While it’s important to keep up with the many changes in digital marketing, you can’t forget email marketing—because most B2B buyers still prefer it. A recent article from Media Post reports that email reigns supreme with 54% of millennials and 60% of older generations choosing it as the most preferred channel in the B2B purchase journey. The study also noted that many sources are consulted during the purchasing journey, including telephone, in-person meetings, as well as vendor websites, reviews and analyst opinions. This all points to the growing importance of an omni-channel strategy to deliver a consistent, personalized journey for buyers across all channels and devices. Providing that kind of buyer-based experience, rather than a channel-based experience, requires the right data and the ability to use it the right way.
The Right Data
Digital marketers need a solid foundation of accurate contact data to build their campaigns upon, especially when it comes to creating an optimal buyer experience. For acquisition campaigns, start with a quality third-party data provider, ideally one that guarantees email validity. At OMI, we guarantee 95% email validity for 30 days. And to keep your own customer and prospect database accurate, a database cleansing service can automate the process of removing, correcting and replacing inaccurate data.
Creating a Data Culture
As much as digital marketers like to talk about being data driven, it’s not always the case. In fact, a recent State of Data Culture Report by Alation indicates that only 36% of marketing staff are top proponents for data and analytic usage. Even at companies that have a strong data culture, only 44% are top data promoters. But leading the pack in the report, 49% of operations employees are driving data and analytics use across top-, mid- and low-tier data businesses.
What does a culture of data look like? The report notes the top qualities include managing data governance at the point of data use, strong collaboration between various groups, and effective data sharing and integration. There are other factors too, such as data scientists working across various departments, training employees in data use and analytics, having meaningful metrics, and considering data skills in the hiring process. But it’s not without challenges – such as ensuring all groups have the right access to your data and equipping employees with the right analytical skills to get value from the data. And don’t forget managing compliance, which has become more difficult in recent years as regulations increase and change frequently.
Essentially, a business that seeks to promote, attain and maintain a data culture needs to build it from the ground up. It takes eliminating data siloes, fostering the necessary skills to extract better data insights, and structuring leadership to promote innovation. It can’t be accomplished overnight, but it’s worth the effort, as your company’s data culture may impact everything from your email campaign results to how well you compete as a business. And that’s why it’s so critical. What are you doing to create and nurture a data culture in your organization?
Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate B2B data can enable you to achieve better digital marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Go here to find out about leveraging our SMB and medical market data on the LiveRamp Data Marketplace.