Data is no longer the ‘fuel’ to a business; it has become a science – science that is analytical, actionable, and measurable. When comprehended and applied with the right metrics, it gives the most valuable insights of knowing a target customer and that is where the whole base of a successful business relies upon.
Call it the change in the behavioral psychology of B2B buyers or the trait of risk-aversion in B2B marketers; 2017 witnessed an increased growth in marketing technologies all due to the data science.
As 44% of marketers have a data management platform, while 33% are planning to have one (Source: Econsultancy).
No doubt, 2018 will be a huge spectator of a new form of marketing driven by customer data. If you are looking towards applying the science of data to your B2B marketing strategies in 2018, below are three things you need to know about:
1. Gather Data from Multiple Sources
The changed behavioral psychology of B2B buyers and the tremendous rise in digital trends have not only altered the way they make business decisions but also opened a realm of opportunities for the B2B marketers. Now marketers don’t have to rely on a handful of sources to gather customer data from.
By 2020, people around the world will generate 50 times more data than they did just six years ago.
There are a lot many ways from where B2B personnel can and should drive this data:
• In-person data sources like the in-person conversation with clients, conferences or events.
• Internal data sources like Web Analytics, transaction records, CRM, and other business intelligence tools.
• Third-party sources like industry research reports, Government records, or data about competitors.
Data collected from different kinds of sources gives you practical insights about your buyers – their pain points, preferences, queries, and thus an overall understanding of who your target prospects are and what you need to offer them.
2. Data Quality – It Matters
42% of B2B marketing professionals state that a lack of quality data is their biggest barrier to lead generation. That means, regardless of how well structured your data repository is, quality is something equally important.
Now, what does the Quality of Data implies? It is the assurance that the data that you have stored or you have been using is updated, accurate, and is free from any discrepancies.
So, in 2018, begin with cleansing the customer data.
Standardize your B2B database and determine the errors. Remove the duplicate, lapsed or inaccurate records. Remember, keeping a customer database is a process that asks for consistency which often becomes daunting. And thus, automation can be the best way to get it done efficiently. Invest in tools that help in automating. Schedule a calendar to systematically cleanse the data on a timely basis and follow it.
3. Predictive Analytics
2018 will be the year of predictive analysis with data intelligence.
Predictive analytics is using and analyzing marketing data to create a predictive model that tells which prospects are most significant to target and which actions have the high probability to target and turn those prospects into clients.
These predictive models help business to business organizations to identify and leverage opportunities in their clients’ data, and this is the reason that 89% of marketers have predictive analytics on their roadmaps (Forbes).
As per the report of eMarketer, using data decisively at every stage of applying predictive analytics helps B2B’s throughout the funnel. So, leverage the power of data in predictive marketing. Website data, demographic data, customer behavioral data, or third-party sources are a few types of data that can be used while creating a predictive model and while imbibing this model in your marketing strategies.
From understanding an audience to improving the services and from speeding up the sales funnel to generating qualified leads, data science gives an edge over marketing to the B2B professionals.