s you and your team who can judge relevancy, and not any third party providing a standard dataset.
The above two factors leads to need for customization. Your data should read your criteria and your requirements at different phases of your marketing plan. And customization should be flexible – your business environment is dynamic, so are your database requirements
4. Data breadth and coverage
Because different suppliers have different ways of collecting and aggregating their data, coverage is a key aspect of every dataset – as you don’t want to choose one that’s missing a significant part of your potential market, or that doesn’t let you contact decision makers in the way that suits you best.
5 Flexible targeting
Flexible targeting is all about being able to segment your campaigns based on the characteristics of the businesses and/or individuals you want to get in touch with, and the channels through which you want to target them.
What’s ultimately important is that you derive maximum value from your data – which may well mean a very different calculation from one based on cost alone. You can define value in many ways – say increase in website and blog traffic, increase in view/click through for emails, lead qualification and conversion, incoming sales queries or for that matter decrease in email opt-outs. It also depends on the very objective you had first while acquiring your data – was it for brand building or lead generation. Your measurement of value would vary accordingly.
Get yours off to the best possible start by reviewing your strategy to ensure the data you purchase makes a measurable difference to the ROI of your campaigns.
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