The Power of Foundational Data
Content is king. We hear the adage again and again to the point of cliché. But what does that phrase mean to most of us? More blog posts? Better photography? Prettier landing pages?
They are all part of it, certainly. But quality and quantity are only half the battle when it comes to any marketing campaign. Relevance is just as important. Putting the right content out on the right platform at the right time is key to success – and sadly is something not every business does well.
Many fail to reconcile data and content. They know data is important, and they spend significant amounts on their tech stack. But often, the excitement of investing in the latest shiny toy overshadows how technology can actually be used to bolster a campaign’s content.
Adding to the difficultly is the sheer volume of data businesses have at their disposal. We’ve all become very adept at gathering data. But managing it, maintaining it, and most importantly, wielding it, are still hurdles many need to overcome.
In fact, Forrester recently found that 80% of firms struggle to manage the volume, variety, and velocity of their data.
The challenge for business leaders today is how to turn this around: how not to simply have data, but rather how to make it actively strengthen strategy and content, and become a genuine business asset. And the best place to start is foundational data.
A strong foundation
If you want to build a house, you start with the foundations. If you want to run a successful campaign, you start with that broad, top level data that helps you segment your customers and set down those initial building blocks.
I’m talking about unique IDs, legal entity names, turnover, industry, employees, linkage data etc – that kind of thing. These are vital data points that tell you who your customers are, what they do, and give clues as to their buying propensity.
Of course, there are other data types to sprinkle on top. Predictive and behavioural information for example really flesh out who you are talking to, giving you information such as buying intent, impact of COVID on the business, risk pre-screening, etc. Then there is contact data – really granular information on who to target at an organisation and how.
Together, foundational, behavioural, and contact data provide you with powerful insights that are invaluable in any campaign and will help make both strategy and content resonate.
The complete picture
Getting that foundational data in place has to be a priority. Yes, it requires focus and investment, but the rewards are worth it.
Ultimately, you are getting a complete, 360 degree view of your customer across every touch point. There’s a reason that, according to Busienss2Community, 82% of business leaders use data to personalise experiences: being able to serve relevant content at every stage of the buying journey – whether it be a Facebook advert or a landing page – really makes the difference between a conversion and a customer looking elsewhere.
You’ll also be able to serve content at the right time. It may come as a surprise to hear only 15% of your customers are in ‘buying mode’ at any one time. You don’t want to waste money trying to engage the 85% who simply aren’t going to buy. By identifying those who are currently in-market, you can focus your marketing and be much more efficient with your spend.
And looking outside of content for just a moment, foundational data has a breadth of wider campaign benefits. With a single set of consistent data, enterprise workflows can be standardised and harmonised. Return on investment in technology can also be accelerated, helping businesses realise the value in their CRM and MarTech stacks.
Salesforce in their 2020 ‘State of Marketing’ research found that marketing organisations achieving the highest returns are 5.5 times more likely to be satisfied with their customer data quality than those that were underperforming.
Furthermore, with a common, trusted view of business relationships and insights, decision making is faster and more effective – which is exactly what’s needed in today’s competitive market.
According to Salesforce, 64% of customers say a better experience strengthens loyalty. Experiences are inescapably bound up with content and personalisation – for which the buck stops with data.
So the moral of the story is don’t just gather data. Instead, make your data it work for you. Reach across the business and get your fundamental data in place, or work with a partner that can help you do just that. Truly get to know your customers – and from there, success is sure to follow.
To find out more about the power of foundational data, view our recent webinar with Salesforce here.