As we are one month away from the new year, it is a good time to think about budgeting for data quality in 2018.
I know it isn’t glamorous, but that doesn’t mean it is unnecessary.
Data Quality software is markedly improved over the past few years. No longer is it necessary to download and forward a file to a vendor and wait for them to process your marketing file. Sales and Marketing Operations can now setup automated cloud cleansing that works within Marketo, Eloqua, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and other enterprise applications. B2B vendors to consider include Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Zoominfo, and ReachForce.
These platforms perform both initial batch match & append and ongoing enrichment, ensuring that your sales and marketing files have both accurate and complete data. These services also support company and contact prospecting, data health reports, suppression lists, and segmentation reporting. A few even offer free data quality reports, deduplication, technographic enrichment, nixie files (defunct companies and departed exec files), web form support, sales intelligence services, and contact verification and standardization (e.g. address, phone, and email) for non-matched records.
As these services reside in the cloud and offer cloud connectors for the major MAPs and CRMs, the operational overhead is minimal allowing operations to focus on ABM look-a-likes, segmentation, and improved targeting instead of file management.
What’s more, data quality improvements benefit sales, marketing, and downstream systems. A record cleansed and verified as it is created costs much less than a bad record passed down to other enterprise platforms. Beyond direct cost reduction (storing bad data, marketing to departed execs, sales calls to abandoned voicemails, reduced time keying and updating records manually), there are improvements to segmentation, targeting, lead scoring, lead routing, and messaging.
So budget for data quality in 2018. It isn’t glamorous, but it is effective.
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.
Data Quality Automation vendor ReachForce unveiled a new technology update it calls “3×360.” The new release provides improved visibility & control, full-spectrum intelligence, and implementation & integration flexibility. The MarTech hygiene platform provides real-time data enrichment, cleansing, and updating for Marketo, Eloqua (Oracle), Silverpop (IBM), Hubspot, and Salesforce. The improved technology enhances both their SmartForms web form enrichment and Continuous Data Management services.
“Marketing technology stack options continue to evolve and change, however, a single fundamental factor remains unchanged in determining the success of any marketing operation – the quality and depth of the marketing lead data that flows through it,” said ReachForce CEO Bob Riazzi. “With our 3X360 update we’ve worked hard to consider multiple aspects of the marketing technologist’s needs and are proud to introduce a full spectrum of new product capabilities that will support them and the way they leverage data through their tech stacks. And why 3X360?…well, we’re a bunch of geeks from Austin.”
A new 360° Console provides a central dashboard for tracking lead enrichment and data quality. Analytics include
The health of web forms that use SmartForms and the enriched leads submitted.
Rich drill-down reporting for Submits by form, Abandons by form, Match Rate by Geo and Marketable Submits.
[A] “Service Snapshot” provides summaries of enriched leads, match rate & usage enabling timely tracking and management of service contract.
Future Console enhancements include “client-driven configuration management and on-demand file uploads for immediate data quality improvements and enrichment.”
While ReachForce has long provided firmographic enrichment combined with contact validation and verification, they are now supporting contact-level data enrichment. The new matching capability enriches leads with business card details, job role and function, and a social profile.
InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti offered three marketing themes for 2016. The first two, Sales and Marketing Alignment and Data Driven Messaging and Targeting, have been well discussed over the past few years. It has long been clear that sales and marketing need to work together and that data should be driving the marketing function. The new idea for 2016 is the elevation of the data scientist into a strategic position in the company. According to Milletti:
If 2015 was the year of the data scientist, then 2016 will be the year of the data strategist.
We’re in an explosion of sales and marketing technology, and every system relies on data. The more data you have, the more important your ability to update and sync that data becomes. Companies are consolidating systems and that is driving the need to implement a strategy for customer data that resides in multiple places. Otherwise, you get silos of customer information.
Good data strategy considers the flow of information, the accuracy of the data, and the consistency of the data. To do that well requires someone focused full-time on a company’s strategy for their data.
This is why the title “Chief Data Officer” seems to be more popular with search frequency trebling over the past three years on Google Trends:
Data quality, an element of broader data strategy, is becoming increasingly important. While the statement “garbage in garbage out” goes back decades, marketers long allowed their databases to go stale. Many marketing databases are rife with out of date contacts, incomplete or inaccurate firmographics, and undeliverable addresses. With predictive analytics and big data, the ability of these systems to provide insights is dependent upon the underlying data quality. Data quality is also required for tying together historical data silos which have employed different standardization rules and identifiers. Pulling together all these elements requires an enterprise owner of data strategy.
If your company isn’t ready for a broad data strategy, you should at least consider implementing data quality practices in your CRM and Marketing Automation platforms. Several vendors including ReachForce and NetProspex are developing ongoing data quality solutions that synchronize data across multiple platforms. These systems verify and standardize global address, validate emails and phones, manage duplicates, and enrich platforms with company firmographics.
Another important feature is web form verification which matches prospect records against their database and performs real-time validation of entered fields. Not only is data validated at time of entry, but the number of required input fields can be reduced, resulting in a lower web form abandonment rate and higher ROI for your digital marketing investments.
NetProspex Workbench also offers Dun & Bradstreet linkage, D-U-N-S Numbers, emails, direct dials, and tech platform variables (products and vendors).
Although InsideView doesn’t offer lead verification tools (e.g. phone, address, email), it supports match and enrichment for a broader set of CRM and marketing automation platforms.
Keep in mind that data quality not only benefits your marketing though better targeting, segmentation, and lead scoring, but it also provides value to your sales function. By infusing leads with broad firmographics and linkage, you are more likely to be passing actionable leads to your sales team and routing them to the correct sales reps. Furthermore, when leads are mapped to sales intelligence platforms, reps can quickly qualify them and begin planning account messaging.
InsideView, NetProspex, and ReachForce are all cloud based solutions with low barriers to adoption. They also include data health analyses, segmentation reports, and integrated prospecting as part of their feature set. So even if you cannot implement a global data strategy across your enterprise, sales and marketing can begin by focusing on a solution which improves the quality of their leads, contacts, and accounts.