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Everyone knows that data is an integral part of a company. From the success of marketing campaigns and sales efforts to networking and business growth, all aspects of a company rely on it. So how is it that a shocking 94% of B2B companies speculate that their database is inaccurate or stale?
The average CRM data decays at a rate of 30% per year (some areas, like Silicon Valley, it is even reported to be upwards of 70%!) The impact of this stale data is costing businesses $9.7 million annually. Knowing that your business processes are dependent on data, freshness and accuracy are of the utmost importance.
Turning this around could spell great news for your B2B marketing efforts—namely stronger campaigns, increased customer satisfaction, quality leads, and higher ROI. That caught your attention? Here’s how to clean dirty data so you can hit your targets more effectively.
First things first: You have to define what high-quality data means for your business. What are the characteristics of the data you want to get? What fields are vital for you to collect? What KPIs and metrics will you use to track the health of your data?
The answers to these will be unique to your industry and tactics. Once you consolidate your requirements, it will be easy to identify the weak links and keep them from entering your database.
Now you’re ready to perform an audit of your database and fact-check for errors. If you have multiple points of data entry, compare all of your sources and make sure the information on your database is aggregated. This is challenging and tedious, but a very crucial step in your data cleansing strategy.
Doing this will also help pinpoint if a particular source is the cause of dirty data. You can decide how to improve this portal to stop inaccuracy from seeping in. Note: if your sources have acquired wrong information, then your data would also reflect that.
Still on your audit, it’s time to find duplicates and remove them from your database. There’s no point in recording the same name or number twice—it just inflates your email lists and produces erroneous figures in your data analysis. There are data cleansing tools that can perform this step for you in minutes without you having to manually search for copies.
No marketer wants to waste time and effort sending email campaigns to spam accounts or dormant contacts. But how do you know if the emails you’re sending out reach actual people? Thankfully, there’s software that can detect dummy accounts. Use these email verification tools to your advantage to improve your sender score.
Make it a habit to study your email marketing metrics like open rates and click-through rates, too. If you have a lot of cold leads that aren’t responding to your messages after a certain amount of time, it may be best to let them go and direct your efforts elsewhere. Keeping them may only hurt you in the long run (there are costs involved with sending ineffective emails).
In most cases, the root cause of dirty data is inputting incorrect information in the first place. You can’t maintain a healthy database if your process allows for bad leads to funnel in! Ideally, you want to make sure that you have a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) when it comes to acquiring data to reduce human error. A good standard practice to start is to automate the point of data collection.
Remember the appalling statistic of data decay? Data cleansing isn’t a one-time thing. Putting a Standard Operating Procedure in place will certainly help, but there’s no way to completely prevent dirty data from joining your database. Whether it was intentionally fake information given by a customer, an honest mistake, or an oversight from your team, some bad data might slip through the cracks. So, you still want to make sure to cleanse your data regularly.
Set a schedule in a year of how often you want it done. If you’re enterprise-level, you may want to consider doing it a handful of times a year. Don’t forget to install tools that can help you validate information from the get-go. You can perform this procedure by yourself or hire a company with data cleansing services to professionally scrape out the useless data for you.
Following the steps above will ensure that you have the clean data that will drive better results and produce more accurate metrics for your analysis. When that happens, you can perform customer segmentation better, target your customers more efficiently, and maximize your budget.
When performed regularly, you’ll see your ROI increasing in no time—as well as the quality of your sales and business relations. So, if you haven’t thought about data cleansing yet, it’s about time you did.
Or speak with a team member and contact us today!
In marketing, the meaning of closed-loop reporting is right in the name. It means to “close the loop” between data collected from marketing analytics software and customer relationship management (CRM) systems or sales teams. In closed-loop reporting, metrics from the top of the funnel down to the very bottom are tied together with a neat little bow to help you become a smarter marketer.
So how does it work? Marketing automation or analytics software provides one piece of the puzzle with data about how many leads you get from a specific channel, how you got those leads, and how you’ve engaged with them. While on the other hand, your sales team and CRM systems provide details on which strategies resulted in sales and the value of each sale.
By incorporating these two systems together, you can get precise feedback for each of your marketing campaigns. By adopting the basics of closed-loop reporting, businesses can enhance their understanding of what makes specific strategies successful and also what makes a prospect worth pursuing.
It’s a good start to know that a particular channel or strategy is generating leads, but it’s even better to know why it’s working. Ideally, you want to see the “big picture” and know exactly how prospects move through your sales funnel and what specific tactics increase the likelihood of conversion.
Closed-loop reporting allows you to gain insights into how your audience interacts with your brand and its content. When you know what works and what doesn’t, you can narrow your focus to the best performing pieces of content, sales tactics, and landing pages.
This makes it possible to focus on the channel where you’re generating the highest quality leads and prioritize engaging those leads appropriately. By determining the communications that work best for your target audience, you can develop an optimized strategy that reduces your long-term Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).
Closed-loop reporting lets you present comprehensive data to your boss or clients. How great is that? You can create charts and graphs to visually illustrate your ROI for every penny spent. You can also regularly track your data and determine the factors that contribute to every sale.
Claiming that your marketing strategy is generating leads and turning a profit can now be backed by data. Numbers from clear and accurate sources don’t lie.
By gaining insight into your sales cycle, you can learn more about your customer’s behavior, needs, challenges, and triggers. It should come as no surprise to learn that the better you understand your audience’s motivators, the more effective your marketing efforts will be.
With closed-loop reporting, you can see the path that every user goes through until they make the actual purchase so you can better understand their buying journey and process. Differentiating your brand from the competition is all about knowing your customers better.
Because you can see what’s working and what’s not, you can eliminate the parts of the process that don’t work. By seeing which channels are working best for your campaign, you can further eliminate testing processes that require time and resources, thereby shortening the time it takes to close the deal.
Don’t waste time sending your leads information that they don’t need. Send them the content that you know converts your leads into actual customers.
With the ability to determine the effective channels that are driving revenue for your business, you can allocate more resources to areas that generate better ROI. Also, you can set realistic goals and expectations that enable you to determine the ceiling price for your marketing budget.
You don’t have to waste time, money, and effort on channels and strategies that don’t work.
Since closed-loop reporting lets you shorten your sales cycle and eliminate the strategies that are performing poorly, costs are reduced. You have the information you need to maximize your budget and increase your revenue.
Do the math. Let’s say you allocated $1000 to Facebook advertising and $1000 to sending your sales team out to knock on doors. Your efforts on Facebook resulted in $500 (ROI=0.5) worth of sales and your sales team’s efforts resulted in $3000 (ROI=3) worth of sales. By eliminating Facebook Ads and focusing your $2000 budget purely on door knocking, you can increase your overall return from $3500 to $6000 without increasing your spend.
User behavior changes through time in this ever-evolving market. That’s why it’s important to stay in touch with what users want. By closing the loop between your marketing analytics data and your customer relationship management, nothing slips through the cracks.
Whenever you get new market information, closed-loop reporting allows for a continuous cycle of updates and improvement, so you never find yourself out of touch.
These benefits clearly outline why you need closed-loop reporting. Remember that closing the loop is all about getting more accurate data to help you understand your customers better. Also, take note that to succeed in this increasingly competitive market, you need to stay in touch with your customers. Not necessarily with communications, but with your understanding of how they behave.
If you’re currently having difficulty attributing value to your sales and marketing channels, you’ll be amazed at what implementing a closed-loop reporting system can do to help.
The best way to “close the loop” is to align your sales and marketing teams. Learn more with our FREE whitepaper:
In recent years, marketing has come to rely on the input of big data in order to create compelling strategies and to launch sure-fire new campaigns. B2B data and database marketing are now an integral part of virtually every decision-making process.
Gone are the days of having to rely on guesswork to understand the composition of your target audience. Big data allows you to gain deep insights about pretty much any demographic you might wish to tap. All of which is pretty amazing when you remember that this level of insight was almost impossible just a decade ago.
Marketers now have the capacity to observe what websites potential customers visit, which social media channels they prefer, and what their current product preferences are. It’s even possible to track their behavior on individual pages or to discover how many online shopping carts they’ve abandoned in the past.
Real-time personalization has become possible for many businesses. The topics and issues written about in content marketing campaigns have, likewise, become more relevant to their intended audiences.
Here are other ways the proliferation of data has continued to change the marketing landscape for the better.
In the past, it was difficult to track and monitor ROI, and campaign impact after launch. Fortunately, those days are over. Now, big data and database marketing allow campaign managers to monitor ongoing campaigns, conduct A/B tests, measure results, and analyze impact in real time. This, in turn, helps them to optimize their efforts and improve performance on a regular basis.
Big data analytics has evolved to the point where it’s able to provide insights based on data from sales, services, and target customers. The right affiliated technologies can help you create scalable analytics and systems to keep up with these evolving requirements.
Having access to this data can also help determine what content your audience is really responding to at each stage of the buying process. This knowledge can translate into the development of more relevant and personalized content in the future.
Implementing the right customer retention strategy goes a long way toward improving client relationships and increasing their lifetime value. Loyalty programs have also made it easier for business owners to provide an efficient way to track purchases and use this data to monitor which promotions and incentives customers respond favorably to. Tracking loyalty has proven to be an effective means analyzing your target group’s buying behaviors or patterns.
Big data allows you to observe how users interact with your brand by monitoring websites, social media channels, and your customer’s digital footprints. You can find honest reviews, testimonials, and relevant criticism about your company, products, and service offerings.
These pieces of information can be invaluable resources for managing your brand reputation or improving your image. Data solutions mean that brands can monitor their social proof and respond to issues that so that they can be quickly resolved.
Customer value analytics allow marketers to speed up the sales cycle without compromising personalized service. Instead of undermining customer relationships, big data provides an omni-channel service that helps enhance the customer experience.
Whether you contact them via social media, over the phone, or through face to face interactions, customers receive the same information and undergo the same experiences across all touchpoints.
Social monitoring technology is about so much more than reputation management or target audience insight. It can also be used to observe and analyze your competitor’s marketing strategies. These big data tools are an effective way to get creative/strategic inspiration, improve your current practices or learn from mistakes committed by your peers.
Optimizing marketing and administrative costs by aligning your selling and go-to-market strategies with the locations that have the best sales potential. Observe the sales reports and feedback you’re getting about your brand. Review which of your products are selling the most, which ones aren’t, and decide on your next steps based on those reports.
It is now possible to differentiate and optimize your pricing strategies based on what you see in your data solutions system. Considering how a small price increase could result in a significant increase in operating profits, you’d be remiss to not take advantage of big data’s potential contribution to your company’s bottom line.
Big data has become an integral part of marketing. Businesses must take advantage of data solutions to remain competitive and maintain their edge in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
One way to leverage big data is by consolidating different customer data sources into a single, integrated cross-channel system to optimize their online footprint. Another way to do this is by implementing re-targeting campaigns for potential client’s who’ve expressed interest but failed to continue into the purchase phase for one reason or another.
This sort of data-driven marketing strategy is far more reliable for making important business decisions. As technology evolves, gaining insight into customer motivations will become that much more granular and targeted, making it easier to respond efficiently within a shorter time frame.
Get your copy of our FREE whitepaper to find out how your business can truly be data-driven!