For B2B marketers, your database is one of your most important assets, whether you’re running cold call campaigns or using account based marketing (ABM) to reach leads. Not only is it important to have a clean database with high-quality information so that you have accurate contact information, but also so you can create targeted segments for a better chance of actually connecting with your audience in a meaningful and fruitful way.
And yet, many B2B companies struggle with keeping their data clean and lists accurate and detailed: 49% of organizations have made these their goals for the year. With more data than ever coming from artificial intelligence (AI), inbound marketing, and predictive modeling, markers can easily become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information being thrown their way, and can struggle to pinpoint which data they actually need, as well as keep those databases updated.
Data quality ≠ just a clean database
While focus in the past has been on ensuring that all fields are filled out and that the information is up-to-date, today’s marketing landscape demands more from a B2B database. Now it’s imperative to integrate data across marketing and sales platforms to avoid redundancy and provide a seamless, integrated experience for the prospect or client. But it’s also important to leverage automated processes to input the data, parse for what’s important, and use predictive analytics to make assumptions about leads.
That being said, the problem with automated processes is that there’s little human touch involved. That’s why quality contact information is of the utmost importance.
When you focus on personalizing your marketing, the way you do with ABM, you need confidence that the data you’ve collected is accurate. Misinformation means misdirected campaigns, resulting in unsubscribes and leads being turned off by your brand, who can’t seem to understand them.
When you go beyond simple contact information, you can set yourself up for successful lead scoring, segmentation. and nurturing. Assigning value to certain pieces of information helps you better understand how valuable a given lead is, and how much effort you should put into nurturing it.
Tips for getting more out of your database
Rather than be inundated with the data you could collect from your leads, create a plan for establishing what you really care about and ensuring your existing data is clean and that you’re collecting that going forward.
1. Identify what’s important to record
Especially if multiple departments need access to the database, your organization may need a great deal of data. Make a list of data properties that are important across silos.
2. Simplify the fields
There will be overlap across departments, such as basic contact information, so start by keeping it simple. Do you really need fields for business phone, work phone, and office phone fields? Probably not. Do the clean-up work necessary to remove redundant or outdated data.
3. Assign a department owner
Determine who in each department or within the company will be responsible for helping govern the data. What happens when a new field needs to be added to the database? Whom do you contact, and what is the approval process?