31st Jan, 2022
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- As customers migrated to digital platforms, enterprises realized the need to leverage database marketing to directly reach target customers and maximize conversions
- However, the path to building a rock-solid contactable database is replete with challenges that bring down the accuracy and effectiveness of campaigns
- Enterprises need a composite mix of tactful strategies and futuristic technologies like AI to power up a marketing database and maximize demand generation productivity
Modern businesses need a deeper understanding of the best, most effective ways to reach consumers at the right time. It sounds quite simple, but every year brings a new set of challenges that can derail and obstruct marketing plans. The last 2 years witnessed rapid changes in marketing as it moved online (albeit slowly) to maintain brand reach and engagement in the markets. Digital was no longer elective as it became a permanent shift for enterprises, large or small, to face the new market reality:
- A majority of consumers shifted towards digital platforms- which was a safe bet during lockdowns and contagion scare.
- Reduced physical interaction forced enterprises to prioritize digital interactions, closely understand online customer behavior, and add value across each stage of the buyerâs journey.
- Online lead generation became complex due to quickly evolving customer behavior.
Vanguard organizations used these disruptions to the best of their advantage. They unified their marketing/contactable database, obtained from varied sources, to identify and reach their target customer profile. They realized the importance of delivering personalized brand experiences at scale across a growing mix of channels and devices. Therefore, they focused on a narrower set of prospects lists that were more likely to convert and enabled the sales team to shorten the conversion cycle.
Trying to replicate similar strategies, many other enterprises failed outright in the absence of a tech-enabled, tactical approach. Another debilitating bottleneck was to break departmental silos and bring the IT, sales, and marketing teams on the same page. Also, without a broader understanding of what is happening in the industry and how customer behavior is evolving, enterprises are left a step behind. Companies looking to build a marketing database should examine some common hurdles on its path and prepare a long-range strategy to overcome them.
Bottlenecks that stifle a contactable database and impede ROI
Both marketing and sales teams face quite a few challenges at ground level while building an accurate and updated contactable B2B database. Some of those are mentioned below:
Orthodox database models: Conventional subscription-based models donât facilitate large-scale data processing and lack AI and NLP integration. These models are not built to support modern enterprises in their digital demand generation strategies.
Lack of options for moderating total data consumption: Standard database models allow limited routes for moderating data consumption volumes and costs. Companies needing smaller datasets end up paying for a bigger dataset to the b2b contact database provider. This leads to decreased efficiency of the campaigns and lower ROI from the per-contact rate. These models have limited filters to view data in a particular segment, and the fields, too, arenât systematically arranged. As a result, the marketing and sales team uses data that is not qualified or segmented for targeting ideal customers.
Absence of standard attribute tags: In many cases, b2b contactable databases lack universally applicable or standardized tags for elemental research. The problem arises because IT teams have no knowledge of the changing market dynamics, established norms, and conventions across the industry.
Outdated/stale data: Enterprises lack expertise in end-to-end database management which allows redundant data to creep into the system. Also, the absence of regular database cleansing and maintenance leads to data decay which brings down the relevance and contactable quotient of the data.
Inaccurate or un-opted data: Because the database is not updated and enriched with new information, it adds to the inefficiency woes of the marketing and sales team. They face a DND audience that has not provided the consent to be contacted for promotional and sales pitch. Often enough, the messages or emails go into the spam or junk folders of such contacts.
Universal spread of database covers only a fragment of the total addressable market size: In many cases, teams have limited data volume, which covers only a part of the total market size. This limits the ability of marketing and sales teams to effectively roll out their campaigns. It also hurts a companyâs potential sales target and hinders brand visibility.
In the light of the above challenges, letâs now explore best-fit ways to build a contactable marketing database that lends high business value with a tactically designed lead capturing mechanism:
Steps to build a b2b marketing database that drives business success
#1 Build an ideal customer profile
The first step to building a marketing database is to create an ideal customer profile. Marketers must gather information like technographics, demographics, firmographics, financials, and other metrics like buyer intent to build an accurate ideal customer profile.
A marketing database is defined by the kind of audience marketers want to target. They must identify the right personas whom they will pursue to purchase their products or services. Once they have clarity on what their target market is, they will get an indication of how vast or narrow the database is going to be. Depending on the volume and reach of the database, companies must keep adding contacts and append existing ones with new information for maximum advantage.
#2 Data standardization and uniform storage guidelines
As enterprises obtain data from varied sources, it is crucial to have uniform data standardization and storage guidelines in place to break silos in data. They must have a robust deduplication engine that can facilitate fast, bulk verification of data and remove duplicates. A standardized CRM helps build an accurate database that allows the sales team to easily filter specific datasets and arrange them according to relevance.
#3 Make regular updates to the b2b database
One of the fundamental steps to maintaining an accurate and contactable marketing database is regularly updating and enriching them with relevant new information. It helps keep the data contactable and relevant in the face of recurring changes. Updating the database regularly will also help businesses gather necessary insights about the buyerâs purchase intent. It will help determine which prospect has a greater likelihood of being converted immediately and which prospect requires more persuasion. According to these insights, the sales and marketing team can allocate their resources so that they win revenue for the company.
#4 Expand the data attributes
It will be meaningless for marketers to have a limited set of data attributes that wonât bring any results in their marketing endeavors. They should have a wide range of features that can be attributed to an ideal customer persona for specific campaigns. The current marketing zeitgeist needs relevant, contextual, and intent-based characteristics to define prospective customers for b2b demand generation campaigns.
#5 Ensure uninterrupted data refresh
Enterprises must continuously refresh their b2b corporate database to keep it relevant in the long run. For example, imagine that a sales team reaches out to a procurement manager only to find out they left the position a few months ago. When data sits idle for a long time, it starts deteriorating and breeds inaccuracies within the CRM. Businesses must, therefore, implement tech-enabled data to automate the data refresh and maintenance processes.
This step prevents the wastage of valuable time, efforts, and resources of the sales team on non-reachable or wrong contacts. Every leading b2b contact database provider recommends doing a database update every 60 days by coalescing and verifying the contactability with third-party database service providers.
#6 Clarity on opt-ins
Marketers should primarily funnel those leads to inside sales teams that have explicitly given consent to be contacted. The b2b marketing database must have multiple levels of manual and automated quality checks and options for DND and opt-in validation. Additionally, the sales team must request permission for follow-up and upselling.
Along with this, the database should also give out the details of alternative routes to direct contact other than work emails. If the database offers direct contact information that can bypass non-essential gatekeepers at the organization, it can enable the sales team to shorten the conversion cycle.
#7 Leverage AI to streamline and automate database management processes
Going forward in 2022, businesses must invest in modern AI tools to optimize their marketing processes and make them more effective in driving conversions. Discovering the untapped b2b data through a tech-led whitespace discovery mechanism helps draw out unseen insights from the existing database. It is then used to define the lead nurturing bucket, predict future data trends, and facilitate dynamic decision-making. Such database processing will help the sales team to increase upselling or cross-selling opportunities.
Furthermore, AI-powered database solutions help automate different data management processes, from identifying ideal customer profiles to data validation and enrichment. It gives marketers the ability to extract more accurate data and streamline repetitive tasks.
Setting up a contactable marketing database is not straightforward and requires precision, right tactics, along with intelligent technology integration for best results. The biggest challenge facing businesses is standardizing the data coming in from different channels and setting up a single source of truth for the marketing and sales team. However, with advancements in technologies like AI and ML, enterprises can seamlessly build their own database management engine to source and refine data to strengthen their sales funnel. They can also partner with a specialized b2b contact database provider to buy the right database that addresses their b2b demand generation needs.
Planning to buy the right corporate database to fulfill your demand generation requirements?
Our intelligent database services offer accurate and relevant databases for all business needs across different industries. Our AI-powered database management services give you the ability to build a rock-solid marketing database with guaranteed sales success in 2022 and beyond.
Contact us for more information or speak with our database expert to get advice on the future-forward solutions to meet your business requirements.