There is a clear realisation that data is a valuable asset to any business and as such must be treated with the care and regard it deserves. After all, we live in the era of data-driven marketing don’t we? In fact, in the B2C sector marketers have never had it so good in terms of the plethora of data available to them on consumer behaviour, which in turn, allows personalised offers and communication. At least that is the expectation.
B2B based organisations seem to be lagging behind their B2C counterparts somewhat in terms of adopting sophisticated technology and data management practices. According to a piece of research undertaken by Linkedin, 65% of B2C marketers expected their teams to grow, compared to 46% for B2B. The research also found B2C marketers use a broader range of marketing technologies, with B2B marketers slow to move beyond data analytics. B2B marketers were, however, looking to increase their usage of marketing technologies, particularly in terms of analytics, automation and Internet of Things (IoT).
This trend correlates with the market demand for the new era of CRM and digital marketing automation tools. The persistent problem for B2B organisation is accessing reputable good quality data that often feeds into marketing automation tools and the CRM. This problem is often compounded when your sales team is the only source of data capture.
IncNet, a B2B data research company, operating in Australia since 1989, provides 3 practical tips in resolving your customer data issues:
- January is often a key month, employees are most likely to think about changing jobs. With almost one in five (18%) citing this as the most popular month to make a move (Glassdoor). Getting your sales teams to update their contacts is almost an impossible task. Matching first party customer data against a reputable B2B third party data source to update key contacts is a great starting point.
- A shift in buying behaviour has been observed in the B2B sector. A shift from a singular decision maker to the Decision Maker Unit (DMU). Often a number of different departments and contacts are involved in the purchasing decision. It is important that sales personnel are not just focused on engaging with one single decision-maker, but a number of individuals with different job functions. Again, choosing a reputable third party dataset with the breadth of contacts against a prospect or customer, both C-Suite and operating staff, is crucial to B2B sales. This helps fill in the gaps where there are gaps in the overall account nurturing plan.
- Use first party customer conversion and life time value data to re-assess your go-to-market plans. Firstly, profile existing customers against the overall market availability using a reputable B2B data source that has access to accurate industry segmentation, location, revenue and number of employees attributes as a minimum. This provides the basis to understand whether your marketing channel resources are aligned effectively.