Poor data quality is a disease which slowly destroys the value of your marketing database. Quality is damaged through incomplete information, poor data entry, and data decay. A traditional response is to purchase new records, but this only provides a temporary (and expensive) respite from your data quality issues.
The data I’ve seen indicates that contacts decay at a 25 to 30 percent annual rate. This means that a prospect list that is 90 percent accurate today will be little more than 50% accurate two years later. Thus, a prospect list purchase strategy is like steroids, it makes your marketing database look healthier on the day the list is purchased, but it simply masks the growing disease within your database. Treating one or two symptoms does not address the underlying problem — a lack of a broad, continuous data strategy.
However, if you take a holistic view around data quality which includes continuous DaaS validation, ABM look-a-likes, web form enrichment, lead-to-account mapping, duplicate management, data standardization, and reference database appends, you will have a healthy database that ensures your MAP and CRM platforms contain the richest, most accurate data.
Vendors that support holistic data quality include ReachForce, D&B Optimizer (FKA Workbench), Zoominfo, InsideView, Oceanos, and Openprise. So if you are concerned about your ability to target, segment, pass quality leads to sales, score leads, or build predictive models, then begin with a holistic data strategy. Symptoms of poor data quality include high email bounce rates, declining email sender scores, returned direct mail, duplicate records, incomplete records, accelerating unsubscribe rates, and sales reps that ignore your marketing qualified leads.
Any firm that is adopting ABM, advanced lead scoring, a single view of the customer, or predictive analytics, should begin with a holistic data quality strategy. Otherwise, these advanced marketing strategies are bound to fail.
Contact data management vendor Oceanos is working with Datarista to bring an SFDC-based contact service to the market. The Oceanos ListOptimizer service, currently in in beta, will be generally available in Q1. Sales Operations can run counts, perform company and contact searches, and ensure ongoing data integrity.
The service supports standard company and contact list building with running counts as variables are selected. New execs may be added as lead records or accounts and contacts. Duplicate checking is performed.
Batch Salesforce updates are performed quarterly. In 2018, the updates will run every other month with contact changes updated weekly.
Oceanos offers best-in-class contact records from over a dozen vendors. When records are deployed to customers, they are subject to real-time reverification against FreshAddress, FullContact, and Pipl.
Contact management services are purchased on a credit basis with custom pricing plans based upon volume and intended usage.
In other news, Oceanos recently inked a deal to deliver its ContactAPI to The Big Willow intent data platform. “Targeting prospects before the market even knows they exist provides our customers a first mover advantage,” said Big Willow CEO Charlie Tarzian. “With the Oceanos ContactAPI, we provide our users targeted contacts for intent-qualified opportunities that accelerates engagement. With 15 years in the space, they’ve earned a stellar reputation and we’re thrilled to take this next step in our partnership.”
Oceanos began as a list broker back in 2002, but has since evolved into a B2B contact aggregator and data refinery. The firm aggregates 97 million active US contact records and retains millions of inactive names and emails to assist with hygiene. Data is aggregated from eleven vendors and includes social data from FullContact and Pipl. Oceanos provides data enrichment, TAM analysis, net-new contacts, and a set of data specialists to assist with projects.
Oceanos is self-funded and based in Marshfield, MA. Annual revenue is around $5 million and is derived from data hygiene services, contact matching, and API-based data licensing.
Each record is assigned a data quality score based upon eleven signals including dead email addresses, drops between files, email naming conventions, and social data verification. Thus, customers and partners can employ data quality score cutoffs when licensing data. Data quality scores are also employed as part of a free Data Health Check for customers.
Contacts are mapped to 12 Job Functions, 109 Sub-functions, and 7 Job Levels. Granularity to the sub-function level assists with strategic targeting. For example, marketing is mapped to 18 job functions including brand, corporate communications, events, public relations, search engine, and social media.
The Data Health Check report does not directly validate emails and other fields, but employs the Data Quality Scores to provide an overall Data Quality Score and a data accuracy histogram. The service also provides proposed before and after fill rates across twenty biographic and firmographic variables including address fields, direct and corporate phone, employees, revenue, industry, and major social handles. The final element of the Data Health Check report is a set of segmentation charts by job level, function, specialty, domain extension, industry, sizing variables, and country.
At the end of the report, there is a data health recommendation where they contrast their Account Based Marketing approach to traditional database augmentation services:
With 0ther health checks, this is the section where they tell you that they have a plethora of contacts for you to purchase, all matching your data profile. First, the point of this analysis is not to assume that the accounts and contacts currently in your database represent the optimal mix. In many cases the results demonstrate that there is a percent of bad and misaligned data. Second, it’s important to note that this is not a quantity game. In fact the more-the-merrier mindset is the root of many database problems.
We recommend a three step process to effectively cleanse, complete, and grow your database. This is the ideal approach, but we understand that timing and budget do not always permit the perfect solution. That being the case, we suggest a conversation to review the health check results and to determine the best prescription based on your needs and goals.
The Cleanse and Complete stages purge bad data, standardize and validate data, and enrich the client’s database. Cleansing processes the file against FreshAddress, Clickback, internal tables, Whitepages, Pipl and FullContact. Only once the current data quality issues are addressed does the firm recommend a Contact Gap Analysis for populating accounts with missing strategic contacts. The analysis also identifies the percentage of contacts that match the target audience criteria (Ideal Customer Profile). Oceanos contends that best-in-class firms have at least 70% of contacts within their target audience.
The Contact Gap Analysis also provides a greenfield (net-new contact analysis) by job function and sub-function and an analysis of Total Addressable Market (TAM) coverage between House and Greenfield contacts.
Integration services include a partner API, used by ReachForce, Engagio, and Integrate, and MAP connectors for Marketo and Eloqua Cleanse and Append
Oceanos President Brian P. Hession identified their differentiators as their unique blend of technology, professional services, and data quality. With data quality being critical to ABM sales and marketing initiatives, the inclusion of real world project fulfillment through their program specialists provides Oceanos with data quality insights that are used to continuously inform and enhance the data quality processes. “We apply both technology and real-world insights to ensure the highest quality of data before we are releasing it. We are incorporating a continuous stream of data quality insights into our code to address the many nuances that a program specialist encounters manually on a dataset,” said Hession. “The way that Oceanos is going to be successful in the future is if we can assemble an internal contact database that is of the highest quality in the industry. So there’s been a lot of focus on putting models on top of our contact data.”
Data Quality Automation vendor ReachForce recently added Oceanos contacts to its Continuous DataManager (CDM) and SmartForms services. The SmartForms service provides real-time validation for B2B web forms, enriching leads with up to twenty biographic variables including role, function, location, education, and expertise. The CDM service then maintains data quality across multiple platforms, providing real-time demographic and biographic enrichment. CDM also validates records (e.g. phone, email, address), standardizes fields, and de-duplicates records.
“Stronger engagement is critical. To drive better engagement for companies committing to an ABM approach, it is essential to have a full prospect or customer picture. This can be completed by enriching the data set to include accurate contact data and combining it with account or company information,” said ReachForce CEO Bob Riazzi. “Too often Demand Gen marketers are burdened with the ambiguity of generic titles leaving them to question the quality of the lead when they, as a company, are targeting a very specific role. Our Contact Enrichment solution addresses this problem by associating the job role/responsibility to the title allowing marketers to quickly hone in on leads and prospects that are the best fit. Using this added insight, the marketer can increase the lead score, lead quality, and ultimately supply the sales team with more context.”
Oceanos has built a dataset of 150 million B2B contacts. They also recently inked a deal with Engagio to provide contacts. In January, Oceanos released a Contact API for integration partners.
Earlier this year, ReachForce unveiled its “3×360” lead updating. The new release provides improved visibility & control, full-spectrum intelligence, and implementation & integration flexibility. The improved technology enhances both their SmartForms web form enrichment and Continuous Data Management services.