B2B marketing professionals have developed a keen appetite for buzzwords in the past few years.  Ideal customer profiles, social spelling, account-based marketing, and all these other fancy terms have cropped up. They get the most attention in the conversation about best B2B marketing practices. It’s not that these aren’t essential topics. However, in a rush to focus on the ‘next big thing,’ B2B marketers often overlook more fundamental (and often banal, boring) aspects of B2B marketing basics. Aspects like data hygiene.

For any B2B sales and marketing team, the data they possess is one of their most valuable assets. However, merely procuring good-quality information is not enough. Neither is it enough to simply clean databases once in a while. If you are serious about increasing your B2B organization’s ROI, investing regularly in improving data quality is critical for growth.

Customer data hygiene collectively refers to the practices that an individual, a firm or company follows to keep its data error-free. As a B2B marketer, you must have been on the receiving end of disastrous results of a failed marketing campaign at least once in your career. Sure, many different causes and factors affect the overall outcome of a marketing campaign. However, data hygiene, too, plays a vital role in lead generation, marketing, and other client outreach efforts that your B2B organization undertakes.

 

How Data Gets Dirty

If data were the lifeblood of your B2B organization’s marketing efforts, good data would be haemoglobin. The importance of having relevant, fresh, up-to-date data is evident. However, due to a multitude of reasons, data loses its relevance and decays at a rapid rate. Studies assume that data naturally decays at a rate of 6%-7% every month. Factor in job changes, company mergers, promotions, hiring, and firing, and that number suddenly seems believable.

 In a data scenario, dirty data refers to a database record that is not accurate. Maybe it has too many errors or missing information. Nobody wants to operate from the point of ineffectiveness. Sadly enough, most B2B companies operate with data that is not optimally maintained.

 According to research by SiriusDecisions, at any given time, almost 10-25% of the average B2B organization’s records related to existing and prospective customers contain critical data errors. These errors include everything from incorrect demographic data to missing contact information. The report also observed that the average B2B Company’s customer and prospect data doubles every 12 to 18 months. If a database is decaying at a steady rate each month, this spells trouble. It goes without saying that the instances of critical errors, missing information, and irrelevant info will multiply with the growth of the database.

These numbers are correct, assuming that your company has deployed at least some essential data hygiene practices in place. However, many B2B marketing and sales teams operate with data that is just not nurtured in any way.

Let’s look at the fundamental ways in which data becomes dirty – 

Data Duplicity

The average B2B Corporation gathers data from a multitude of sources such as social media platforms, email sign-ups, subscriptions, marketing campaigns and other channels. When prospects and leads access to many different channels, there are very high chances of the data being duplicated, not just once, but many times over. The information related to a single record or lead is scattered confusingly within these duplicated records. It becomes highly impossible for anyone to gather all this scattered info and append it to the relating record.

Data duplicity is the most prominent error observed within databases across the globe. As the availability of data collection channels has increased, data duplicity has become an even grander problem. Many cite it as one of the most significant challenges for B2B firms.  

Out-dated and Incomplete Data

The passage of time has a way of making everything decay. Similarly, this is the case when it comes to data. Data decay is the process by which data collected by an organization loses its significance and relevancy, rendering it useless. Within the B2B industry, this data decay usually occurs as a by-product of a continuously moving, evolving and dynamic human life. Right from job changes, retirements, promotions, hiring, firing, merged companies and other such events, every new change makes your data irrelevant and old. The rate at which data decays is steadily increasing, given the increasingly fast-paced lives of people.

Basing your marketing campaigns and outreach efforts on data that is decaying at a rapid rate is a fool’s move. Data decay, data duplicity, incorrect, irrelevant or missing information in the database causes massive losses to B2B corporations. This is true especially for those B2B companies whose business is centred on the possession of good and clean data. When the data itself decays, the business suffers.

 

The Undeniable Importance of Data Hygiene

B2B companies, especially sales and marketing teams need to have up to date and extremely relevant data to survive the cut-throat competition in the sector. Regular scrutiny and corrective measures help to counter data discrepancies that will occur in the course of everyday operations.

If you are a B2B marketer, you’ve felt the sting of operating with dirty data. Not only does it mess with ROIs and success rates, but it also leads to tremendous losses of time, effort, and money that you invest in your marketing outreach efforts. If your marketing campaigns have been failing consistently, it may be a cry for help. If your B2B business isn’t getting the desired response from outreach programs, it may be a signal to clean up your data and take up corrective measures for your database.  

Data Hygiene and Your B2B Business

Maintaining data hygiene for a continually growing database is no child’s play. This is an on-going process that requires a lot of specialized attention. B2B firms have many other business aspects to consider apart from data hygiene. That being the case, most firms probably aren’t equipped to undertake data hygiene maintenance.
 
Various firms in the market offer services with the aim of keeping your B2B business’s data up-to-date and relevant. Most data company services usually include cleaning, updating, appending, maintaining and scrubbing activities.
 
No doubt, these services assist you in achieving quality data without any personal time investment. However, these seemingly quick and cheap services come with their own set of disadvantages. In the long run, they will prove to be counter-productive to your B2B firm’s long-term growth.

 

Simple Steps For B2B Data Hygiene

While it indeed takes more than basic practices to keep a database in optimal health, here are some basic tips to follow to ensure better data hygiene for your B2B Company.

Create a Master Data Source: In the case of most B2B businesses, the sales and marketing teams don’t merely access a common platform for their campaigns. Typically a CRM and a Marketing Automation Platform are used. While cleaning both these systems are essential, simply cleaning each one up individually isn’t enough.

 

 

If sales and marketing teams aren’t aligned with the same data, it causes problems. Then, it causes misalignment, decreased productivity and lots of tension for the organization. This is why data alignment is critical. However, this doesn’t mean using the same data platform. CRM and MAP technologies have distinct uses, and it is not possible to use just one or the other. But according to SiriusDecisions, companies that integrate their databases are benefitting. By employing “an incremental layer of technology” they enjoy increases of around 12.5% in overall conversion rates.
 
Inbound Data Sorting: Prevention is always better than cure. Regularly cleaning your database is extremely important. Moreover, sorting and enriching in-bound data is also essential. By doing so, the cluttering up of databases is significantly decreased.
 
Enriching data, in this case, refers to the process by which the data is refined to ensure that all relevant information is available. Be it something as simple as correcting a misspelt word to something as complex as testing for the validity of contact information, data enrichment helps your marketing as well as customer relationship experiences in the long run.

 

The Perfect Defence Against Dirty Data

Numerous list building companies offer data cleaning services for B2B organizations. To begin with, they run your entire database against a master server. Eventually, erroneous, mismatched and duplicate entries get flagged down. These entries are then run through a specialized tool or software. Then, they append the researched information against the incorrect entry. This task takes place in a short duration because of fast, technology-led, processing.
 
Once cleaned and enriched, this data is subsequently appended to the central CRM or database. The resulting database is relevant to your B2B firm’s marketing requirements. Your B2B organization will benefit from using data that had been recently cleaned.
 

Defending Against Decaying Data

However, data cleaning processes entirely driven by technology lack many important things. Such processes come under the category of Automated Data Cleansing. In this process, the data goes through several steps of cleansing, using software and scripts in a large capacity. However, such software lacks the logical reasoning abilities and quick thinking of an actual human being. Consequently, the results of such a cleaning service will be lacking in many aspects. Running a B2B marketing strategy based on such low-quality data isn’t a wise move.
 
To achieve the highest possible accuracy one must use Manual Data Cleansing techniques. Manual data cleansing involves manual methods to search, locate, and correct the missing, duplicated or incorrect entries.

In the case of automated data cleaning services, the software used comes with a set of pre-defined rules. Even though these rules tweak as per your requirements, the results won’t be anything near what the manual process can bring to your B2B organization. Whatever falls under the software’s field of operation gets corrected, but anything that doesn’t fit the rule will automatically be purged. Data cleansed using automated processed have an accuracy rate that is 60%-70% at best. This means that even after having opted for a cleansing service, 30%-40% of the existing data is still inaccurate and useless to your marketing efforts.  

 

Manual Data, CRM Cleaning and Enrichment Services

To counter this phenomenon, Manual Data Cleansing is the saviour you’ve always wished for. In this type of data cleaning, a skilled professional verifies every entry or record personally. Using various sources, these professionals cross-check to ensure the greatest accuracy. With this in mind, they scour professional networks and other social network channels. One by one, every entry goes through an arduous verification process. Undoubtedly, this ensures accuracy and legitimacy.
 
Eventually, every record has the right information and intel. The list is further sorted according to the clients’ requirements. In general, this data helps power marketing campaigns. The accuracy that you can avail using Manual Data Cleaning goes as high as 98%-99%!
 
As a part of the already competitive B2B industry, you understand the importance of accurate prospect and lead information. Unless you have this information, conversations don’t flow freely. With manually mined and cleaned data with such a high accuracy rate, the rate of conversion is rather high.
 
With regular data hygiene practices in place, it is possible for your B2B marketing efforts to enjoy a better response. However, your organization cannot possibly undertake all these hygiene-related activities in-house. There is a lack of resources, time and skill when it comes to dealing with such vast amounts of complicated data. At the same time, leaving things unchecked is a bad idea. Here, the best course of action is to have a dedicated team of data professionals on your company payroll. 

 

The Best Manual Data Cleaning Company – At Your Service!

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of data cleansing firms that provide cleaning services for B2B companies. However, a vast majority of them use automated processes to clean and enrich your data.
 
BizProspex is the only US-based, manual, data cleaning company for B2B organizations. We do everything from Data cleaningCRM CleaningData Mining, to Lead Generation.
Our skilled team can handle any other data related task your B2B organization may have.
 
We undertake them all using proprietary manual methods. BizProspex has served more than 300+ clients in the past five years. Furthermore, most of our clients are returning customers. We help B2B companies maintain Data Hygiene with manual data cleaning methods. If your company is looking for a partner to keep your database running at optimal capacity, look no further!
 
To get a better idea of our services and expertise, visit the following links-

 

 1.

 BizProspex’s recent SlideShares about Lead Generation and Manual Data Cleaning

 2.

 BizProspex’s Quora knowledge base

 3.

 How to measure ROI through Email Marketing?

 4.   Practical tips for SalesForce CRM cleaning
 5.

 Four ways to improve your Email Marketing strategy in 2018

 6.   A Definitive Guide: Manual Data Cleaning, Mining & CRM Cleaning
 7.

 Why Account Based Marketing is beneficial to your B2B business

 8.

 B2B Lead Generation guide guaranteed to yield results

Good data for sales is like oil for automobiles, we offer bespoke data to help you get the most out of your sales efforts.

 

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