B2B Marketing

Collating and maintaining high-quality data is a continual process. It also requires all functions in a company to work together to keep the data centralised, relevant, and actionable. In this blog, we look at why high-quality data is critical for marketers, and the key business drivers for making this a priority.  

A McKinsey report from 2021 shows that between March 2020 and August 2020, the retail sector witnessed 10 years of digital penetration growth within a few months. Especially since the pandemic started, it has altered marketing in a way that brands hardly anticipated it would.  

In the last two years, even post-pandemic, customers have become more comfortable with the idea of browsing and shopping online. Their touchpoints have increased, and the number of brands that offer similar products has also increased exponentially. What this means for marketers is that they’re going to find it even more challenging to understand the journey a customer takes with the brand and the triggers that will lead them towards purchase and eventually loyalty. If there’s one thing for sure, it is that to even begin comprehending what your customer wants, collating data and insights from customer data is crucial.  

In the previous blog, we looked at why data-driven marketing is crucial, and how it can help marketers run effective campaigns and record higher ROI. But, data-driven marketing isn’t just about collecting customer data across channels and drawing workable insights from it. It’s about curating campaigns from ‘high-quality data’ that is relevant, up-to-date, accurate, and actionable. 

What classifies as high-quality data?  

While there is no specific definition of what comprises quality data, it refers to data that a brand finds relevant and impactful. High-quality data typically meets the following criteria; 

  • It is complete. An example of complete data is one that has the customer’s name, age group, and the region at the very least. Depending on the brand and the audience it is targeting, the data could also comprise other key information like their purchase history, browsing patterns on your website and mobile app, and such. 
  • It is consistent and accurate. Marketers collate data from different sources; email campaigns, surveys, social media campaigns, Google AdWords, and more. Consistent and accurate data is one that throws up the same or closest to the same results from such campaigns. 
  • It is formatted. It’s one thing to collate data and another to format it in a way that it is logical and easily accessible. For example, if data is formatted, it will be easy for marketers to identify the website visits from last month compared to this month, to identify campaign engagement across different campaigns to see which performed better.  
  • It is valid. Quality data is one that is up-to-date and valid for current use by marketers. 

High-quality data can make a huge difference by helping marketers make informed decisions, deliver targeted campaigns, and drive higher ROI.  

An expert at Merit explains, “Let us say, for example, an e-commerce company is looking to run a 40% discount sale, yet it wants to ensure profitability at the overall business level. By mixing and matching products on discount with higher-margin products, it is possible for the company to drive user growth, even while ensuring overall operational profitability. The key here is to leverage marketing data – demographics information, purchase history, etc. – and build a recommendation engine to “suggest” products to users who’re there for the discount sale, but get “tempted” to buy other items. To make this happen, the quality of data that is fed into the recommendation engine is critical.”  

Key Advantages of High-Quality Data in Marketing  

#1 – One of the biggest advantages of high-quality, data-driven marketing is the ability to personalise customer experiences 

A statistic by Epsilon shows that 80% of consumers are likely to purchase if the brand offers them a personalised experience. For example, in 2016, Iberia Airlines sent an email to its customers asking them which their dream vacation destination is, and who they would go with. They were redirected to a site where they had to answer these questions, and share the email address of the person they wanted to travel with. Iberia Airlines, in turn, used the customers’ friends’ email addresses, tracked their cookies (with their explicit permission), and placed personalised ads on the sites they visited. For example, an ad would say; The holidays are coming up soon! This is your chance to plan a trip to Paris with Stacy! 

The campaign was a success because it reminded customers about taking a vacation with Iberia Airlines with a touch of personalisation.  

#2 – Marketers get clear insights into what’s working and what’s not working when the quality of input data is reliable 

As we mentioned earlier, in the post-pandemic world, tracking a customer’s buying journey is complicated and spread across multiple platforms. In such circumstances, marketers typically run a series of campaigns to find out which works best. They use data from these campaigns to modify their channel or strategy to record higher returns. 

#3 – Customers have a better experience with your brand because the ads are tailored to their requirements

A great example of this is Amazon’s tailored marketing. The brand continually uses algorithms to curate and recommend products based on your past search and interests. And its strategy has been a huge success. 35% of Amazon’s searches have thrown up product recommendations leading directly to a purchase. 

#4 – Build better products thanks to better customer interactions  

Marketing using high-quality data gives you direct insights into customer pain points and concerns. Marketers can, in turn, apply these by bringing enhancements to their products, thus leading to higher sales. 

#5 – Gain more cross-selling and upselling opportunities

On one hand, high-quality data-driven marketing will help marketers move prospects through the sales funnel quicker, and on the other, it will help them identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities in the process of taking them down the funnel. Cross-selling and upselling before and after sale can continually keep customers engaged with the brand, and eventually enable them to develop loyalty towards the brand. 

In conclusion, before kicking off any data-driven marketing campaign, the marketers must ask themselves; how much is too much data? It’s one thing to deliver personalised experiences, and it’s another to have the customers feel like their privacy is being invaded. If marketers choose to run highly personalised campaigns, it would be a good idea to take the Iberia Airlines approach of seeking explicit consent before placing the ads. 

Merit Group’s expertise in Marketing Data   

At Merit Group, we partner with some of the world’s leading B2B companies. Our data teams work closely with our clients to build comprehensive B2B marketing contact lists that provide a direct line to their target audience.  

If you’d like to learn more about our service offerings or speak to a marketing data consultant, please contact us here: https://www.meritdata-tech.com/contact-us

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