Data is the key to marketing success these days. The more data we have on our prospects and customers, the better. Right? Actually, the answer is no. The only thing that matters is having the right data. Too much of the wrong kind of data is useless. It bogs us down, confuses us and the data degrades so quickly that before we get a chance to use it, it is inaccurate.
How can marketers make sure they keep only the “right data?” Here are two tips to identify and retain only the relevant data that you can use to improve sales and marketing performance and drive ROI:
Focus on people, not companies-
Companies are important and necessary to identify for key account targeting, but you need to connect with individuals to make a sale. Make sure you focus on the individuals that meet your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and market to them with content what will help them solve their challenges. If you spend all your time looking for the right companies, instead of identifying the right individuals, you may be missing the boat. Keep in mind for large enterprise organizations; you may need to identify individuals that are part of a larger buying committee. So do identify key companies, but focus on the individuals and their unique profiles to make the connections, build engagement and then, the sale.
Keep it in real-time-
In addition to finding the right person to connect with, doing so in a timely manner makes all the difference. Data is always in flux. For the most part, obtaining real-time data on individuals in the best way to profile and connect with your buyers. A list you had from last year’s event is likely inaccurate 12 months later. People change companies, roles and even industries more often than ever before. Obtaining real-time data from the social web (LinkedIn, twitter, and others) helps ensure accuracy of data. Historical data is important as well for trends, but keep in mind your goals of building a relationship with your buyer. Sending irrelevant content or the wrong message to your buyer indicates you don’t really know or understand them. Relevant, real-time data is essential to build effective sales and marketing campaigns.
The challenge for sales and marketing professionals today isn’t gathering data about our buyers, it is gathering the right data about them. Using old data sources including last year’s list purchase (yikes!) or even conducting one-off web searches may not be effective. After all, how much time do you have to spend prospecting vs. connecting with your buyers? Focus on gathering relevant, real-time data on individuals that match your ICP in a systematic way and keep it fresh. Retain only what you need to profile and connect with your buyers – the rest will degrade too quickly to make it worth your time.