Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Don't Let Data Glitches Stymie B2B Lead Efforts

Business-to-business marketers dedicate chunks of budget and time to gathering qualified leads. Unfortunately, we've seen basic data problems undermine the effectiveness of hard-won B2B prospect and customer databases. So we'd like to pass along a recent MarketingProfs article alerting marketers to six of the most common data pitfalls. No. 1 on the list posted by Rob Manser, acting director of marketing at contact validation firm Service Objects, is relying on a single contact method in lead data. Focusing solely on e-mail outreach, for example, increases failure from address errors or poor channel response. By gathering or appending multichannel contact options--phone, e-mail and mailing address--the chances of connection climb. As Manser points out: "An e-mail or a phone call might never be returned, but a clever direct mail piece may catch a prospect's eye." Problem No. 2 arises from incorrect data gathering--incomplete, typo-riddled, misformatted or just plain bogus contact information. It doesn't mean all bad-data contacts must be tossed; many can be cost-effectively salvaged today via data verification, validation and appending software. Pitfall No. 3 is out-of-date information. Valuable contacts change companies, move to other locations in the same company, change titles and departments, etc. Frequent and thorough contact-data updating is required. That said, even when info is technically correct, Pitfall No. 4 occurs because data is not contact-specific enough; using a headquarters phone and address instead of the contact's division location will miss response in a geo-targeted campaign, for example. No. 5 on Manser's list of prospecting mistakes: Lead data that doesn't include a company's key targeting criteria--such as title or company size--which creates costly sales and marketing misfires. The final error compounds all others: allowing a contact database to become a pool of wasted opportunities by failing to fix data problems. Manser argues that there is no excuse now that marketers can turn to database services for quick, automated data-appending, data-verification and data-validation programs for clean-up--and we agree!  For more: 

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