Until the advent of the Internet the only data we had was company name, address and telephone number, business data that was all held in the local yellow pages. That was back then.
It’s all change now, as B2B marketers, we have to think about personalising our messages to the segment of one, marketing to people as individuals. We need to recognise as much as possible that every business and every person within that business is different and that if we can just understand that and send the right messages to the right people at the right time – they will respond and buy our products. All sounds so easy, but ……and there is always a but……..
Getting one to one marketing right relies on having a full 360 degree understanding of our customers and prospects, which relies on that word marketers hate to hear…….DATA. Access to volumes of internally and externally generated data about our target market businesses that we can use to improve our marketing.
Data is not just for the product people, for operations, for customer service people. Data is absolutely needed by the marketing and demand generation functions. Marketing requires access to great data to deliver great marketing. The data is required to prove that their marketing is achieving what it should. Marketing requires ‘Big Data’ on an ongoing basis to keep delivering results– because nothing stays the same and our customers are always changing.
In the past marketers have not been great data people, they are strategic, creative, organised, planners. Now as marketers we also need to be data analysts, data scientists and technology experts. We need to be hybrids – or at least our teams need to be built around a mix of the more traditional strategic, creative and organisational marketing skills with analytical, decision marketing and technology based skills added in.
Data for marketing needs to be:
- Clean – up to date, no duplicates.
- Relevant – to the use we need it for.
- Timely – increasingly real-time or at least near real time.
- Appropriate – collected with the privacy of our customers in mind – we must act responsibly with customer data.
- Secure – to meet data privacy standards and secure to the business (data is a valuable asset)
- Accessible – to the marketing tools we have available.
- Manageable – answers need to be delivered in real time or near real time so systems need to be able to cope with volume processing.
- Compliant – the data we use must meet data processing and privacy standards.