24th Feb, 2021
Marcom, , Designation
- The path to building a successful marketing database strategy is not always straightforward.
- Enterprises need to be aware of the prominent challenges that impede ROI
- They should also know the essential building blocks critical for the success of a contactable database.
- Here are proven strategies to power up a marketing database and productize the lead generation process
Consumer driven companies will need a different mindset and strategy to deal with the challenges thrown open by the pandemic. The shift to virtual modes of working has been a scenario that very few enterprises planned for or anticipated.
Digital no longer remained an elective and it soon became an existential business need. Moreover, it became a permanent shift forcing enterprises to face a new reality:
- A majority of customers moved to virtual platforms — where most of the marketing action is taking place.
- Lead generation become even complex and similar to hitting a (fast) moving target.
- Reduced face to face interactions mandate enterprises to focus on digital interactions, closely understand online user behaviour, and improve prospect’s journey.
Forward-looking companies used this disruption to the best of their advantage. They coalesced around marketing database strategy (also known as a contactable database) to identify and reach their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). They personalised their marketing messages for better impact on sales and conversions. They expanded the funnel and prevented sales team from being worn thin. Instead, they were able to focus on a narrower set of prospects who were more likely to be converted and shortened complex or cyclic processes.
Others soon tried to replicate the same strategy but failed outright. Building a successful marketing database requires tact. The most debilitating challenge before them was pulling the IT, Sales & Marketing team on the same page. And this where the value lies. Enterprises planning to build a marketing database should evaluate some common hurdles on its path and prepare a long-range strategy to cross them.
Challenges that Hold Back a Contactable Database and Impede ROI
Sales & marketing teams face quite a few problems at ground level when working with contactable B2B database. Some of them are as under.
Conventional database models: Standard subscription-based models don’t facilitate large-scale data processing or AI and NLP based profiling. These models are not built for modern-day demand generation strategies.
Lack of options for moderating data consumption: Traditional database models offer limited options for moderating data consumption volumes and costs. Companies that require a smaller dataset, end up paying for a much bigger set and hence lose efficiencies from the per-contact rate. These models offer limited filters to see specific data and the fields aren’t logically arranged. As a result, the marketing team uses data which is not segmented for targeting ideal customers.
Lack of Standard attribute tags: In many cases, the B2B database doesn’t have universally applicable or consistent tags for elemental research. This problem arises as IT teams are not aware of the market dynamics, conventions, norms followed across the industry.
Outdated/Stale Data: Redundant data that hasn’t been updated regularly prevents enterprises from reaching the low-hanging fruits.
Inaccurate or Un-opted data: Redundant data adds to the inefficiency woes of the sales and marketing teams. The sales and marketing teams face a DND audience that has opted not to be contacted for a sales pitch.
Another relevant problem is large email database that looks promising but doesn’t have the most critical fields – Direct Dial information. As a result, the marketing team misses out on sufficient contacts for closures.
Universal spread of database caters to only a small percentage of the total addressable market: In many cases, teams have limited volume of data which covers a small percentage of the market.
The next section will look at ways to build a marketing database that lends immense business value with a carefully cultivated lead capturing mechanism.
How to build a b2b marketing database that defines business success?
1 – Build an ideal customer profile
Building an ideal customer profile (ICP) is typically the first step towards building a database. You need to gather various firmographic and demographic data along with other metrics like purchase intent to build the right ICP.
A marketing database is defined purely by the audience it wants to target. you need to know whom you will be pursuing to sell your products or services. Once you have this, you will have an indication of how wide or narrow the database is going to be.
For instance, if you target only NASDAQ100 companies, then you will have only 102 contacts (created from the top listed companies on NASDAQ). However, if you target sales managers in those 102 contacts then the list will be further narrowed.
Going forward, you need to keep adding contacts and update existing ones for the maximum advantage
2 – Make regular updates to B2B data
Since the contact may come in touch with various points of data collection, you need to be as precise & widespread as possible to capture the necessary intel about the buyer’s purchase intent. This step will help you figure out which prospect has the greatest prospect to be converted immediately. Your sales and marketing team can then channel their collective energies into converting these contacts first so that they generate business wins for the company.
3– Add bigger breadth of attributes
It will be pointless for a marketer to have a limited set of attributes that won’t help in his marketing endeavours. He should be given a range of attributes to identify personas for specific campaigns. The current zeitgeist needs relevant, contextual, and intent based attributes to define prospects for demand generation campaigns.
4 – Ensure continuous refresh of data
Imagine if your inside sales team reaches out to a sales manager only to realize that she/he has left the position three years back! Now, if there are millions of records and just one obsolete data, then it is okay to overlook it. But what if 70% of the data is obsolete and hasn’t been refreshed? The inside sales team will keep spending time on calling up the dark data, only to face rejection every single time, with zero conversions. It is wise to refresh the data with new information. This step prevents the wastage of valuable efforts, time, and money. Industry experts suggest doing an update every 60-90 days by cross-referencing the database with third-party sources to verify the time-sensitive relevance. A database refreshed continuously will help prevent the minefield of dark data that can harm outreach campaigns. Technology-powered real-time profiling helps a lot in the continuous refresh of data.
5 – Clarity on opt-ins
The inside sales team should ideally be handed only those contacts that have given permission to be contacted. The database needs to have multiple levels of automated and manual quality checks and options for DND and Opt-In validation. Along with this, the database should also provide for alternative sources to direct contact other than work emails. If the database has direct dial information that can bypass gatekeepers at the organisation, it can provide the shortest route map to conversions.
6 – Use technology to identify ICP
Tapping the potential customer base with the help of whitespace discovery can unlock new opportunities for outreach, conversions, and growth. A tech-led analytics stack will assimilate the different information, cut out the noise in the data, and uncover new insights. Such processing can lead to more upselling or cross-selling potential.
Discover how Denave is successfully leveraging this capability to extract more than 80% accurate data of key decision-makers of enterprises with over 500 employees. Read this Blog
Setting up a Customer Database or Contactable is not always straightforward. There are several factors that need to be considered on its path. The biggest challenge is integrating the data flowing from different channels and setting up a single source of truth for sales & marketing. Enterprises can partner with a specialized database services provider to buy a database that addresses their demand generation marketing needs.
However, there is a swath of b2b data companies in this market where every solution is galvanized with marketing terminologies. Enterprises should tread carefully and pick up the right solution that addresses their need.
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