Data blindness is not an effective marketing strategy. Yet, most marketers have little to no ability to know whether or not the information in their database is high-quality or highly ineffective. When you have poor data visibility, bad things can happen without your knowledge or ability to respond. Despite the powerful effect data has on B2B success, recent research from ZoomInfo found that:

  • 25% of the average B2B database is inaccurate
  • 30% of organizations have no strategy in place to address inaccurate data
  • 40% of business objectives fail due to inaccurate data

If scary stats about the adverse effects of not being able to see bad data lurking in your database aren’t motivation enough to take a serious look into the problem; consider the benefits that those companies with clean and visible data experience:

  • 70% increase in revenue
  • 25% increase in conversion rates

If you’re tasked with making the case for data visibility and control in your organization, we’ve got 10 pertinent points lined up to make your endeavor a success. We’ve also got an economical solution you can add to your stack that makes data visibility and control an intuitively easy affair, but for now let’s take 10:

10. Budget Waste

Most marketers strive to reach their ideal customers, but how do you know if your database includes everyone in your total addressable market (TAM)? More importantly, how do you know if the data you have for all those contacts is correct? Especially since each year 30 percent of people change jobs, 43 percent change phone numbers, 37 percent change emails, and 20 percent change addresses. That’s a lot of change, and if you didn’t see it happen in your database, chances are that more than a third of your messages are not reaching their intended target. That’s a lot of campaign budgets wasted.

9. Zero Customer Insights

John Brennan, the Head of Creative for Dynamic Risk Indicator, a global compliance risk organization maintains that, “When data is only visible to the IT department, it is hidden away from those to whom it’s most valuable and key insights are lost, ultimately proving very costly,” Without the ability to see in real-time what’s happening inside each of your marketing segments, there’s no way to glean insights and identify trends, much less make a decision based on valid data. It’s like putting Mr. Magoo behind the wheel of your data-driven campaigns — a recipe for disaster, only not quite as funny.

8. Missed Opportunities

Tracking data trends is one of the best ways to identify new markets and opportunities. Conversely, not being able to view organizational data means you can’t see the opportunities that are right under your nose. You won’t know which customer segments need more focus; which campaigns should receive a bigger chunk of your resources, what’s not working, what is, and what needs to happen more often.

7. Operational Inefficiencies

When you can see your data across your enterprise, it enables you to streamline workflows, and eliminate mistakes by operating from a central source of truth. It also empowers team members to focus on their jobs, rather than wasting time cobbling together data from a variety of sources. “Business users and analysts [with no data visibility] are forced into retrieving data from other, less reliable sources and manipulating the data in Excel – all of which takes up time and resources, and is highly error prone,” said Brennan.

6. Poor Campaign Performance

Aside from wasting your budget by sending the wrong message to the wrong people, flying data blind puts the kibosh on your ability to develop data-driven campaigns. After all, there’s no way to see which segments are responding and which aren’t when you have poor data visibility. Moreover, you can’t discover why a campaign is having trouble and make money-saving adjustments on the fly because you won’t know what happened until after the fact. Most campaigns that get scrapped could have been fixed if they were grounded in data trends, but it’s tough to correct what you can’t see.

5. Uninformed Decisions

There is a direct correlation between your ability to confidently make an informed decision and your ability to see and know that the data it is based upon is accurate. According to Scott Logie, the Managing Director of REaD Group Insights, “As marketers, in our day to day jobs, we don’t get to make massive decisions about investments in new stores or which companies to take over. However, we get measured on the success or otherwise of our campaigns. And, as such, we try to make sure that we stack the odds in our own favor as best we can. Every day we use probability [data] to ensure that we are delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.” When decisions aren’t supported by data, mistakes are made, money is lost, and sometimes people even lose their jobs.

4. No Performance Proof

Every marketer answers to someone and the best way to prove the value of your efforts, secure budget increases, and silence the naysayers is to give them a heavy dose of hard facts based on data insights. When you can see your data, you can answer questions quickly and confidently with conclusive proof. You can make a case for trying new channels or abandoning traditional ones that are under-performing. You can open the eyes of leaders to the dramatic impact great marketing can have on the overall health of the company, because seeing is believing.

3. Inability to Identify Risks

Compliance is serious business these days, but when data is invisible, it’s impossible to know if it is measuring up to industry standards, much less global data compliance initiatives, like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Data visibility enables you to uphold compliance standards and enhance the general security of the information within your databases. Being able to see what’s going on inside your databases enables you to better identify potential risks and side-step them before they have an opportunity to become costly mistakes. “Data visibility empowers you to manage your business better, by reducing risk and improving efficiency,” said Brennan.

2. No Understanding of Trends

When you can’t see marketing segment data, you can’t know if it’s correct, complete or total crap. You can’t identify the point at which a trend emerges or tapers off, or act quickly to capitalize on the opportunity that a data trend exposes. In his book, Leading Intelligence Analysis: Lessons from the CIA’s Analytic Frontlines, Bruce Pease recalled how Google was able to predict outbreaks and the spread of various strains of the flu in real-time just by tracking user searches regarding symptoms. Although your customer data may not reveal a life or death trend for the general public, identifying a trend within your data as it is happening could be the difference between life or death for your products and services.

1. Decreased Profitability

There’s a high cost to pay when companies operate in a state of data blindness. ZoomInfo maintains that “churn depletes about 25-30% of the average B2B email list each year. If you don’t grow your email list at a pace greater than your churn rate, your list will stay the same size, or worse, get smaller.” If you can’t view data and confirm its accuracy, it’s likely that a third of your campaigns are losing money. In addition, if your database is harboring misinformation, you are probably basing ideal customer profiles on the wrong people. According to research, 40 percent of all B2B sales leads contain bad data. If close to half of your database is harboring bad data, your sales, campaigns and overall company profitability will suffer greatly because of it.

BONUS: Demand Total Data Visibility

Sureshot has developed a cure for marketing data blindness: Command. An intuitively easy-to-use data dashboard that integrates seamlessly into your marketing stack, Command centralizes your view of data enterprise-wide and empowers you to reverse the top 10 ill effects of data blindness. With Command, you can monitor the performance of segments, channels, and other metrics; identify trends and opportunities, invest your budget wisely, and make data-driven decisions that drive results.

Sara Moseley
sara.moseley@sureshot.io

Sara Moseley is a writer, who enjoys covering the ever-changing landscape of marketing and technology.