27th Jan, 2022
, , Designation
â Implementing simple and advanced data profiling methods can improve business efficiency and increase ROI
There is little disagreement that b2b corporate data is the most valuable commodity in todayâs marketing world. In an environment saturated with all kinds of content, data helps businesses filter out the noise and reach the right audience. Unlike traditional marketing and sales strategies, data-driven decision-making isnât based on guesstimates or approximates, but actual, measurable, and accurate information. This customer data is used to evaluate results, draw insights, and optimize the decisions in both B2B and B2C enterprises.
However, customer data for marketing and sales purposes must be of high-quality and thoroughly checked for inconsistencies and errors. Since data is the bedrock of modern-day marketing and sales processes, basing entire campaigns on faulty data can prove to be costly.
Thatâs why there is an increasing emphasis on maintaining data quality. High-quality, error-free, timely, accurate, and reliable data helps businesses make better decisions. In this context, the need for data profiling has gone up manifold over the past decade, particularly in the B2B domain. Vying for the same customers, B2B businesses are applying smart data profiling techniques to reduce their margin of error, and thus, ensure higher growth and profitability.
What is data profiling?
There are many ways in which data can be prone to distortions, errors, inaccuracies, and degradation. While data collection is usually given the most importance, the need to ensure its usability is equally important.
Data profiling is the process of assessing and evaluating data taken from a source before it is used for the business purposes of sales and marketing. Usually, important data characteristics like quality, hygiene, accuracy, consistency, reliability, and validity of the data are examined. Understanding the data structure, reviewing the sources, establishing relationships and overall trends, all these are essential goals of data profiling.
In addition, data profiling may include transformation processes that remove defects and irregularities to comply with regulations and business protocols. This is key to ensuring that comprehensive, complete, and uniform databases are available for making high-quality decisions quickly.
In the marketing and business world, data profiling may include several data validation and cleansing processes to verify the accuracy, authenticity and uniqueness of customer data. Profiling marketing and sales data ensures that critical decisions related to location, content, target audience, engagement, and sales pitch are based on true information.
Benefits of data profiling for business sales and marketing
Data profiling helps make marketing campaigns more efficient and improve the b2b lead generation process. Data profiling practices and tools contribute towards business growth in the following ways:
Better data improves efficiency in decision-making: Data profiling creates a systematic process that funnels accurate data into a companyâs contactable database and helps eliminate redundancies in sales cycles and plug leakages, and reduce wasted efforts. Business decisions based on obsolete or poor quality data result in a loss of $9.7 million every year per business, as per estimates by Gartner. Overall, the cost of poor quality data is said to be $3 trillion in just the USA alone.
By removing identifying errors and implementing corrective methods, businesses are able to create better projections, analyze their performance effectively, and obtain insights that are more reliable. Data profiling helps integrate accurate predictive analytics into everyday marketing processes and decisions. This makes their decision-making in tune with dynamic internal and external changes, increasing agility and giving them an edge over the competition.
Data profiling improves marketing ROIs for businesses: Marketing efforts today are guided by reliable data. Data-driven campaigns allow companies to zero in on their end-users more effectively. With better access, engagement, and measurement tools, the marketing function creates a personalized journey for each customer, all thanks to data-intensive processes that have become the foundation of modern marketing.
For B2B companies, leveraging demographic and occupational data can shore up their marketing ROI significantly. Given that marketing campaigns can be customized based on relevant industry data, title, role, geography, and even down to an individual, a robust customer data profiling process ensures the effort and investment is directed to the right source. Using poor quality data can reduce the impact of marketing campaigns, and in an effort to engage irrelevant audiences, B2B businesses might end up incurring high costs. Thus, customer profiling is critical in the B2B domain considering the higher size of the deal, longer timelines, and more personalized approach.
Improved customer relations for better customer retention: Churn rates can make or break a business, particularly in the B2B world where the retention pressure is extremely high. Retaining customers is a key component for sustainable business growth. This can only be achieved by tracking engagement and activity levels using well-defined metrics. Only when businesses have their finger on the pulse of what their customers are experiencing, can they remedy challenges and prevent obstacles.
Data profiling ensures that customer databases are updated and maintained, which in turn, helps identify pain points, collect feedback, and create relevant customer solutions. These processes also help classify customers better and target them with the most appropriate messaging, offers, and support to sustain their trust and engagement. Furthermore, it helps the sales and marketing function by identifying customer challenges, analysing trends, suggesting remedial measures.
Data profiling for organized data sorting and better data security: With a robust data profiling process in place, businesses can track and match data points to their source. Customer data is usually gathered from a variety of sources, and it is important to attribute it to get a clearer picture. This also helps create more accurate and representative customer user personas that aid better sales and marketing.
In addition, mapping out the data to where it came from also enables businesses to deploy better data security measures. This is especially true of the B2B business environment, where sensitive enterprise data passes through many hands at different organizations. Both these processes indirectly help businesses achieve their KPIs by helping leaders contextualize and manage data, alongside preventing costly mistakes due to data loss and leakage. Therefore, data profiling helps businesses manage and organize sensitive customer data and strengthen suitable security measures.
Additionally, read our blog âThe Essential Guide to Business Data Maintenanceâ to get deeper insights into the importance of b2b data maintenance and discover best-fit techniques to clean and maintain b2b corporate database.
Common data profiling techniques and methods
There are three basic aspects to business data profiling and analysis:
â Structure discovery: To ensure consistency, validity, correct formatting, and perform basic mathematical checks; like ensuring the right date format, using the right area code, and having the right job title for B2B customers
â Content discovery: To ensure quality, timeliness, relevance and discover systemic errors in the database; like updating the contact or company information to reflect any changes
â Relationship discovery: To identify connections and relationships between varied data sets; grouping or classifying customer information based on variables like company, area, job title or expertise
The last word
Data profiling helps businesses actualize untapped growth potential through enhanced decision-making, higher optimization, and improved efficiency of the sales and marketing function. Particularly in the B2B world, where the deal size is large and the customer journeys longer, having high-quality data for decision-making can increase the scope of marketing and sales campaigns. By eliminating guesswork and estimation, data profiling helps keep marketing costs under check and provide optimum returns. Thus, it needs to be an integral part of all data policies in B2B businesses.
To know about how smart data profiling and management can help boost your business, get in touch with us today.