Throughout my career as a provider of customer acquisition data, I’ve seen trends come and go. But one thing that hasn’t changed is this: what separates B2B market leaders from their competition -- regardless of their industries – is the ability to effectively acquire and leverage prospect and customer data.
A recent report by Harvard Business Review shows that companies with advanced data strategies and capabilities are not just beating their rivals, they’re exponentially generating more revenue than companies who are not sufficiently leveraging their data. However, while business leaders understand the role data can play in achieving business success, the report indicates that less than half of all companies say they have the strategies in place to achieve this.
For email marketers that want to level up their data game to drive business growth, here are my top takeaways from the report:
- Quality data is crucial to achieving go-to-market goals: According to the survey, the top objectives for data-driven business strategies include revenue growth (67%), new customer acquisition (49%), and increasing customer retention / loyalty rates (44%). In addition, 60% of those surveyed in the report say their companies are highly focused on investing in data and data analytics. And, more than half (53%) say they’re also targeting new customer groups where success will rely on having access to quality data. It’s clear that data will be a top driver for empowering these executives to achieve their goals.
- Roadblocks remain: Despite access to sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) software, B2B marketers continue to struggle to apply data-driven insights into their marketing strategies and campaigns. Hurdles include outdated, incomplete or inaccurate data; disparate data sources; the inability to share data across siloed departments; and the lack of in-house talent and know-how to overcome these challenges. In addition, these hurdles limit the ability to benefit from advanced technologies, such as predictive analytics or artificial intelligence, to create cohesive marketing campaigns. Removing these roadblocks – through data cleansing, data integration, securing inside skills and leveraging outside expertise and resources, etc. – is essential to advancing your data initiatives.
- Those effectively using data win: Companies with strong data strategies are superior at attracting and retaining customers, earn a bigger share of wallet and generate more revenue. In fact, the report shows that almost three out of four (74% of) companies with advanced data strategies say they have a better market position than competitors, and are twice as likely to report more than 30% revenue growth. There is certainly a real benefit to be made in effectively procuring and leveraging customer data for substantial business growth. What it comes down to is that, today, investing in data – including how to acquire it, manage it and use it -- is a big part of investing in the future of your business.
- The need to leverage external data: Despite companies admitting to various obstacles with their own data and related systems, they are sometimes reluctant to acquire third-party data. Challenges include uncertainty about how to integrate acquired data, possessing the right tools to make use of it once acquired, or simply not knowing that valuable third-party data exists or the possibilities of what can be done with it once acquired. The report recommends companies start by identifying external data sources and reputable data providers that can not only enhance the value of internal data but support their ability to aggregate and validate their data.
The bottom line is, companies that employ robust data strategies are winning the battle of attracting and retaining customers and gaining more revenue, making the payoffs well worth the investments. The only question that remains is, if you haven’t started elevating your data strategy, what are you waiting for? Every minute you delay increases the risk of lost business.
When you’re ready, I hope you know that our team at OMI is ready to support you in achieving your data acquisition goals.
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI by targeting your best prospects – including top-level executives -- and, ultimately, converting more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.