Best Practice Guide
Published February 2013
b2bmarketing.net 	

Data
b2bmarketing.net

SECTION 1
Introduction to data
You’ve built a solid proposition you know will resonate with the market.
...
SECTION 1 Introduction to data

•	 What’s the best system to use for campaigning and reporting?
•	 Can marketing automatio...
SECTION 1 Introduction to data

The challenge is collecting and disseminating the relevant content and
conversations takin...
SECTION 1 Introduction to data

seen a number of applications of the law, ranging from blatant pop-ups
asking for permissi...
SECTION 1 Introduction to data

•	 Test the water: Who can offer what (coverage, quality, niche targets,
target contacts)?...
SECTION 1 Introduction to data

•	 Profiling a specific account or contact can help build a more personal,
in-depth view, ...
SECTION 1 Introduction to data

1.6 Data quality and standards
When building and maintaining a data asset it is important ...
SECTION 1 Introduction to data

b2bmarketing.net

•	 Source new data. Review the marketplace for third-party data
supplier...
SECTION 1 Introduction to data

out what they need and then make sure the data strategy is aligned.
Getting buy-in from sa...
B2B Marketing
Colonial Buildings
59/61 Hatton Garden
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EC1N 8LS

Tel. +44 (0) 20 7438 1370
Fax +44 (0) 20 7438 1377
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B2B data best practice guide

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Our Head of Data Strategy Matt Hanks contributed to B2B Marketings data best practice guide

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B2B data best practice guide

  1. 1. Best Practice Guide Published February 2013 b2bmarketing.net Data
  2. 2. b2bmarketing.net SECTION 1 Introduction to data You’ve built a solid proposition you know will resonate with the market. You have created some fantastic collateral. Your outbound campaigns are set up and ready to go, and your microsite is primed to be set live. Your lead generation and sales teams are chomping at the bit to get started. But how much time have you dedicated to your data? Data is critical to any marketing activity, but with its ever increasing volume and the sheer number of communication channels at your fingertips, it means you need to develop a wide range of expertise and know-how. 1.1 The role of data It is all too easy to focus on the content, targets and deliverables when creating campaigns, but real success comes when you consider your data and its insight before, during and after campaign planning and implementation. A continuous cycle of data planning, analysis, management, delivery and reporting should always drive the campaign process. We’ve all heard it before, but data really is a critical element in any marketing campaign and plays a hugely significant role in: Matt Hanks Head of data The Marketing Practice “A continuous cycle of data planning, analysis, management, delivery and reporting should always drive the campaign process” • Educating, measuring and driving your marketing strategy. Ultimately helping you meet business objectives. • Providing insight into what, when and how you should communicate to your target audience. • Shaping communication development. • Demonstrating your results. To help you get the most out of your data, here are some questions you should ask yourself on a daily basis: • What data have we already got, and how do we make the most of it? • If we do need data, what’s the best place/way to get it? • How can we integrate sales data with marketing data? • Do we need to apply segmentation? If we do, how should we go about it? • What processes do we need to put in place to clean and manage our data? Best Practice: Data © B2B Marketing 2013 10
  3. 3. SECTION 1 Introduction to data • What’s the best system to use for campaigning and reporting? • Can marketing automation play a role here? • What intelligence are we gathering from campaigns and how can we put a value on it? b2bmarketing.net “Now more than ever before, the wealth of data available on any customer or prospect is immense” • Where should we focus our marketing efforts for the greatest chance of success? • What is the best mix of channel communications? • What’s the best way to prove the ROI? This list is by no means exhaustive. The point is, in many ways, data is your most valuable marketing asset. 1.2 Migration from direct to digital marketing Now more than ever before, the wealth of data available on any customer or prospect is immense. Offline media, online behaviour, social media, events, direct mail, email and telemarketing are all channels through which data can be collected. And when used in the right way, this data can educate the campaign strategy. It won’t be as drastic as a complete migration from direct to digital marketing. It’s more of a mix of traditional, digital and any new emerging channels that are inevitably just around the corner. For data-driven marketers, these digital channels are a great opportunity to collect more information on prospects and customers. This is a good thing – the more information you can gather, the more insight you can provide to help shape, drive and support the planning process and strategies. The challenge is trying to dissect the data and ask the right questions to generate actionable insight. 1.2.1 Data collection tools Collecting the wealth of online information is a tough task. And it’s even tougher to link it all together to develop truly integrated marketing programmes. There are many tools that can help you do this, but knowing which tools suit your requirements and how to apply these is a real challenge. Trying to keep up with constant technical developments keeps us on our toes. There’s a lot of buzz around social automation, CRM and monitoring. It’s all about using social media channels to promote a business and its services, while collecting information on prospects and customers to educate marketing planning and delivery. For marketing it’s another string to the bow when communicating with prospects and customers. For data it’s another headache from trying to work out how to collect and make the most of all this information. Best Practice: Data © B2B Marketing 2013 11
  4. 4. SECTION 1 Introduction to data The challenge is collecting and disseminating the relevant content and conversations taking place through social media, and turning it into actionable insight. It’s the same challenge marketer’s have been facing for years across all other channels: asking the right questions of the data, testing strategies, and learning as much as possible. b2bmarketing.net “One-to-one marketing is here and data is the only way to learn how to deliver it” 1.2.2 Traditional channels Of course, traditional direct channels still have a large part to play in an integrated strategy. As less direct mail is distributed, there are opportunities to get more cut-through and make a bigger impact when your collateral lands on a prospect’s desk. Some of the most successful campaigns to date have been thanks to a combination of direct mail, email and lead generation calling – using the data output and results to find out which contacts responded to each element of the campaign and making sure these channels were used throughout the rest of the nurture programme. Getting the right blend of communication channels is the key to success. Everyone is different, and marketers should acknowledge this by using data to determine who responds best to which message, when and through which channel (or mix of channels). One-to-one marketing is here and data is the only way to learn how to deliver it. 1.3 The impact of legislation Legislation is a hot topic today thanks to the increasing amount of data available on individuals – covered in detail in section three. The law may be more focused on the world of B2C marketing, but B2B marketers need to be increasingly aware of the rules and regulations surrounding the use of contact data for marketing. A successful marketing programme is usually a secure and law abiding one that takes into account rules and regulations, and applies them correctly. There are some hefty fines if you fail to store, secure and manage your data correctly, so it’s important you get it right. Your data strategy should include a large section on how to adhere to the rules; how the data is stored, who can access it and how it will be used, and marketing permissions should be built into the campaign communication workflow. In fact, if applied well, these rules and regulations can help refine and enhance your contact strategy. For example, providing opt-in options across multiple communication channels enables you to deliver the most relevant content to the most engaged individuals. There is also a lot of talk about the introduction of last year’s EU cookie law and the impact it’s going to have on marketing – particularly for marketing automation (MA) vendors, some of whom rely on cookie-based techniques to collect extremely valuable online behavioural data. I have Best Practice: Data © B2B Marketing 2013 12
  5. 5. SECTION 1 Introduction to data seen a number of applications of the law, ranging from blatant pop-ups asking for permission to apply a cookie, to small print in the terms and conditions. As a new piece of legislation, it is open to interpretation and until the dust has settled we will struggle to know the best application of it. 1.4 Building a data strategy b2bmarketing.net “What is the true size of the potential market? Where has the success been to date? Using tools and statistics can help you find any gaps that need to be plugged” Before you can develop your data strategy, there is a long list of questions you should be asking yourself. In the meantime, here are some of the areas, approaches and questions you need to focus on to ensure you are on the right track: 1.4.1 Research, educate and deliver insight • Understand the marketplace, business objectives, products, propositions, competition and marketing requirements. • Market sizing and opportunity mapping: What is the true size of the potential market? Where has the success been to date? Using tools and statistics provided by Forrester or the Office of National Statistics, for example, can help you find any gaps that need to be plugged. • Target audience: What job roles and functions do you need to target? Who are the decision makers and influencers? • Current data analysis: How can you exploit your current data asset to maximise its potential. Review elements such as age, quality, depth, coverage and content. • Review your data on customers and prospects – to identify any gaps in the target market (gap analysis). • As well as analysing your data population at account level, you should review the types of contacts you hold. Find out where you have had traction in the past as this will guide you towards contacts and accounts with potential for success in the future (providing your market sizing analysis is not showing saturation in this area.) 1.4.2 Exploit and enhance your current data asset • Can your current data set be enhanced with any external data? Consider matching additional data attributes or appending new, relevant, updated contacts. • Review the marketplace for additional data sources – these can provide the best-fit data. Best Practice: Data © B2B Marketing 2013 13
  6. 6. SECTION 1 Introduction to data • Test the water: Who can offer what (coverage, quality, niche targets, target contacts)? • Suppression screening: How old is the data and does it comply with data protection regulations? • Technical sophistication: Where is the data held? What systems are currently in place? What are the current processes for data and integrating with sales? How is it all measured? b2bmarketing.net “Where is data held? What systems are currently in place? What are the current processes for data and integrating with sales? How is it all measured?” 1.4.3 Build a comprehensive marketing database • Compile a database of accounts and contacts that can fulfil and deliver to your targeting requirements. • What’s the best selection of sources to use to ensure a comprehensive database? (i) Existing data (ii) Web research (iii) Outbound calling (iv) Consolidated data tools and pre-compiled data suppliers (v) Social networks (vi) Website engagers/registrations • What data elements are needed to support marketing? What data permissions should we collect to deliver these? (i) Ensuring that you adhere to data protection along the way (ii) What information is needed to deliver the mix of communications (postal address, phone number, email address etc)? • Do you need to verify your current data set, as well as build newcontacts? • Technical considerations: How will you maintain the quality and accuracy of your database? What’s the best technical solution for integrating marketing and sales, and meeting the communications requirements? Could marketing automation play a role here? What is the customer journey and how will it be delivered, capturing the key elements of data along the way? How will you measure and report ROI? 1.4.4 Profile your key target accounts and contacts • Multiple messages and contact strategies require different levels of information aimed at each audience. Best Practice: Data © B2B Marketing 2013 14
  7. 7. SECTION 1 Introduction to data • Profiling a specific account or contact can help build a more personal, in-depth view, allowing for a more personalised approach tailored to individuals’ interests, achievements, roles and past affiliations. b2bmarketing.net “The right technology and proper planning can significantly reduce the 1.4.5 Apply the right platform challenge of increasing To support your strategy, you need a solid platform on which to store your data. You might use legacy tools, an off-the-shelf CRM system, something you’ve built internally or additional tools that can be integrated to enhance what you already have. Software such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics provide such platforms at reasonable prices, giving users the ability to update, maintain and access data in real-time and have extensive reporting and integration options. customer and prospect views” When creating your data strategy this is definitely something you should keep in mind. Many CRM solutions have been adapted in order to implement the single customer view (SCV) from within, using increasingly intelligent data-gathering and integration techniques. Software such as Salesforce is widely used and is continually evolving to integrate with new data collection channels and digital data (Radian6 and Eloqua are now fairly simple to integrate technically). We know that getting to a true SCV is, and always will be, challenging, but these tools are extremely useful in getting as close as possible. The right technology and proper planning can significantly reduce the challenge of increasing customer and prospect views. We may never achieve a complete single view but we’ll get pretty close if we make use of all the tools and data at our fingertips. 1.5 Categorisation of data Traditional and digital channels provide lots of ways to engage with prospects and customers. Using analytics to find the right mix for each campaign or data segment is a must, as is making sure you can build in the required contact data and permissions. There are obvious links to budget and what can be achieved in terms of delivery channels. Email is seen as the cheaper option, but in this day and age it’s an essential part of the mix. Using email in isolation is dangerous, but when driven by data insight, it’s invaluable. When building up your data asset, make sure you understand the origins of the data and its associated permissions. I’ve come across a number of challenges in the past where we have been handed thousands of email addresses, phone numbers and postal addresses, but the permission to use these for marketing has not been collected, making them useless. There are ways to address this under the data protection laws, such as one-off communications with options to opt-in to marketing programmes, but it all costs time and money. It’s much more appropriate and beneficial to collect these permissions when the contact is being engaged for the first time. If you are ever unsure, it is always advisable to seek out guidance from organisations such as the Direct Marketing Association, as the implications can be damaging. Best Practice: Data © B2B Marketing 2013 15
  8. 8. SECTION 1 Introduction to data 1.6 Data quality and standards When building and maintaining a data asset it is important to ensure you get it right from the start and then invest in keeping it up-to-date. It makes no sense to invest in building a clean data set that will be 20 per cent out-of-date in six months. Apart from the obvious cost of marketing to contacts that have left the company (there’s an argument that someone will have replaced them so it may not be wasted), it can also damage your brand. b2bmarketing.net “Data quality can decay at the rate of three per cent per month, so ensure you have a process to continually refresh and maintain your data” 1.6.1 Get it right from the start Getting your data right from the outset can make success more achievable over the lifetime of any programme, particularly in the B2B space. Data quality can decay at the rate of three per cent per month. So building a process to get your data asset in the best place possible before you get into live campaigning and ensure you have a process to continually refresh and maintain your data, is crucial. A programme of continuous campaigning and nurturing ensures your key accounts and contacts are kept up-to-date and reduces the risk of waste, while making sure the right intelligence is being collected. The B2B world moves at an incredible pace, so you need a regular process of updating your contacts and applying suppressions (CTPS, MPS, contact permissions etc.) to adhere to data protection laws. The tools and techniques applied in the consumer world are sometimes seen as being more advanced than in the B2B space. I agree the sheer volume of data in the consumer world means you need to be clever with your data strategy, but that doesn’t mean it’s more advanced. In the B2B environment, we face different challenges and managing data becomes more complex. Complex company structures and changing contacts responsible for multiple areas of a business makes getting to the right decision maker or influencer very tricky. Techniques such as the single customer or prospect view (which the consumer market does very well) can create group, company, department and influencer views that can all be linked, to deliver a valuable data set that can help educate and influence. But this is often difficult, with numerous data sets being held disparately. For example, marketing, finance, and sales all have their own data, which causes fragmentation – a big problem if you want to develop a truly integrated data and marketing strategy that has the best chance of generating leads. Your approach to building a high-quality data asset may vary depending on elements such as your current data holding and access to it and how old your data is and when was it last touched (either through a campaign or cleaned). In my experience, it’s always best to approach this with an open mind and consider all of the options available. Treat each problem as a new fresh challenge and look to do some of the following: Best Practice: Data © B2B Marketing 2013 16
  9. 9. SECTION 1 Introduction to data b2bmarketing.net • Source new data. Review the marketplace for third-party data suppliers that can complement any data holding, or build it if no data currently exists – what sectors and contacts is the business targeting and where can you find the best data to match this? Using a mix of data suppliers can often be just as beneficial as having a partnership with one in terms of quality, but maybe not budget, another element to throw into the mix. “Using a mix of data • Enhance your data by gathering information from third-party suppliers. You can often obtain new appropriate contacts for your targeting as well as enhance account level information such as sector, turnover, size and growth or decline of businesses, all of which will help your communication segmentation and targeting. to throw into the mix” suppliers can often be just as beneficial as having a partnership with one in terms of quality, but maybe not budget, another element • Implement telemarketing. You can use desk-based research and tools such as LinkedIn to find and validate contacts, but the best form of validation and data building is always going to be over the phone. If you have budget and can facilitate telemarketing then it’s a valuable process – especially if your campaign includes high-value direct mail or lead generation time. It pays to validate your contacts by putting in a quick call before any activity. • Profiling and modelling can focus your segmentation. If you don’t have access to inhouse analysis expertise, there are a number of data agencies that specialise in profiling existing databases and can drive the acquisition of new ‘best fit’ accounts (based on actual data or by modelling look-a-like businesses). This will help highlight low-hanging fruit and gain immediate traction, in the same way maintaining your data, analysing and modelling your customers on a regular basis ensures that you pick up new opportunities throughout a campaign lifecycle. 1.7 ata and the sales team D What role could data play in aligning marketing and sales? This is a key consideration, as both departments complement each other and are intrinsically linked by driving success. There have certainly been times when sales didn’t really care what marketing were doing and saw their work as a waste of valuable budget – but, luckily, this seems to be a thing of the past. 1.7.1 Early action When it comes to developing a data strategy, especially as part of the targeting, engaging with sales is one of the most important discussions at the outset. They are the frontline troops and can provide extremely valuable insight that can help shape the data requirements. I’ve already mentioned the elements required for developing a data strategy in section 1.4. Where better to gain this information than from the people who are working the market on a daily basis? It makes sense that in order to deliver the leads the sales team needs, we should first find Best Practice: Data © B2B Marketing 2013 17
  10. 10. SECTION 1 Introduction to data out what they need and then make sure the data strategy is aligned. Getting buy-in from sales and determining what constitutes a good (or poor lead) is key. Keeping sales happy and engaged will help deliver successful campaigns. 1.8 Summary To be in B2B marketing as a data expert is fast paced, challenging and difficult, with an ever increasing focus on using data to prove ROI and deliver results. But it is exciting, forward-thinking and offers a great opportunity to be increasingly intelligent with data strategies across more channels and levels of integration than ever before. Now is your chance to demonstrate ROI, deliver results and prove the unquestionable value of data as both a marketing and business asset. The use of data has never been so involved or as important as it is today. Best Practice: Data © B2B Marketing 2013 b2bmarketing.net “Now is your chance to demonstrate ROI, deliver results and prove the unquestionable value of data as both a marketing and business asset” 18
  11. 11. B2B Marketing Colonial Buildings 59/61 Hatton Garden London EC1N 8LS Tel. +44 (0) 20 7438 1370 Fax +44 (0) 20 7438 1377 info@b2bmarketing.net b2bmarketing.net

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