Why Data is the New Oil of the Digital Marketing Era — Part I

by | Nov 10, 2017 | Blog

“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data”
– The Economist, May 6, 2017

Rise of the martech and salestech machines

The days of one size fits all, throw it against the wall and see what sticks marketing are done.

Today’s marketing and sales teams have access to literally thousands of technology tools that can provide unprecedented visibility into complex customer journeys, enable micro-analysis of any aspect of a business, foster hyper-personalized communications and targeted prospect engagement, and offer significant time-savings through automation.

But these amazing revenue generating engines require a highly-refined, renewable energy source in order to help marketing and sales teams achieve their goals—that new oil, is data.

 

B2C audience data has already disrupted consumer engagement

Audience data, harvested, aggregated, and used by marketers on digital platforms like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, has already completely disrupted advertising and customer engagement across industries including print & broadcast media, entertainment, telecommunications, e-commerce, and soon grocery.

And consumers have willingly provided incredibly detailed personal data on these platforms in exchange for a more personalized experience—in fact, they now expect and welcome it. According to a study by Infosys, 86% of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions and 75% of the U.S. and UK consumers surveyed in an Accenture study said they are more likely to buy from retailers that use personal information to make their shopping experiences more relevant. As shown below, a study by Salesforce Research found that younger consumers are particularly willing to exchange personal data for a personalized experience:


Source: State of the Connected Customer, Salesforce Research

So, does using audience data for targeted personalization work, from a revenue generation standpoint? You bet. According to a benchmark report by Experian, personalized emails generate 6x more revenue, on average. And a recent survey by Infosys found that among retailers using data to provide personalized offers and promotions, 74% reported an increase in sales, 61% have seen increased profits, and 55% report increased customer loyalty.

 

How high-octane audience data powers B2B marketing

For B2B marketing and sales teams, audience data—defined as company and contact data—is the fuel that powers, or disables, every step in your marketing & sales processes:

  • Data powers your total addressable market or total audience measurement (TAM) as well as the planning of ABM demand units and target account lists.
  • Data informs predictive models of the complex combination of attributes contributing to your ideal customer profile (ICP).
  • Data drives outbound processes and enriches inbound leads and customer inquiries.
  • Data powers lead nurturing workflows and drip campaigns.

Once your core targets are established, refined data enables purposeful segmentation and the kind of tailored personalization that can lead to exponentially higher conversion rates throughout the customer lifecycle. In fact, research from McKinsey found that personalization can deliver 5-8x ROI on marketing spend (MROI) and lift sales by 10% or more. In Big Data, Analytics and the Future of Marketing and Sales, McKinsey suggests companies that place data-driven personalization at the core of their marketing and sales decisions improve marketing ROI by 15% to 20%.

A recent McKinsey survey of executives found that 81% of high-growth companies outperformed peers in data and analytics.

 

The Catch-22 of gated marketing content

Without complete and accurate data, your analytics, optimizations, automations, and personalizations can be entirely—and sometimes embarrassingly—wrong. And it’s a tedious, iterative task to fix them after the fact, not to mention the potentially irrevocable brand damage that can occur.

The challenge is that many business professionals are much less willing to provide vital data in a B2B setting since they aren’t confident that they’ll get a valuable, personalized experience in return. You’ve probably A/B tested your landing pages and found lower response rates the more form fields you require—and just because a field is required doesn’t mean that prospects will complete it accurately. Are you surprised by how many 555-1212 or similar phone numbers there are in your CRM or marketing automation system? But if you don’t gate your content with detailed web forms, how will you gather the data you need to properly personalize your engagement with prospects down the road? Luckily, there are marketing data providers who can help you with all of this.

 

Refined data for today’s marketing and sales engines

Fresh, accurate and rich account and contact data can be the renewable source of power that creates efficiency, high output, and great outcomes for smart marketing and sales teams, while outdated, inaccurate, and incomplete data can be the pollutant that degrades your processes and systems, creating friction, mistrust, manual fixes or a total breakdown.

In part II, we’ll delve into the challenge of refining this precious resource and how DealSignal does it differently.

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