Show Me the Data: Why Marketing and Sales Leaders Demand Relevance and Accuracy
Choosing the right blue pantone for your product brochure doesnâ€™t generate revenue. You canâ€™t move the meter as a marketer today with pretty presentations alone. Itâ€™s a prove it or lose it world weâ€™re living in now, and thereâ€™s no time for losers. Â The champions of this world are those who can deliver relevant results, and accurately measure the right moving parts so they can replicate their successes. For marketing and sales leaders under pressure from their executives to prove ROI or hit their numbers, relevant and accurate data is practically their best friend. Sure, content may be king, but data is definitively the killer queen, and hereâ€™s why.
Better Data is a Hallmark of the Best-in-Class Companies: In Optimizing the Marketing and Sales Process: How the Best-in-Class Take Faster, Better Action to Convert More Leads, Peter Ostrow of the Aberdeen Group reports that from lead generation to customer retention, Â best-in-class companies report significantly higher data accuracy levels than industry average companies and laggards. Specifically, in early lead stages, best-in-class companies rate their data accuracy at 50% versus 33% for industry averages and 23% accuracy for laggards. Deeper down the funnel when leads are passed to sales, the data quality booms to 73% accuracy for best-in-class companies, while industry averages level out at 41% and laggards struggle at 27%.Â In other words, best-in-class companies donâ€™t just have better gut feelings on how well they know their customers, they have clear, accurate data that allows marketers to more effectively market and sellers to more effectively sell.
Quality Data Produces Quality Leads: 74% of marketers surveyed by MarketingSherpa in their 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report listed â€śgenerating high-quality leadsâ€ť as their most significant challenge. Despite the fact that thereâ€™s plenty of data available to marketers and sales professionals, and plenty of available leads corresponding to available data, marketers still have trouble extracting quality from quantity.Â The good news is that marketing and sales professionals understand the value of quality data insofar as it produces quality leads. When marketers begin their campaigns aware of the common pain points and behaviors of their target audiences, their campaigns are naturally more effective. Similarly, when sales professionals follow up on quality leads derived from quality data, the communications are distinctly more relevant and effective. Quality data and quality leads arenâ€™t always easy to find, but clearly, theyâ€™re worth the challenge.
Data-Driven Decisions: According to a survey by NetProspex, 71% of IT buyers refuse to use their business email for web registration forms. Given this reality, itâ€™s wise for marketers to have additional data points on IT buyer contact information to ensure these people are who they say they are. When marketing and sales professionals can find and mine data more effectively, thereâ€™s a wider safety net to take more risks for higher rewards.
In short, data is important to marketing and sales professionals because of its power to make us better at what we do, and to support and justify the decisions that we ultimately make. Itâ€™s not always easy, but with the right resources and insight, accurate and relevant data can make all the difference in a marketerâ€™s true ability to succeed.