Dun & Bradstreet recently published an array of insightful statistics from their annual Data-Driven Marketing & Advertising study. Included in their comprehensive report is a list of the eight biggest obstacles B2B marketers are facing in 2020 as they attempt to execute their data-driven marketing strategies. In this blog, we’ll share our thoughts on each obstacle, as well as some best practices you can implement now in order to make sure nothing stands in the way of your data-driven marketing efforts.
Obstacle #1: 27% of B2Bs struggle with siloed or inaccessible data.
It’s hard to believe that one third of B2B marketers are still experiencing data “blockage,” but it’s true. The two reasons we at Sureshot hear most often from our customers as to why this challenge is still an issue in 2020 are: 1) Department leaders that are reluctant to share data; and 2) Systems that keep data hidden.
B2B Data Hack for Siloes
If you have the misfortune of juggling company politics and personalities in order to get access to the data you need, there are a few things that you can do to turn the tide in your favor. First, we recommend making a list of what departments have data you would like access to and how access to this data can help you – help them. Next, inventory the data that is available to your marketing department and make a list of all the ways that your marketing data can benefit any of the company holdouts. Once you have these lists, you are ready to invite department leaders to a meeting about how you can help each other achieve company objectives by pooling data resources. Before sending an invite, it’s always a good idea to approach each leader personally and tell them you are actively looking for ways that marketing can support them through shared data. You want them to see you as someone who is genuinely interested in their success — if you plan to achieve their buy-in. Inevitably someone will cite downtime as a reason they are anxious about the process of sharing data, so be ready to tell them about modern integration platforms that allow systems to connect quickly and share data, while still upholding privacy, compliance and authorized user regulations.
B2B Data Hack for Hidden Data
If you’ve got data that’s buried inside any of the tools in your martech stack, a good quality customer data platform (CDP) is your best friend. These data dynamos not only centralize access to all of the data contained within your stack, they equip you with the ability to view critical information, like segment data, in real-time. CDPs are easy to integrate with both major and minor databases, from marketing automation platforms (MAPs) and customer relationship management systems (CRMs), to content management systems (CMSs), analytics tools and more. They also do a bunch of other cool things, but we’ll share more about that in a couple of our hacks for subsequent obstacles!
Obstacle #2: 27% of B2Bs struggle with incomplete data.
It’s impossible to create data-driven account based marketing (ABM) campaigns with information that is personalized according to each customer segment when you don’t have all the facts. Incomplete data is a struggle that requires vigilance, but it’s also one that’s easily overcome.
B2B Data Hack for Incomplete Data
Remember in our last hack how we said we’d be sharing more about the many cool things a CDP can do for your data? Well, ensuring your data is perpetually complete is another big benefit a good CDP offers. Essentially, once you integrate the CDP with your martech stack and any other databases company-wide, it continuously inspects and appends missing data using the most current data available from third-party data brokers, like ZoomInfo and D&B Hoovers, etc. Not only does this feature dramatically enhance your ability to personalize campaigns across all channels, it ensures the data you are acting on is the most relevant.
Obstacle #3: 26% of B2Bs struggle with lack of data expertise.
Making sense out of volumes of data can be intimidating, especially if you aren’t a “numbers” person. The important thing to remember is that the way data tells a story is over time, so don’t be anxious if you miss an opportunity in the beginning – another one will come along.
B2B Data Hack for a Lack of Data Expertise
Depending on your budget, there are several ways to approach this issue. If money is no object, then consider hiring a data analyst or a data consultant to help you assess what you need to measure in order to achieve the marketing goals that are most important to you. If you are on a tight budget, then consider taking one of the many online courses that offer certifications in marketing analytics. DigitalDefynd, an e-learning hub recently listed the Best Online Marketing Analytics Courses and Certifications for 2020, and each promises to quickly equip you with the skills you need to use your data to make informed decisions. Of course, if you are short on time, you may want to delegate the course to one of the members on your team, who is eager for an opportunity to grow in their knowledge.
Be sure to check out Part Two of 8 Data-Driven Obstacles B2B’s Should Sidestep, where we will cover the final five obstacles to your data-driven dreams and what you can do to overcome them.