As valuable as it might be (if used in the right way), data is everywhere, which sounds great, doesn’t it?
Yes, it can be, if you’re one of those forward-thinking marketers, who have the resources, processes, technology and insight in place to effectively continuously monitor and analyse your data.
However, it isn’t easy, what with all of the different siloed data sources to keep track of. We recently joined forces with B2B Marketing to conduct a survey of B2B marketers, which revealed their data about new prospects comes from all sorts of different directions. The majority of them (57%) rely on online registrations, such as websites, downloads and webinars, while 56% source it from events and 51%, email marketing. Other new prospect data sources included social media, customer referrals and content marketing.
This is just a tiny snapshot of the data-sphere that exists out there today. But I think it’s fair to say that this little snapshot is extremely valuable in demonstrating just how many different data channels marketers can tap into in the current digital era plus, it’s also worth mentioning, that they’re constantly evolving and multiplying too.
However, it’s all very well collating mountains-upon-mountains of data, if you’re obtaining the right type of data and acting upon it in the right way, which can be a real challenge.
First of all, it’s a common fact that 30% of B2B data decays at contact level per annum. To successfully overcome this challenge, marketers need a central management platform that feeds into all of their systems, matches all of their data together, creates a classification taxonomy and then models their data over time. On top of consolidating their data, they also need to build algorithms that have an impact both on positive and negative outcomes. It’s the approach that one of our clients took, global giant Pitney Bowes, and results were staggering.
Secondly, we also know that relevance is key. Relevant messaging issued at the right time can generate an uplift of up to 300% in leads and 50% increase in sales pipeline (which is what we’ve achieved for our clients). It’s also worth noting that without being relevant, you risk wasting your efforts, budget and any brand equity you might have built up, which can have a negative impact on your entire organisation and take years to repair.
Interestingly, according to the recent B2B Marketing survey, a large proportion of respondents admitted that the biggest challenges they face when it comes to personalisation are lack of resources (48%), insufficient data (41%) and lack of time (40%).
‘Throwing mud at the wall, hoping some of it sticks’ tactics may be common, but they’re not acceptable.
The stats immediately above suggest that marketers don’t have enough time or resource, or that data is of a high enough quality, to provide them with meaningful insight to deliver highly-targeted campaigns based on buying behaviour. Unfortunately, this results in ‘random’ tactics being used, with people kidding themselves that as long as they’re doing something, even if it’s the wrong thing, then that’s fine. But it’s not fine as, regardless of how time or resource-poor they might be, they need to look at personalisation properly (which doesn’t just simply mean putting people’s names in the first line or subject heading) and fix the situation, as their efforts will continue to be wasted.
As the volume of data continues to mushroom, so does the wealth of opportunities it can provide marketers with. It offers opportunities to join up the dots in their data, engage with their target audience on a meaningful level and interact with them based on precisely where they are in their buying journey.
Next up, discover how ‘battle gaming’ can boost your marketing activity. Read the next post in this special predictive marketing blog series, B2B Ignite (5/6) where we'll be discussing battle gaming techniques and how they can help optimise planning and the application of resources.’
About the author
Jon Clarke is the CEO of Cyance and one of the guest speakers at B2B Marketing’s Ignite event on June 22. Jon will be discussing the subject of this blog in further detail, plus other key predictive marketing issues, at the forthcoming conference.