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4 Steps to Maximize Your Marketing Data

Editor's Note: Today's post comes courtesy of Cassie Hrushesky, Product Marketing Manager for Bluewolf's Marketing Service and Customer Service Practice. Follow Cassie on Twitter @cmnh10.

Data, the hot little word that has the potential to impact your business’ growth — and ironically, its the hardest to control. Ask yourself: Do you honestly know the state of your data? How has your database evolved over time as customer channels multiplied?

It’s time to stop avoiding it. The longer you avoid addressing your data, the more time you expose yourself to the risk that your competitors will get in front of your customers first. Don’t miss another opportunity for engagement and relevant communication, that will deepen customer trust and spending.

Research shows that up to 25% of B2B customer data becomes inaccurate within one year. It can seem overwhelming, but the longer you wait to clean your data, the dirtier it gets. Do not delay any longer. Begin small, and get a grasp on the state of your data with these four steps:

1. Maintain Field Completeness. As a marketer, what fields are important to you? Perhaps they are industry, function, or company size. What about your sales team? Most likely, they care primarily about someone’s title, phone number, or company revenue. Sales and marketing need a plan to align their goals. The first step to conquering your data is to identify what fields are important to your company, and then track the accuracy and completeness of those fields. Hold your entire organization accountable for increasing the completeness and accuracy of your key data points over time.

2. Take Action on Bouncebacks. The average tenure of workers is between two to five years; even within that timeframe, job titles and responsibilities are most likely changing. Additionally, if you, like myself, are working in high-tech in Silicon Valley, you’re aware that the popularity of company acquisitions is increasing by the day. With these two factors, it can seem like an uphill battle to manage email bouncebacks. This is where a data tool can come in handy. Build a program to continually check outdated, inaccurate, and incomplete information on your accounts, leads, and contacts. When bad data is identified, then have a strategy to address it. Building a third party data tool into your marketing automation or CRM strategy can drastically increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts as well as your sales team’s efficiency.

3. Make Sense of Unsubscribes. Once you’ve addressed your incomplete, inaccurate, and outdated data, you can strategically focus on engaging with your database. As you become familiar with your database, try to understand how to engage with each audience or buyer type. Monitor the number of unsubscribes to your email campaigns to analyze the audience type and email CTA. Like bad data, unsubscribes can put a bad taste in marketers mouths, but worse is failing to address why someone may be unsubscribing from your emails.

4. Track Increased Engagement
As you tackle dirty data and unsubscribe rate, don’t forget to reward yourself by simultaneously tracking increased engagement overtime. First, define what engagement means to you; whether its a customer opening your email, or interacting with your social channels. As you develop strategies to personalize content for each customer type, set quarterly engagement goals. Don’t expect to see these numbers jump overnight, but as your database begins to trust your brand and value the content you’re sharing, you are bound to see a increase in overall engagement.

As you digest these four quick steps to understanding the state of your data, also consider ways to continually drive ongoing engagement and trust.

Check out our new guide, 3 Steps to Effective Email Marketing, to learn how to execute a personalized email strategy while tracking and iterating on its success over time.

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