Category: Data Profiling


Getting Started Profiling Your Data

As we’ve mentioned before, profiling your internal data is the best way to build a database of prospects. But before you can start these profiling activities, there are a few elements you should have in place first.

A plan

Keep it simple, but create a plan that addresses:

  • Your Goals – Include where you are today (number of contacts, % with emails, % with industrial codes, etc.) and what numbers you want to hit by when. Include a review of the current fields you have, what you’re using, and what you need.
  • Profiling Activities Calendar – What will you do and when (monthly, quarterly, yearly)?
  • Incentives and Promotions – Are there any special internal/external promotions or incentives you want to offer to encourage others in your organization to keep profiling top of mind?
  • Internal Communications – Once you’ve built the plan and received executive buy-in, you’ll need to regularly report back on your goals and movement toward their goals.
     

Time and resources

If you have to eliminate another marketing activity to devote more time to profiling – do it.
 

Executive Buy-In and Support

Data profiling takes a top down, companywide commitment and investment, starting with the acknowledgement that profiling is a critical piece of your business development strategy. Those in leadership positions throughout the company should be on board with this venture, even those who aren't necessarily involved in its execution.
 

A System to Capture Data

If you’re using anything other than a CRM system for your data, you won’t be able to successfully profile your data. Make sure you budget time and dollars to implement and maintain your in-house CRM system.

Tip: Hire a part-time employee to help profile your database once a year. Summer is an ideal time to reach out to targets, since business might be slower and there may be more interim employees available.

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Building Lists – What Data Should You Collect?

Since specific information about your prospects and customers will affect what messaging they receive, it's important to get as detailed as possible when building your database. Focus on retrieving only the information you need to identify prospects and build targeted campaigns. Here are the different types of information you should use to group your data:

Firmographics

Firmographics includes how large the company is (employee size, sales volume, number of customers) as well as the industry the company is in (SIC code) and how long it has been around. It is also useful to know when the company's fiscal year ends. In addition, be sure to get basic information such as the company's location.
 

Sales Cycle

Where is this company in your sales cycle? Are they just a suspect or a qualified lead? Have they just made their first purchase from you? Or maybe they're a repeat customer, a past customer, or even a high-value long-term client.
 

Behavior

Note the interactions prospects have had with you and your sales/marketing activities. This can include attending trade shows, signing up for one of your webinars, or even opening one of your emails.

Generally, firmographic information will help you determine whether or not a certain company is a viable prospect, while the sales cycle and behavioral information will help you determine which messages to send to which groups. Specific types of marketing content will appeal to prospects and customers in different stages of the sales cycle. Thought leadership and best practices work best during the awareness stage; comparisons, reviews, and pricing information will be helpful during the research stage; and information about your company is most effective in the purchasing stage.

Benefits of Data Profiling

The most important element of a successful B2B marketing campaign is the list. While renting or purchasing lists is a viable option, why not focus on building and profiling your existing data?

Marketing to an in-house, profiled database allows you to send more targeted messages to smaller groups. Over time, this will lead to decreased marketing costs and increased response rates.

Below is an example of how you can separate your existing data into three different prospect groups, and the different types of messages you would send to each for an effective marketing campaign.
 

Group 1: Likely to Purchase Within Two Years

These prospects are in your target market and have a long term need. Stay top-of-mind with this group by implementing a 12-month marketing campaign to build a relationship with these prospects.

What to include:

  • Lower-cost touches (i.e. email)
  • Messages that establish your business value and qualifications
  • Messages that provide items of value (i.e. educational pieces like white papers or reports, or other offers such as discounts or free trials)
     

Group 2: Currently Using a Competitive Product/Service

Target these companies with specific competitive offers and information on making the move to your product/service.

What to include:

  • Educational pieces and messages on the benefits of your product/service over the competition
  • Webinars and sales pieces addressing the challenges that come with moving
  • Financial offers to make the move easier
     

Group 3: Qualified Decision-Makers Ready to Purchase

These qualified leads are ready to purchase soon. You want to send these companies high-value offers and messages that help them feel good about choosing your product/service.

What to include:

  • High-value financial offers and touches
  • Assessments geared toward migration
  • Messages of safety and ease to make their decision easier

Without profiling your existing database, you would have to send a universal marketing campaign to all these prospects – never hitting the right pain points or sending the right message to the right prospects. But if you invest in profiling, you will be able to tailor messages to each data group and yield much better results.

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