Although the IT department typically maintains such a standardized database, marketers should be responsible for their database, not only for the content, more importantly, for the quality of information. It is important that marketing, which initially enters leads, be aware of what happens to data provided to sales. Realizing the significance of this, some companies have their own technical specialist, a Chief Marketing Technologist, assuring that data will be used most effectively with a "marketing automation" tool.
At the very least, a database should have an up-to-date contact name, title or job function, company, address, phone, and email. Beyond this, for better communication with prospects and customers, a database should have more, such as (a) past inquiries and purchases and (b) web, social media, direct mail, and e-mail activities. The better you know your prospects and customers, the better you can serve them. By contrast, with limited or bad data, customer relationships fade.
A successful marketing automation system is more than software and technology, and more than automating your current marketing process. Indeed, if you are not getting and using data effectively now, manually or with another system, then marketing automation will merely amplify what's not working right.
How Marketing Automation Helps B2B Marketers Use Data More Effectively
For data, marketing automation will:
- Standardize data entered by all contributors for easier access by all data users
- Integrate data from various sources, such as reps and third-party sources
- Validate, correct, de-duplicate, and clean imperfect data
- Manage data and lead processing more effectively
- Increase qualified leads, such as by nurturing leads carefully until the time is right rather than trying to sell from the get-go
- Sort and segment the database
For data-related marketing activities, marketing automation will:
- Manage campaigns more effectively and efficiently, such as targeting the right prospects at the right time with the right information
- Build templates and landing pages
- Track leads and trigger marketing in which action by a lead triggers a response email
- Improve the alignment between marketing and sales
- Reduce time to manage email lists
- Cross-sell (an additional product) or up-sell (a higher-end version of original product)
- Produce reports
- Assure that nothing slips through the cracks
Marketing automation helps you gain a competitive advantage and make better decisions, faster. To learn more about marketing automation and data, please contact us at 330-929-1353, x 224. And if you would like more information on how to turn qualified leads into sales, download the free whitepaper on lead nurturing.