By Gareth Horton, Insight Director Data Solutions, Market Location.
B2B marketers have begun to embrace the improvements that can be made to performance of their campaign through intelligent data analysis.
For most, the first step will be to bring together the various disparate sources of data from within their organisations.
Pooling this information can begin to build up a picture of customers (current and lapsed) and, once properly stored, cleaned and maintained, has the potential to open the door on more dynamic and usable insight which can positively impact on subsequent campaigns.
But before any kind of analysis takes place, getting the proverbial data house in order is vital. Poor quality data and any kind of inaccuracy can have a huge impact on insight gleaned from analysis, potentially skewing results and directing future marketing activity down the wrong avenue.
Spending extra care on the analysis of data in the initial stages of campaign planning can combat against the danger of using sub-standard data. Analysis techniques in the B2B arena significantly rival the consumer data arena due to their basic principals for data collection and management, which ultimately improve targeting, personalisation and the resulting outcome of the campaign.
Many businesses are already in possession of data that is in-cohesive within different departments that could lose value due to being dealt with independently.
Data vendors can pull together all the different data resources a company may have and match this information against their data files to ultimately make the data work more effectively when planning campaign strategy.
A pervasive issue that plagues the purchase of B2B data is the quality. Marketers need to ensure that they receive a clear indication from their data vendor that their investment is delivering 100% accurate information.
Businesses should be aware of how their data vendor collects information and be sure that they are buying data that is frequently refreshed.
Typically B2B data decays by 36 per cent every 12 months, and therefore data vendors need to prove to marketers that their processes refresh to this timescale.
When out of date or inaccurate business data is used, the resulting analytical output could be skewed, contributing to a campaign that might not produce an effective outcome. Simple inaccuracies like company closures, wrong sector codes, differing requirements, can disrupt the analytics.
For example, if a piece of direct mail is sent to a business that no longer exists or an individual receives something with incorrect details; it is more likely that the information will end up in the bin and the message from the brand will go unread, in addition causing irreversible brand damage.
By analysing data for quality issues during the offset of a campaign, a business can ensure a brands reputation is upheld as well as ensuring time and cost effectiveness.
B2B marketers need to consider carefully the resources that they have invested their budgets in and what outcomes they need these resources to achieve. Asking questions about the data and ensuring data is of good quality will contribute to the creation of a successful marketing campaign.
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