There’s a lot of talk about data-driven marketing in the business world today, but it’s not as simple as having data and seeing results. A recent article from MarTech Today dives into how to get the full value of data with the right data strategy. James Fedolfi, ??VP of Product Development at OMI, was interviewed for the story, along with several other industry data marketing experts.
Data-driven marketing in today’s climate means having the right resource (quality data) but also having the right skills, tools and understanding to utilize it the best way. As the article puts it, “data is worth its weight in gold to marketers, as long as it is managed and activated right.”
So how do you really use data to target the right prospective customers, reach them at the right time and drive conversions? Here are two truths and a lie about marketing data and what it takes to be data-driven in today’s market and see business growth.
Statement: Data is everywhere.
The verdict? Truth.
Data isn’t valuable because it’s scarce or even because it’s hard to obtain—it’s not. Data is everywhere. With so much of our lives happening online, those digital interactions can be tracked and used to gain powerful insights about customers in nearly every category.
But data has little intrinsic value on its own. Website visits, time spent on site, social media interactions, company size—even highly sought-after email addresses—are wasted if you don’t have the right combination of relevant data and know how to extract value.
Statement: The more data you have, the more value you can extract.
The verdict? Lie.
It’s tempting to think that the more data you have, the better your insights will be. And it’s true to a degree, but you need to know how to use the data, and above that, the data needs to be accurate. At OMI we have always emphasized quality over quantity with our clients. Even though the OMI database currently has more than 80 million B2B contacts, we still know that the right high quality data will win out over massive amounts of poor quality data.
As the article mentioned, there’s a cost to data, whether it’s first party data that must be gathered, stored and analyzed, or third-party data from a provider. And of course there’s the cost of planning and running campaigns. If your data quality is poor, or even mediocre, you won’t get the value from it you could with high quality data.
Statement: You need to use data or you’ll lose it
The verdict? Truth.
It’s sad but true, data has an expiration date. Data insights need to be acted upon in a timely manner. This highlights the fact that you need the skills and knowledge to know how to activate data.
For example, finding buyers "in-market" and ready to buy is the goal of every marketing campaign. It’s helpful to be able to find out who’s searching for your solution—and who is potentially in-market—through methods such as intent monitoring, but “a marketer has to get there first to be effective.” If you’re slow to act you could miss the opportunity to a competitor that was able to jump on the data quicker. OMI monitors 14 billion intent signals a week, but it’s our ability to deliver actionable insights quickly that is really valuable for clients.
To really be data-driven, you need to not just use data as the foundation for your planning decisions, marketing campaigns, acquisition strategy, etc., but you also need to return to the data and keep learning from it. Like James said in the article, it’s never perfect. If something isn’t working, you need to interpret, re-engage and course-correct. Mistakes will be made, but if you’re prepared to learn from those mistakes and use the data to direct your path you’ll find the results will show the value. That’s where partnering with B2B data marketing experts can really pay off.
In the end, maybe you need to ask yourself, is data a consultant or the CEO for my marketing decisions? If you’re treating data as a consultant, you may be interested in learning what data says about product or service decisions, audience building or the customer journey, but in the end you can choose to go your own way or pick certain aspects you want to apply. But if you’re actually data-driven, then data is the CEO for your marketing decisions. It tells you what to do and you do it. The data is in charge.
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.