Data-driven marketing is a buzzword heard across the B2B industry for good reason: data helps marketers create more relevant experiences for prospects and customers.
Only about one-third of marketers feel that they have a good grasp on their data, according to the DMA’s 2016 Statistical Factbook. The research revealed that despite the fact that digital ad spending increased 17 percent in 2015, only 3 percent of respondents consider their data well-aligned, which were fairly surprising metrics considering the importance of data-driven marketing campaigns.
So why are brands failing to put their data to good use? There are several reasons. First off, brands often cast their net too broadly and track too many pieces of data. With so much data flooding into their dashboard, they begin to think that any data related to customers is meaningful from a marketing perspective, which it is not. The reality is that plenty of data points are irrelevant to the business and its up to the brand to determine which information is meaningful to draw important insights.
Another issue that marketers face when it comes to data is failing to refresh customer and prospect data. According to research from ZoomInfo, 64 percent of “very successful” data-driven marketers reported that improving data quality was one of their biggest obstacles to achieving their goals. The reality is that prospects and clients change companies, job titles, phone numbers and email addresses over time and it is difficult to keep data from getting stagnant, particularly when companies rely on tools that use legacy marketing databases. Many B2B marketers are working to overcome this obstacle by outsourcing their data management.
Not taking full advantage of the data that is available is another challenge facing marketers today. There are a number of opportunities that marketers can use to tap into to learn more about the entire customer journey. From a workflow point of view, marketers often get overwhelmed when they have access to diverse sets of data. Rather than turning this data into action, many marketers have difficulty finding the meaning and get lost in the numbers. Rather than being constantly paralyzed by too much data, marketers should keep the metrics simple and take on a series of small tasks.
It can also be helpful to implement a centralized dashboard that integrates important metrics into one central portal which can help identify optimal creative direction, messaging and spend. However, marketers must make sure that this process doesn’t bury them. They must remember to measure which tests and variables were most effective to drive a solid strategy and deliver ROI.
The rise of website traffic identification platforms are also helping B2B companies identify anonymous website traffic in real-time, so that marketers can begin to develop relationships with inbound traffic. This allows marketers to get prospects interested before the sales team follows up. The challenge for B2B marketers is to use the site visit data to turn cold calls into warm calls by using identification tools along with a DSP. This allows marketers to create micro-retargeting campaigns and, in turn, build brand-awareness with your target prospect, as well as the opportunity to measure response rates to a display campaign.
The promise of data can drive conversions and ROI, but marketers must overcome these all-too common obstacles in order to take full advantage of its offerings.