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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2023-03-08

Technology may be changing a lot of things, but the core of B2B buying continues to be people. Artificial intelligence, like the new ChatGPT, can write content that is remarkably human-like, and machine learning can streamline tasks and improve data analysis. But if the data at the foundation isn’t accurate, even the best tools won’t deliver worthwhile results.

When it comes to B2B purchases, people are still making the decisions. Which means accurate contact data to reach the right people—your customers and prospective customers—is as good as gold for your business. Data is more valuable than ever, but it’s also harder to maintain. The way we work has changed dramatically in the past few years alone. People are more likely to change jobs, whether by choice or cutbacks. The Great Resignation quickly turned into the Great Reshuffle as people found new positions that better aligned with their interests, lifestyle and desire for meaningful work. And as a result, marketing contact data took a dramatic hit in quality.

I recently came across this article from MediaPost that shared some practical tips to get the most out of your data, even with a recession looming and many businesses facing budget cuts now. Here are three ideas from the article and tips from my experience with optimizing your marketing contact data:

Do more (even with less)

MediaPost notes that many marketing budgets will “inevitably shrink” as businesses plan for the unknown, but overall not positive, outlook on the economy. We’ll soon be facing a forced opportunity to work smarter and do more with less, which the article calls a “silver lining” in that it “forces teams to rally around data-driven objectives to deliver targeted campaigns with less waste.” I completely agree. A mantra we’ve held at OMI for years comes to mind: quality over quantity.

If you’re looking to get the most from limited resources, it’s paramount to make sure your data is accurate. That means starting with accurate data and only sourcing third-party contact data from reputable providers, ideally with a validity guarantee.

Clean data is an ongoing process

If you’re using first-party data directly from your customers and prospects—and think that means the quality is high—think again. Whether from data decay or database typos, it may not be as accurate as you think it is. Consider turning to a data cleansing service provider to keep your database clean, accurate and up-to-date. Data cleansing is the process of removing, correcting and replacing inaccurate data to strengthen the accuracy of the full record—from email addresses to company and contact names—so your omnichannel campaigns can reach the right contacts on the right channels.

Break down silos

It’s one thing to have your budget restricted and suffer from a lack of resources. It’s another story if the resource (i.e., the data) is there but inaccessible due to internal silos. MediaPost writes that “(compelling) siloed teams to collaborate will allow for more transparency and creativity, and ultimately yield better results, like data-informed creative campaigns.” It may not be an easy process (this type of work rarely is), but it’s worth the effort.

Data is a differentiator for marketing in 2023. If you know how to use data and prioritize quality, you can “get the most bang for your buck” – and find a way to win -- even in a down economy.

OMI’s high-quality B2B business contact data is used by Fortune 1000 firms and start-ups alike to drive modern digital marketing initiatives—from intent monitoring and ABM to email marketing and omnichannel campaigns utilizing display, social media, and more. Reach out to our team today for more information.

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