One of the advantages I have in helping businesses, is not only seeing businesses from the inside, but seeing a lot of them.
I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to manage your CRM/Marketing data, the effort required from all angles, the constant promotion to end users to enter data correctly, continually advocating the users to properly use the CRM application, finding a high quality contact list, and so on.
What I want to show you is how to focus on creating great data, that’s only going to maximise your efforts, show your colleagues how great data is created and ultimately allow the business to increase its sales.
So much in marketing has changed and continues to change, but one underlying TRUTH prevails:
Getting the right message to the right people is the surest way of increasing sales.
Not so difficult for your existing customer base, but what about your prospect base.
1. Those people who have not bought from you but fit your ideal customer profile – do you know for sure which ones these are.
2. What about those who are right for you but aren’t in your prospect pool – how are you going to find them and get them in there.
3. Those prospects that have a relationship with you but have moved on – they are likely to have moved to similar positions elsewhere, hence likely to be a prospect again.
Imagein having a database that’s full of all the right people you need to communicate with, how much better the responses will be from each prospect and the CRM users.
I’m going to show you how to tap into creating a master list of the right people.
Step 1: Define Your Ideal Client Profile
If you’re B2B then the contact may consist of a job function, job role, seniority; the company may be segmented on industry, geography, size (turnover, employee count), classifications (FTSE, AIM, etc.).
If you’re B2C then use location (country, town, postcode, etc.), gender, age, lifestyle classification codes, income levels, propensity attributes, etc. to fine tune the definition of your best customer.
You may want to vary the definition according different products or services you are selling.
You may want to create two definitions, Primary – most ideal client, Secondary – still a good fit.
Step 2: Map Your Definition to Existing Database
Some of the mappings can be achieved automatically. By using a data processing company, you can append company information such as turnover, employee count, etc.
For consumers, you can find companies that profile information for individuals.
However, some of the mappings cannot be automated and require a manual process. See Step 3 below.
Step 3 Validate Your Contacts
1. Call Them (time consuming, high success rate, additional benefits)
2. Email Them (less intrusive, dependent on contact responding)
3. Direct Response Mailing (more work required by contact to return info)
4. Reference Database (match against a reputable reference file)
For B2B data, it is extremely useful to call upon your prospect base.
If the prospect base is very large, then if you have classified prospects in some way, e.g. Tier 1 – 5, Gold-Silver-Bronze or know who has called in or downloaded a resource from your website, etc. then you can select these contacts to call first.
Apart from validating whether a contact is still active at a company, you can find who replaced them if they have left or changed roles, what their new contact details, etc.
Calling has the great advantage of identifying contacts that have moved. You can track them via LinkedIn and make contact again.
Those that have moved on will most likely have a replacement. This is an easy sales call because you have a previous connection and initiating a conversation is much simpler.
Calling to validate B2B can be very rewarding as you are leveraging existing relationships.
For B2C data, matching against a reputable consumer file is the best method. These files are based on either Electoral Register, credit information or from large marketing files.
You can validate the name and address of a person, as well as find out if they have moved homes recently.
Do not call consumers, this is very annoying for them and more likely to ruin your reputation. Direct mailing is always preferable.
Step 4 Find New Contacts
Not all suppliers are the same. You must watch for the phony ones offering data that is several years old.
If the supplier is good, the data should not be more than four months old.
If you find supplied contacts are out of date, then make sure they will refund your money.
Reputable suppliers will always have a mechanism to return erroneous data and return your money.
Just because a supplier is a large well known company, this does not mean all their data is good. As they try to cater for all types of data, they cannot guarantee high quality in every segment. These vendors are typically good for certain types of data, the key is to know what this is.
You want to find a supplier that doesn’t provide you with data that you already have. You will then be paying for something you already have.
Send them your list and ask them to exclude contacts you already have.
Asking for emails as part of the contact detail isn’t necessarily the best idea. If you want to create an email list then you really want to have them opt-in into your list.
The prospect will be far more responsive and your list will be of very high quality.
How you create an opt-in email list is a separate topic in itself – out of the scope of our discussion here.
If you do have to purchase email lists, ensure they are opted-in.
Make sure the data has all the criteria you use to define the target market.
For B2B Company data, add the company size, trading status, location type, etc.
For B2B contact data, add the telephone numbers, location, job title, job function, job role, etc.
And for B2C consumer data, add geo-demographic and/or propensity data.
Step 5 Insert Your New Data into Your Existing Database
For B2C, this is not so hard, but if you are trying to target household level you will need to use the address to match the right records.
For B2B, this is more complex (unless you have all your data in one file, in which case it should be straight forward.)
If an imported contact is part of an organisation you already have then insert the contact accordingly. If it’s a new company add the new company record and then add the contact (linking it to the new company.)
Step 6 Suppress
There are fines for companies reported for either calling, faxing, mailing customers that have requested explicitly not to be contacted.
You can run your database against many preference services (these are registers where people have requested no unsolicited contact via a particular communication channel.)
For B2B, check against the corporate telephone preference list.
For B2C check against mail, phone and fax preference service list providers.
Also, for B2B, check the company status to see if it’s still trading, moved location, taken over or merged.
For consumers, check against mortalities files for deceased individuals. Nothing worse than receiving promotions to recently departed family members – may affect your reputation.
If you follow all the above steps you will have a very good marketing database for your target market.
Don’t forget, data degrades, so some or all of the above exercise should be repeated monthly, quarterly, etc. It really depends on how much marketing you perform.
Please take a moment to leave a comment.
All the best.